- The Washington Times - Friday, March 15, 2019

The Defense Department has sent roughly 21,000 troops packing since the start of last summer’s “deploy or get out” policy went into effect.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that the different branches of the military are well on their way to attaining the goal of no more than 5 percent of personnel classified as nondeployable.

“A key element of strengthening our military and increasing lethality is ensuring our warfighters achieve established physical, mental and security vetting standards,” he said during a  fiscal 2020 budget request, Military Times reported. “War is unforgiving, and our mission demands we remain a standards-based organization.”

Pregnant, recently pregnant and combat-wounded troops are exempt from the standards, the website noted.

“In upholding systematically applied standards, we ensure the readiness of our joint force and cohesion of our units,” Mr. Shanahan said.

The current level of nondeployable troops sits at approximately 5.4 percent, he told lawmakers.

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