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Army National Guard Personnel and Training Readiness in the Past Century: Contingencies and Continuities

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Since the US Armys post-Vietnam War recovery and reorganization, it has increasingly relied on the Reserve Component RC to augment and supplant the Active Component AC. RC soldiers serve interchangeably with AC soldiers, as part of an expeditionary force engaged in ongoing limited wars. Over the past century, the institutional balance of power between the AC Regular US Army and the Army National Guard ARNG has calcified, but the strategic context has changed. Unrelenting operational needs amidst a drawdown, the post-Global War on Terror GWOT routinization of rotational deployments, refutation of a post-GWOT strategic reserve role by the ARNG and its professional association, and the terms of the latest post-war compromise between the AC and the ARNG all factor into an emerging paradigm. At present, the ARNG faces an increasingly likely prospect of participating in large-scale combat operations with unit integrity, in support of a right-sized AC. States militias have relinquished much of the autonomy e.g., determining tables of organization, training standards for enlisted and officer members possessed prior to the Efficiency in Militia Act of 1903, in exchange for federal investment. This discourse between states and the US federal government has resulted in a better manned, trained and equipped ARNG, as a component of the national reserve. However, the authority to recruit, commission, promote, and assign a militias officers, remains exclusively with the state executive and the militias commander-in-chief the governor. This intrinsic dual control feature of our federal system of governance shapes the ARNGs values system and officer incentives structure, which in turn effects the prioritization of personnel and training readiness, and influences AC and RC approaches toward ARNG operational readiness. This case study is divided into five sections.

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Technical Report,05 Jun 2016,25 May 2017



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Approved For Public Release;

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