State of the U.S. Military Reserve Components

  • June 01, 2008
  • Dr Dallas D Owens, Mr Ralph Wipfli

Key Insights from this seminar were (1) Without significant participation by the Reserve Components (RC), effective current and near future military operations and domestic emergency response would not be possible. (2) The current debate about designation of the RC as operational or strategic is largely artificial and unproductive; the RC have periodically performed major operations, constantly conducted domestic operations, and been part of all past war plans; the difference now is that the current high operational tempo makes obvious the centrality of these forces for successful operations. (3) Leveraging the civilian capacities and knowledge of the RC in missions abroad while making domestic and foreign missions more congruent will ensure that the National Guard and Reserve continue to add strategic depth and operational flexibility to the active force. (4) The continuum of service goal is to make the transition between active and reserve statuses seamless. Achieving this goal will require implementation of several approved personnel management initiatives and adoption of additional proposals. (5) The Commission on the National Guard and Reserves recently released a report that offers recommendations on many of the same issues discussed by colloquium participants. Some recommendations appear consistent with participants’ opinions, while others only partially agree or totally disagree.