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The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)of Fiscal Year 2017 authorized a 3,000 personnel increase to the Marine Corps, increasing the force from post drawdown levels of 182,000 to 185,000.The Fiscal Year 2018 NDAA will see an additional1,000 personnel increase to the active component, increasing the Marine Corps’ end strength to 186,000. As the Marine Corps increases its force, supported by the Reserve Component, we strengthen our ability to support steady-state and crisis response operations by improving our ability to employ combined arms in all domains, to include space and cyberspace, and rapidly surge in support of major contingency operations while improving the ability of the Marine Corps to conduct cyberspace operations, in both service specific and joint arenas.

As the Marine Corps increases and shapes our force to fight effectively in the future environment, specifically as technological proliferation and the use of information as a weapon become more prevalent in our society, we must ensure that our end strength provides us with the force required to sustain our present capabilities while adapting to the ever changing physical and technological environments.

The 186,000 force will provide the Marine Corps this capability and the capacity to be competitive in the future operating environment, giving us a distinct advantage over our enemies.