Lieutenant General James Conway said as many as 350-thousand low to mid-level officers could qualify for the new army. He added that many former officers are Sunni, who are underrepresented in Iraq's new military and government.
General Conway also said the Pentagon may name a more senior officer to lead a task force trying to combat insurgent bomb attacks.
Meanwhile, al-Qaida in Iraq said it shot down an American helicopter, killing two Marines near Ramadi on Wednesday.
U.S. officials said they were investigating the crash, which witnesses said was caused by a missile attack.
In Baghdad, police discovered the bodies of 11 men who had been kidnapped and killed. And an American soldier was killed near Baquba, north of Baghdad.