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NEWPORT NEWS -- The message was loud and clear as the new commanding general of the Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis spoke Friday.

Gen. David Perkins assumed command of TRADOC as Pentagon leaders continue cutting the Army to its lowest troop levels since 1940.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has proposed reducing the Army from 520,000 soldiers to as low as 440,000.

Perkins admits it won't be easy. 'Obviously the Army is going to be smaller, the budget resources are going to be less,' he said. 'So, what that means is the responsibilities on each soldier and leader is greater.'

Members of Congress have been less than enthusiastic about the cuts. Virginia Fourth District Republican Rep. Randy Forbes said this week that the proposed reductions 'continue the disturbing trend of mortgaging our nation's security with reckless cuts to the military.'

Perkins succeeded Gen. Robert Cone, who is retiring.

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