276. Memorandum from McNamara to President Kennedy, August 111

[Facsimile Page 1]

In response to your inquiry of 12 July, there follows additional information on the status of the Strategic Army Force in the United States.

The proposed distribution of Army strength as of the end of Fiscal Year 1963 is set forth in the annexed table. You will note that the STRAF forces consist of eight combat-ready divisions and a pool of support forces broken down as follows:

STRAF combat divisions:
8 at an average of 14,250 114,000
STRAF support personnel:
In the United States 106,000
In Europe and SVN 15,000 121,000
Total 235,000

The pool of support forces permits the creation of division forces tailored to meet the requirements of the geographical area in which the division force will be deployed. For example, one type of division force would be used in Europe, and another type of division force used in Southeast Asia. These varying requirements will be met by drawing upon the support pool.

I also wish to point out that we are currently reviewing our use of personnel to see how we can use them more effectively. For example, one of the items on the annexed table is 30,000 personnel in non-deployable units. These units support schools, experimental activities, [Facsimile Page 2] are in predeployment training, or have missions not directly associated with division forces. We are studying the possible reorganization of these units so that they, or at least a substantial portion thereof, could be used as a part of our STRAF division forces.

In summary, the whole matter of Army strength is under study at the present time in the Department of the Army. We are seeking to make the most efficient use of manpower within the Army’s authorized [Typeset Page 1084] strength and to develop the most effective support possible for the 16 divisions which the Army now has. I will have the results of this analysis ready to present to you in connection with our discussion of the Fiscal Year 1964 budget.

Robert S. McNamara
Secretary of Defense


[Facsimile Page 3] [Typeset Page 1085]
Summary of Army Strength Planned as of 30 June 1963
USAREUR: 5 divs. and supporting forces 245,000
STRAF units on TD 12,500 257,500
USARPAC: 3 divs. and supporting forces 86,700
STRAF units on TD in SVN 2,500
Panama 8,200
Alaska 12,800
STRAF in U.S.—8 divisions and supporting forces 220,000
MAAGs, Army Security Agency and Misc. Foreign 28,400
Air Defense Command 22,400
CONUS Base (Continental Army Hqs, depots, schools, posts, camps and stations) 174,000 (probably can reduce by 12,000)
Department of Army—Admin. (principally Pentagon) 20,000
Trainees 54,500 (possibly can reduce by 10,000 reducing trainees)
Students and cadets 24,300
Combat troops assigned to schools and predeployment training, etc. 30,000 (possibly could have an alternative assignment to STRAF)
Transients 15,500 (use of air may cut by 5,000)
Patients 3,200
National Guard and Reserve personnel on 6 month active duty for training, not included above. 55,000 (in certain types of emergencies may be able to)
  1. Provides information on the status of the “Strategic Army Force in the United States” and a summary table of “Army Strength Planned as of June 30, 1963.” Secret. 3 pp. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, DOD, 7/62–8/62.