Not all soldiers who were the first to arrive in the Persian Gulf region will be among the first to leave, a top general has said.

The departures of soldiers will depend on missions of their units, said Army Lt. Gen. William G. Pagonis, who as commanding general of the Army's Central Support Command is its chief logistics officer.He cited many in his command as an example. "We were some of the first ones here," he said Thursday. "We're going to be here until everything's out of here.

"Some soldiers will go home who just arrived. Other soldiers will be going home who've been here a long time. But it's going to be based on the mission (of their units). And every soldier knows that," he said.

About 17,000 U.S. troops left Saudi Arabia last week in the symbolic initial redeployment back home, but no formal peace treaty with Iraq has been signed.

Defense Secretary Dick Cheney has said he would like the pullout to reach 5,000 troops a day. No announcements have been made concerning the Air Force and Navy, although some jet fighter units, including Marine squadrons, and warships have already left the region.