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Reserve Component General and Flag Officers: A Review of Requirements and Authorized Strength

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Technical Report

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RAND National Defense Research Institute Santa Monica United States

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The optimal balance between force size and the number of general and flag officers has been a question of interest in military personnel planning for decades. Increased use of the reserve component, particularly since September 11, 2001, and an expectation that this role will continue and possibly increase in the future has renewed interest in the question of the appropriate number of reserve component general and flag officers RC GFOs. Congressional interest in this question prompted legislation in the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which called for the Secretary of Defense to conduct a review of general officer and flag officer requirements for members of the reserve component in an active status . . . to ensure that the authorized strengths provided in Section 12004 of Title 10, United States Code are based on an objective requirements process, are sufficient, and reflect any efficiencies that can begained by eliminating or downgrading unneeded positions.

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