Landpower and the reserve components.
The modern history of the Reserve components began with Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird implementing the Total Force policy in 1970. He directed the military departments to consider tire Reserve as part of the total force available to meet security needs. The Reserve components assumed an increasing role in the national security strategy during the 1970s. They were receiving modern equipment and the resources to maintain manning and training levels by the end of the decade. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s they continued to increase their capabilities and their support to the active component.
A Growing Demand
Questions regarding the accessibility of Reservists and their willingness to serve in the first Gulf War were resolved by successful Reserve participation. The President's willingness to mobilize the Reserve components and their enthusiastic response has quieted the skeptics. Confidence in both units and individuals is now high within DOD. The major question facing the Army and the Nation today is what impact more frequent deployment will have on citizens serving.
Although the resources devoted to the Reserve components have always fluctuated, the last thirty years have seen a focus on readiness and capability. As the active force has been reduced in the post-Cold War world, the demands on the Reserve components have increased. This will call for added resources to enable more training, better equipment, and appropriate pay and benefits.
It appears that the challenges facing ARNG and USAR will increase. They will occur both at home and abroad and cover the range of military options from the law enforcement and mitigation tasks associated with homeland security and defense, to peacekeeping and stability operations in failed states, to major combat. This piece puts these issues for the Army Reserve components into perspective, identifies current ARNG and USAR transformational initiatives, and suggests additional options for dealing with evolving challenges.
As we consider the future of ARNG and USAR, we must understand their size and importance relative to the Army active component and to the active and Reserve components of the other services. A number of insights emerge.
* The Army total force is much larger than the other services.
* The Army Reserve components are much larger than the other Reserve components.
* The Army Reserve components have more force structure than the Army active component in almost every category.
* The Army Reserve components provide a greater portion of total Army manpower and force structure than any other Reserve component.
* The Army has more than half of its combat force in the Reserve components while the other services have less than half.
Both USAR and ARNG have plans to transform their forces and management to meet new demands. These plans do not appear complete, but their outlines seem reasonably well understood. The major aspects of the USAR transformation plan are:
* Change the management paradigm from alert-mobilize-train-deploy to train-alert-deploy to enhance the ability of units to deploy rapidly. Schedule unit readiness to provide predictability to members and ensure units are ready when needed. Achieve a 10:1 capability-to-need ratio so a soldier will deploy once in S years for a maximum of 270 days.
* Reduce the number of units, including command and control headquarters, within the current manpower level to fully man (90 percent or higher) the remaining units.
* Create an individuals account (12 percent of USAR end strength) to ensure that soldiers in units are qualified in their military operational specialty and fully deployable. Soldiers undergoing individual training, for example in basic or advanced training, will be in that account and will not count against the manning levels of units. Soldiers in advanced training will not have to train and maintain membership in a troop unit simultaneously.
* Cease the practice of cross leveling soldiers between units to fully man the receiving unit. This change is made possible by the reduced number of units and the individuals account.
* Reform the individual mobilization augmentee (IMA) program to create an individual augmentee (IA) program to provide individuals across a range of specialties needed by combatant commanders.
Aspects of the ARNG transformation plan are:
* Change the management paradigm from alert-mobilize-train-deploy to train-alert-deploy in order to enhance the ability of units to deploy rapidly.
* Enhance the ability to provide combat support units such as military police, chemical, information operations, and military intelligence. Provide reaction forces to U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) capable of dealing with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threats.
* As part of an ARNG restructuring initiative, reshape one or more divisions to a more versatile design called the multifunctional division, made up of mobile light brigades (MLBs) consisting of two infantry battalions, a reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition squadron, an engineer battalion, and a forward support battalion.
* Create a joint National Guard Bureau and joint state headquarters with staff functions and responsibilities aligned with those of the Joint Staff and the combatant commanders. These changes are most directly associated with the homeland security (HS), homeland defense (HD), and civil support (MACA) missions assigned the National Guard and will facilitate the linkages between the National Guard Bureau and U.S. Northern, Joint Forces, and Pacific Commands. Each state joint headquarters will be able to act as a standing joint force headquarters for HS/HD/MACA.
* Establish a joint continental United States (CONUS) communications support element (JCCSE) linking NORTHCOM, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Staff, and other Federal and state agencies involved in HS/HD/MACA.
The above summary suggests that each organization is responding to the direction from the Secretary of Defense to enhance its ability to mobilize and change management paradigms. In addition, both Reserve components are reorganizing forces to meet anticipated demands. Neither has provided much detail on the specifics of these plans. How will these very different organizations accomplish these goals? Which will prove the more agile and responsive to the new world? Will the smaller and more centralized USAR with its closer connection to the active component, or the widely decentralized ARNG with its 54 separate headquarters, prove more adept and creative in transforming? Either way, USAR and ARNG might consider additional changes.
Both components are working to improve mobilization predictability for their members. The Navy and Air Force offer models for achieving this goal. The Navy has long scheduled the deployments of carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups so sailors can predict time away from home. The recently adapted Air Force concept of the air expeditionary force provides the same benefit for both active and Reserve members.
Establishing a rotation has advantages beyond predictability. A rotational schedule appears essential for the Army to meet the goals of its new train-alert-deploy paradigm. If ARNG were to establish a 3-year rotation for its 15 enhanced brigades, for example, it could have five brigades essentially ready to deploy on alert at all times. It could establish a similar schedule for special mission brigades and MLBs. This would be a significant improvement over the current concept of training brigades for 90 days following mobilization and prior to deployment. USAR, which deploys primarily battalions and separate companies, could establish a similar schedule. A 3 to 5-year timetable appears appropriate since both components should manage personnel policies to keep units relatively stable for that time. Unlike the Army approach to tiered readiness, in which some units are held on a constant high level of deployment readiness while others are held on a lower level, a rotational schedule allows all units to appreciate the benefits of high readiness, which include better manning levels, equipment fill, and training. The most important benefit is the ability to deploy on alert without much post-mobilization training. If USAR and ARNG are to take full advantage of a rotational schedule, however, they will also have to adjust personnel and other policies. For example, if a rotation is to provide more competent units deployable on alert, ARNG and USAR must find a way to ensure that at least officers and noncommissioned officers are stabilized in units for an entire rotation. It will do no good if units are placed on such a schedule while individual soldiers continue to move in and out.
Improve Unit Readiness
It appears USAR is taking some initiatives that ARNG might consider, reducing its total force structure, including headquarters, to more fully man the remaining units and thereby improve unit readiness. In addition, USAR is creating an individuals account to ensure that untrained and nondeployable soldiers are not occupying spaces in units scheduled for rapid deployment. Both changes could also enhance ARNG ability to deploy units rapidly and avoid cross leveling soldiers between units.
The potential for force structure reductions and an individuals account to enhance Reserve unit readiness by increasing deployable manning levels has long been recognized. The obstacle has been reluctance to decrease unit spaces--to reduce force structure. This hesitation is most likely based on belief that lost force structure is gone forever and that the Reserve will lose not just that but the funds associated with it and will not be able to fund either increased manning levels in the remaining units or the individuals account. USAR is to be congratulated for taking this risk, and DOD management must support the effort.
Increase Individual Augmentees
USAR proposes to expand its individual augmentee program to meet the needs of the Army and combatant commanders for specially trained personnel. Individual mobilization augmentees are paid members of the Selected Reserve. This is a useful step ARNG might also adopt. Unfortunately, it does not solve the major difficulty with the current augmentee program, which is the unwillingness of the active component to take responsibility for augmentees. Nor does it take advantage of the full range of pretrained manpower. There is recognition that many active Army units and joint headquarters are inadequately manned in peacetime and require trained, rapidly available individual augmentees to perform their wartime missions fully within the required timeframe. That is also true for many Reserve units. Thus it seems reasonable to create an IA/IMA program in ARNG (1) as well as USAR and for the Army as a whole to see that individual augmentees are assigned in advance to fill positions in active and Reserve units and in joint headquarters, that they have training opportunities, and that the gaining component or joint headquarters provide at least part of the funding.
Two other sources of pretrained individual manpower could be included to increase potential augmentees. The first is the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), (2) soldiers who have left the active component or the Selective Reserve but have time remaining in their 8-year military service obligation (MSO). Many could contribute in a mobilization if the Army took the management steps to ensure their availability to meet the needs of all three components.
Should steps be taken to enhance the IRR contribution to a mobilization, efforts might also be made to increase IRR size by retaining many of the Army's best-trained soldiers in the pool, those who leave the Army after 8 years and prior to their retirement eligibility at 20 years. For example, a highly trained technician who leaves after 10 years is lost forever the day he leaves the active component or the Selected Reserve. Should the Army take steps to retain these people in IRR following their separation--adding a provision in reenlistment contracts to extend MSO or providing a departure bonus to stay in IRR, for example--it could greatly expand this trained pool.
The other source of pretrained individual manpower is the Retired Reserve. There is a long tradition, as well as provisions in Title 10, that military members who retire before 30 years of service can be recalled to active duty. (3) That is why their compensation is called retainer pay. The Army had plans to recall retirees during the Cold War and even issued recall orders.
Enhance the Overall Mobilization Process
Both USAR and ARNG are working to implement the new train-alert-deploy paradigm, and little specific information is available. While the idea is attractive, the need to mobilize will not disappear so long as USAR and ARNG units are comprised of part-time soldiers. The real issue is change in the emphasis, and presumably the financing, provided each aspect of the traditional paradigm of train-alert-mobilize-train-deploy. In reality, the only difference between the Reserve and active paradigms is the need to mobilize and the emphasis given each step in the process. With few exceptions, active units require some training prior to deployment. Moreover, given the limited strategic lift available to move both active and Reserve forces, the Army can usually expect to have time between alert and deployment to train both active and Reserve units. (4) In addition, while active units need not mobilize, they must prepare for overseas movement, and this process--obtaining equipment and updating medical records--also has aspects of mobilization. The key to the new approach is how well manned, trained, and equiped Reserve units can be prior to alert and how effectively they can mobilize. The preceding sections discussed concepts for improving unit manpower and training readiness. Ideas for improving the way Reserve units and individuals transition from a peacetime status in the United States to a wartime status overseas include:
* Identify or create volunteer units, as in the old Standard Bearer program, comprised of individuals who volunteer in advance to be mobilized on short notice. Provide special benefits to volunteer units.
* Ensure that plans include the mobilization of sufficient additional resources to ensure that mobilizing units, including the commander and staff, can focus on their duties and training for their new tasks rather than on managing mobilization and training activities.
* Confirm that equipment, ammunition, and facilities are sufficient to provide aggressive training to all units following mobilization and to continue unit training after the unit has loaded its equipment on the boat and is waiting for airlift to deploy the soldiers.
* Ensure that units arriving earlier have the resources to continue training in the overseas theater while they wait for the rest of the units.
* Use a database that includes all soldiers-active and Reserve, IRR, and retirees-and facilitates efforts to track individuals during mobilization.
Create a Virtual Chain of Command
The Army National Guard decisions to create a joint National Guard Bureau and joint state headquarters and JCCSE linking NORTHCOM, PACOM, OSD, the Joint Staff, and other Federal and state agencies involved in HS/HD/MACA have the potential to enhance the Defense Department contribution far beyond what ARNG itself can contribute. Given that these missions are inherently local, the establishment of a joint headquarters in each state and of JCCSE could unify command and control throughout DOD. Today there is no way for the many stovepipe organizations--the 10 service active and Reserve components and the 16 defense agencies--to coordinate HS/HD/MACA. Current management systems do not provide a mechanism for local entities to coordinate among stovepipes. Even with adjacent locations, entities belonging to no formal way to coordinate planning and funding, or in the event of an attack to coordinate responses. Although local leaders have undoubtedly created informal plans, they are no substitute for formal planning and execution.
The move to create joint state headquarters provides ARNG an opportunity to pull together the HS/HD/ MACA activities of all DOD services and agencies statewide. It would keep track of all DOD entities, active and Reserve, including both deployable units and the extensive support structure that includes about 30 percent of the department's military personnel and virtually all its civilians. The joint headquarters would involve all those assets in planning and execution. It could also coordinate DOD efforts with state and local undertakings. In a civil support mission calling for engineers, for example, the joint headquarters could coordinate the efforts of Army active and Reserve component engineers, Navy Seabees, Air Force Redhorse and Prime Beef units, Marine Corps engineers, and the engineer assets of the services and defense agencies within the state that are not organized into traditional units. Absent this role of the joint headquarters, there is no subordinate to the Secretary of Defense with the authority to provide this coordination function.
Since major HS/HD/MACA missions will likely involve multiple states, a regional headquarters should coordinate regional planning and execution. One option would be the existing regional readiness command (RRC) of the Army Reserve. In addition to their normal duties of preparing USAR units for deployment, these headquarters could be responsible for coordinating regional planning and execution of HS/HD/MACA missions. They could work with the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regional headquarters. Should coordination among RRCs be needed, the headquarters of First and Fifth Armies, east and west of the Mississippi, could be included in this virtual chain of command.
This organization might report directly to NORTHCOM or through the joint National Guard Bureau working as a standing joint task force for HS/HD/MACA. In either case, this would provide a nationwide organization to pull together all DOD assets for planning and execution based on existing command and control structures with no combat mission outside the United States. Regardless of the structure chosen, the JCCSE developed by ARNG could provide the command and control backbone. The DOD virtual chain of command could link to the Department of Homeland Security and the states.
Modernize Policies and Practices
There are other areas where the Army could take advantage of ongoing initiatives or change policies and practices to enhance Reserve ability to meet the needs of the Army and Nation:
* All of DOD is in the process of implementing the defense integrated military human resources system (DIMHRS). This new personnel management system will put all soldiers on the same procedure and facilitate their transition from component to component. The Army should ensure that it establishes policies that will allow soldiers to move easily from active to Reserve status and from USAR to ARNG and vice versa. This will enhance the ability of individuals to satisfy career needs and of the Army to place the right soldier in the right job. DIMHRS will also facilitate Army efforts to track unit manning and turbulence/ turnover, allowing the service to better maintain stable units and schedule rotational readiness.
* To ensure that Reserve units are ready to deploy and are treated fairly, train active and Reserve forces to the same standard and require performance to standard. Make active commanders accountable for Reserve readiness. Train Reserve units in fewer tasks to recognize limited training time. Link units and tasks to specific contingency plans and use the new defense readiness reporting system to report readiness for them.
* Expand opportunities for members of one component to serve in the other to enhance Reserve readiness and mutual understanding. Make active component duty with Reserve units career-enhancing by making it equivalent to command time (for example, active Marine instructors and inspectors assigned to Reserve units are selected by central command selection boards and receive command credit).
* Develop educational programs that promote integration and mutual understanding of the history and background of each component. Start at West Point and in the Reserve Officer Training Corps. A symbolic move would be allowing Army players to wear ARNG division patches on their football uniforms.
* Conduct more integrated active and Reserve component training at Army combat training centers. Emphasize command and staff training in peacetime for ARNG brigades.
* Increase the number of full-time (either active or Reserve) commanders and staff officers in Reserve units, especially those deploying early.
* Adopt the Air Force practice of assigning missions to ARNG or USAR headquarters, allowing the component headquarters to identify the resources needed to perform Reserve missions to standard and additional resources to tackle more demanding missions.
The world has changed dramatically since the Cold War. No one envisioned the demand that would be placed on USAR and ARNG forces, nor can anyone predict what will happen ten or more years from now. But the near-term future is clear. Requirements in Afghanistan, the Balkans, and Iraq can be expected to remain high. USAR and ARNG units will continue to deploy overseas to meet those and other demands. The toll on soldiers and their families and employers will continue. The challenge to military and civilian leaders on all levels is to make the decisions and establish the policies, practices, and procedures that will allow these dedicated Americans to do their duty at least cost.
Table 1. A Comparison of Active and Reserve Manpower by Service Active Reserve Reserves Manpower Manpower as percent of (thousands) (thousands) the total force Army 480 555 53 Navy 376 88 19 Air Force 359 182 34 Marines 175 40 19 Total Force 1,390 865 38 Table 2. Army Active and Reserve Force Structure Reserve Force Active Force ARNG USAR Total Maneuver Battalions 97 115 1 116 Artillery Battalions 73 102 -- 102 Engineer, Signal, Intelligence Battalions 139 176 74 250 Helicopter Battalions 27 24 3 27 Cavalry Squadrons 20 12 -- 12 Combat Service Support Battalions 183 136 133 269 Total Battalions and Squadrons 539 565 211 776 Separate Companies 495 492 563 1,055 Table 3. Navy Active and Reserve Force Structure Active Force Reserve Force Fighter Attack Aircraft 560 36 Patrol Aircraft 142 42 Surface Combatants 110 8 Surface Supply Ships 63 -- Amphibious Ships 39 -- Mine Countermeasure Ships 11 15 Attack Submarines 54 -- Table 4. Air Force Active and Reserve Force Structure Reserve Force Active Force ARNG AFR Fighter Wing Equivalent 12.5 7 -- Bombers 117 -- 8 Tankers 280 210 70 C-17 96 -- -- C-5 70 12 28 Fixed Wing Total 2,350 1,050 350 Table 5. Marine Corps Active and Reserve Force Structure Active Reserve Force Force Fixed Wing Aircraft 330 85 Rotary Wing Aircraft 580 90 Maneuver Battalions 31 13 Artillery Battalions 10 5 Combat Service Support Battalions 21 7 Engineer, Signal, Intelligence, SAM Battalions 11 5
(1) The ARNG inactive National Guard program is not designed to provide individual augmentees to meet Army or joint needs.
(2) IRR are unpaid members of the Ready Reserve. Army Personnel Command, under control of the Chief of Staff and Secretary, manages IRR, not USAR or ARNG.
(3) Title 10, chapter 39, section 688 and chapter 575, section 6485, allows any retiree to be recalled regardless of age.
(4) The only likely exception is at the beginning when the system is not yet full of deploying units.
John C.F. Tillson is a member of the Strategy, Forces, and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses and formerly served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
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|Title Annotation:||JFQ Forum|
|Author:||Tillson, John C.F.|
|Publication:||Joint Force Quarterly|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2004|
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