Conserving the Force: Adapting Guard Mobilization Policies for Homeland Defense to Enhance Retention
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The increased rate of Guard and Reserve mobilization associated with the Global War on Terror, specifically to support Operation Noble Eagle, poses a potential threat to the U.S. Army National Guards ability to retain soldiers and thus sustain end strength and readiness. This concern is supported by the lower rates of retention associated with reserve component personnel mobilized during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Mobilizations for peacekeeping and similar missions during the late 1990s have not been associated with lower rates of retention those mobilizations have also been very different from those experienced in 1990-1991 and since 911. The majority of soldiers mobilized in the late 1990s received lengthy advance notice of impending mobilizations and were able, to a certain extent, to self-select whether they would participate in by transferring into or out of units designated for mobilization. Many units being mobilized in support of Operation Noble Eagle have not been receiving significant advance notice of mobilizations furthermore certain types of units, such as military police, have been subjected to repeated mobilizations since 9-11. Therefore there is reason to expect that retention will be negatively impacted Current national policy is to minimize the number of Guard units serving in Title 32 status in support of Operation Noble Eagle. While approximately half of all Guard soldiers mobilized for Operation Noble Eagle were serving in Title 32 status in the first six months after 911, only approximately a tenth are now. Therefore the ability of Guard soldiers to be mobilized in Title 32 as well than Title 10 status should have little additional impact on retention.
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