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RESERVE OFFICERS CHARGE DEFENSE REDUCTIONS IGNORE COST EFFECTIVENESS OF RESERVISTS

 RESERVE OFFICERS CHARGE DEFENSE REDUCTIONS
 IGNORE COST EFFECTIVENESS OF RESERVISTS
 WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Reserve Officers Association (ROA) has told Congressional committees that Defense Department-planned reductions in the reserve forces "ignore the cost- effectiveness of the reserve components and their historical role in this nation's defense."
 Testifying in late April before the Senate Armed Service Subcommittee on Manpower and Personnel and the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Defense, retired Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Evan L. Hultman provided prepared testimony that the proposed cuts "overlook both the effectiveness of the reserve components in Operation Desert Storm and the critical public support they added to the Gulf War effort."
 Hultman, executive director of the ROA, said that ROA opposes any significant reduction in reserve forces until after Congress has received and considered the independent Force Mix Assessment that it required last year. This is scheduled for completion in mid-February 1993.
 "In the interim," he testified, "ROA strongly recommends that reserve component strength reductions for this fiscal year be limited to the FY '93 levels authorized by the Congress last fall.
 "Premature reductions in reserve personnel strength or force structure would be counterproductive. Highly trained active and reserve personnel would be eliminated from all military services. The cost of reconstituting reserve structure would be more expensive than short term savings achieved by hasty cuts.
 "There would also be a negative impact on readiness because of the relatively long time required for a reinstated reserve unit to achieve its initial combat-ready status."
 He recognized that some reserve and guard reductions are inevitable and urged that a program be created to assist those currently participating in the Selected Reserve to transition into the Individual Ready Reserve.
 "Congress provided both involuntary separation pay and Voluntary Separation Incentive options for active-duty forces to ease their transition to civilian life," he explained, "but missing is a program for the reserve and guard. Citizen-soldiers will suffer from planned force reductions similarly as will active-duty personnel. To simply separate career reservists without benefits parallel to their active- duty counterparts is a breach of faith and is inconsistent with the Total Force Policy."
 The ROA also recommended the establishment of a reserve or guard flag position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide counsel to the chairman.
 The testimony also provided support for legislation that requires that all newly commissioned officers serve at least a year as reserve officers before receiving regular commissions. To begin in 1996, this would especially affect graduates of the service academies and Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs.
 "This new policy does enhance equity and officer personnel management and may also lead to better understanding of the reserve components by all newly commissioned officers, a by-product that is sorely needed," he said.
 -0- 5/15/92
 /CONTACT: Herbert M. Hart of the Reserve Officers Association, 202-479-2258/ CO: Reserve Officers Association ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO SU:


MH-DC -- DC019 -- 0805 05/15/92 14:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 15, 1992
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