Gates discussed the possible temporary expansion with Army Secretary Pete Geren, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and others officers, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said during a news briefing Wednesday.
Army officials, as well as Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are "advocating to increase the size of the Army to get them through what is still a stressful period as we draw down in Iraq and continue to plus-up in Afghanistan," Morrell said.
Lieberman is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Gates "obviously has a great deal of concern about the stress that the Army has been under for a number of years now," Morrell said. "And he understands that his prescription that they reduce their dependence upon stop-loss to keep units intact when they deploy has created additional stress on the force."
Gates already announced a phase-out of the Army's "stop-loss" policy that keeps some soldiers in uniform beyond the end of their enlistment.
Gates hasn't made a decision about increasing Army troop strength, Morrell said.
"He is right now still in the consultation process," the spokesman said. "But he is clearly considering it."