U.S. military officials have said that while their services are still able to carry out their missions, the reduced funding has affected some of their readiness and required training.
"I promise that our administration will always have your back," Trump said after signing the memorandum. "We will always be with you."
Here’s a look at the two-page memorandum that Trump says will strengthen the U.S. military.
What is in the memo?
It gives Defense Secretary James Mattis, a retired Marine general, 30 days to conduct a review to assess "readiness conditions, including training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization, and infrastructure." The review will guide what actions can be carried out in the current fiscal year "that are necessary to improve readiness conditions," as well as in the FY 2017 budget proposal that is still working its way through Congress a year after it was submitted.
Mattis will also have 60 days to submit a plan of action that by FY 2019 "shall address areas for improvement, including insufficient maintenance, delays in acquiring parts, access to training ranges, combatant command operational demands, funding needed for consumables (e.g., fuel, ammunition), manpower shortfalls, depot maintenance capacity, and time needed to plan, coordinate, and execute readiness and training activities."
The Defense Department will be required to submit a National Defense Strategy "to give the President and the Secretary maximum strategic flexibility and to determine the force structure necessary to meet requirements."
The memorandum also requires a review of the nuclear triad "to ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies."
It also calls for a new review of Ballistic Missile Defense "to identify ways of strengthening missile-defense capabilities, rebalancing homeland and theater defense priorities, and highlighting priority funding areas."
What could the military get?
The military services will likely make the case for increased budgets to make up for the personnel reductions and lower levels of training that have resulted from sequestration.
He also recommended during the campaign an increase in the number of fighter aircraft available to the Air Force to 1,200.
The Navy recently issued an assessment that recommended growing to a fleet of 355 ships with more aircraft carriers, submarines and surface warships. That estimate is similar to the Trump campaign proposal to boost the number of ships to 350. Both proposals would be a dramatic increase from the current fleet of 274 ships that is slated to grow to 308 by 2021.
While increased funding could lead to more ships, top Navy leaders acknowledge telling the Trump transition team at the Pentagon that their focus is on maintaining the ships they have.
That's because the pace of Navy ship deployments has remained constant as the number of ships has decreased over the past decade. The upshot is less time for crucial long-term maintenance work needed to keep those ships functional for decades to come.