Wormuth: Army Has ‘A Lot of Work Ahead’

Wormuth: Army Has ‘A Lot of Work Ahead’

Secretary of the Army Wormuth speaks with soldiers working with IVAS
Photo by: U.S. Army/Spc. Jacob Ward

In their first appearance on Capitol Hill to discuss the Army’s fiscal 2024 budget request, the Army’s top leaders said they are proud of the service’s accomplishments and are ready for the work ahead.  

“We’ve accomplished a lot this year, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said before the House Appropriations defense subcommittee. “The FY ‘24 budget enables us to support the National Defense Strategy, to provide ready forces to the combatant commanders and to take care of our people.” 

The Army’s fiscal 2024 budget request is $185.5 billion, which funds top priorities, including modernization projects, transformation projects and initiatives that serve soldiers and their families. 

As it emerges from last year’s recruiting shortfall, Army recruitment is looking up, Wormuth said as she testified alongside Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville. 

“We understand that [recruiting] is the most important issue for the United States Army, and we are seeing some positive momentum,” she said. “Our recruiting numbers right now look better than they did this time last year.” 

The Army also is applying lessons from Ukraine. “One of the most important lessons we've learned from Ukraine is the need for a more robust defense industrial base,” Wormuth said. “So, in our budget this year, we're investing $1.5 billion in our arsenals, depots and ammo plants. We’re also working very closely with our partners in the defense industry to increase munitions productions, so that we can continue to help the Ukrainians but also, very importantly, replenish our own stocks.”

Looking to the future, transformational weapon systems will play a vital role in the Army’s ability to fight in future conflicts, McConville said during the hearing. 

“We'll get questions like, ‘Why didn't you buy more tanks?’ ‘Why didn't you buy more Apaches?’ ‘Why didn't you buy more Blackhawks?’ We certainly want those items, but those … systems are going to be around for a while,” he said. “I believe we have to get to the transformational weapons systems that are coming in for us to be effective in some of the fights we're going see in the future.” 

On the battlefield, future fights will be waged and won in cyberspace, and the Army’s cyber corps “is absolutely critical today,” McConville added. 

“I think in the future, they’re going to be more critical,” he said. “The force that moves the data the fastest, that can take it from sensors and get into an integrated battle command system … and get it out to the right weapon systems very quickly [will win].”