Article on future manning levels of the USMC http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/art...174-000-Corps-will-cut-Marines-save-readiness "A 174,000-member Marine Corps is the “minimum acceptable” force, Amos said on Capitol Hill, adding that it would leave the service able to respond to only one major contingency. It will force broad slashes to the combat arms and aviation communities, requiring twice as many units to deactivate than first envisioned. Eleven combat arms battalions and 14 aviation squadrons will be cut, Amos said." Part of the new reality: "To minimize cuts to the operating forces, there is a concerted effort to cut headquarters staffs across the service, Mullen said. Some will be reduced by by 10 percent, and others by 20."