Active army smallest in 10 years, Below 500,000 soldiersThe U.S. Army has fewer than 500,000 active-duty soldiers for the first time in 10 years. Defense Manpower Data Center statistics show that 498,642 soldiers are on active duty, the Army Times reported Thursday. That number will dip to 490,000 soldiers by Oct. 1 as a result of Congress’ fiscal 2015 budget authorization.  Army Times reported that the cut in active troop levels was primarily reached by capping recruiting at fewer than 60,000 soldiers and re-enlistments at 50,000. Involuntary early retirement boards were a factor.  The defense center’s data put the National Guard’s rolls at 349,881 soldiers and the Army Reserve at 197,126, the newspaper reported. Source