The Army's Operational Reserve Force
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
The reserve components of todays United States Army are, by both necessity and design, part of the operational force. Based on the anticipated strategic environment the Army has made a conscious decision to institutionalize the operational reserve force, an operational role which the reserve components will have to execute for the foreseeable future. To complete the explicit evolution of the Armys reserve components to an operational force, implications must be examined and addressed within the context of progressive readiness and cyclic deployments. The evolution toward an operational reserve force began in 1973 with the Total Force Policy. However, the implications of this change were not initially recognized. A critical capability gap resulted from a mismatch between decisions that increased operational reliance on the reserve components and the policy and resourcing decisions during the last quarter of the twentieth century. This paper will explain why an operational reserve force is being considered, examine the practical differences between a strategic reserve and an operational reserve, and identify critical implications of transitioning the Armys reserve components into a feasible, sustainable, operational reserve force.
- Military Forces and Organizations