Marine Corps Reserves: An Operational Option for a Shrinking Armed Force
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI DEPT OF OPERATIONS
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The Marine Corps Reserve can support active duty units, and will become increasingly critical to sustainability as the force structure declines. Reserve support is not currently a first choice for augmentation by operational commanders. However, as less active units are available, commanders will be forced to tap reserve personnel, especially in the service support communities. The Marine Corps Reserve possesses dynamic capability that should not be overlooked as a last resort measure. The strengths of the reserve include trained, functional, combat power or sustainment support. Their acquired training, funding, planning and augmentation assets will become crucial for the operational tempo, as active forces shrink. The key limitation to the reserve is the legislated periods they can serve on active duty. This is a serious weakness, which must be neutralized by effective planning or coordination. Reserve units can be used as a base force for theater training operations, annual training augmentation, or mustered as initial volunteers to support the commander. Reserves can assist in bridging the gaps created by downsizing the active force Planning or this support must be integrated now.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics