Rethinking the Operational Reserve
Air War College Maxwell AFB United States
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The various service Reserve Components have been a critical part of the Total Force for several decades. Although great efforts were undertaken to operationalize the Reserve Component over the last few years, future requirements will likely not justify a fully manned, trained, and equipped operational reserve. The Department of Defense will not likely be able to simultaneously afford both a robust active component and an operational reserve expected shortfalls require a change in how the reserves are structured and utilized. With the expected reduction of American presence abroad, and likely economic austerity for the military, the United States must rethink the missions, requirements, and readiness of the reserve components.