Since 2001, more than 300,000 Army Reserve soldiers have been mobilized and routinely deployed across the globe, including to every major combat zone. Steady demand for Army Reserve capabilities has introduced a new paradigm of reliance on the Army Reserve as a critical part of our national security architecture.The nation’s investment in the Army Reserve is a crucial and cost-effective way to integrate, maintain and retain a proven and essential talent base. Today’s Army Reserve combines the strength of the civilian sector with the strength of America’s Army. Beyond deployments and joint exercises, our active-duty counterparts continuously sharpen their combat skills every day, enabling them to react and adapt to multiple scenarios. Similarly, Army Reserve soldiers hone their required technical combat support and combat service support capabilities in fields such as medical, engineering and cyber, enhancing the force through cutting-edge talent from across business, industry and academia.Currently, more than 18,000 Army Reserve soldiers are supporting the combatant commands in missions that include combat support operations in Afghanistan; civil affairs missions in the Horn of Africa; deterrence operation missions in Kuwait; military police operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and medical support to facilities in Honduras.Meeting Needs of Army, NationThe Army Reserve is the Army’s fully accessible force under full-time federal control. As a result, we are seeing continued growth in technical enabler support to the active Army and the combatant commands, executing missions around the world because the active component has had to downsize in terms of force structure and resourcing.Structured to provide operational capabilities and strategic depth to the Army and the joint force, the Army Reserve is an essential partner of the total force in preventing conflict; shaping the strategic environment; and responding to operational contingencies globally and domestically including theater security cooperation, foreign humanitarian support, homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities missions.As a component and a command organized under a single command authority, the Chief of Army Reserve, the U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Army Reserve Command provide unity of command and unity of effort in support of the total Army and the joint force.Under this authority, the Army Reserve is integrated into, and directly supports, every Army service component command (ASCC) and combatant command (COCOM) across the globe, with a footprint that extends across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and more than 30 countries.The regional alignment of forces and the development of Army Reserve engagement cells and teams are two ways the Army Reserve remains ready and engaged in operational activities. To remain an operational force, three basic efforts are emphasized: plan, prepare and provide.- Plan refers to the regional alignment of Army Reserve theater commands to ASCCs and COCOMs. Part of this alignment is the forward positioning of full-time manning, organized into Army Reserve engagement cells. These engagement cells will have the full spectrum of technical and tactical expertise—for example, engineers, civil affairs, medical and logistics. The engagement cells will provide direct staff planning support to ASCCs and COCOMs and utilize reach-back capability to the command and subordinate theater commands.- Prepare is how the Army Reserve trains, assesses and certifies soldiers, leaders and units for contingent and combat missions. This is done through participation in large combat training centers; for example, field (dirt) exercises that are exclusively focused on enablers. Exercises are broken into two types: warrior exercises, which are aimed at small units; and combat support training exercises for larger units. Both types integrate leader and staff training. The exercises are conducted throughout the year and include units from all components of the Army (active, Army National Guard and Reserve), as well as units from the Navy, Marines and Air Force. In some cases, forces from allied countries have participated. Army Reserve soldiers and units also readily participate in ASCC and COCOM exercises.- Provide is the actual deployment of Army Reserve soldiers and units in support of a mission requirement. These requirements can be planned and scheduled to meet a forecasted need by an ASCC or COCOM, or they can be in response to a sudden need that was not foreseen. The Army Reserve always maintains a portion of its force—about 25,000—that is fully trained and ready for immediate use. These soldiers and units have been identified in advance, and have made the necessary arrangements with their families and civilian employers. They want to be utilized. However, not all Army Reserve soldiers and units must first go to a mobilization site to prepare for deployment. Most Army Reserve theater commands have the ability to directly deploy soldiers and detachments to meet specific needs.Private Public PartnershipsCitizen-soldiers are exceptional at what they do, in part because they are trained to private sector standards and stay technically sharp in their respective fields. One of the ways the Army Reserve is maintaining cutting-edge talent is by reaching out to the private sector. We’re developing military leaders through the Private Public Partnership, or P3, which was created to enhance civilian professional development and military capabilities.One example of P3’s potential to enhance the force is the Army Reserve’s partnership with eight top-tier universities and 21 employers in a first-of-its-kind effort to create a pathway for future cyber warriors. In 2015, the Army Reserve, through its innovative Cyber P3, brought together leaders of industry and academia with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to address a critical need for expertise in the cyber domain.Cyber P3 serves to bridge the gap of skilled soldiers in this area by creating a pool of citizen-soldiers who combine civilian skills, education and knowledge with military expertise. This effort supports the Army’s efforts to recruit and retain talented cyber warriors by providing a career path to civilian cyber opportunities, also allowing active-duty soldiers to continue their service in the Army Reserve.Our investment in the development of high-level civilian-sector technical skills, coupled with world-class military training, results in a tremendous asset that benefits both the Army and the nation.Litany of ThreatsIn addition to contingency and theater security cooperation missions around the world, new mobilization authority created by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 paved the way for the Army Reserve to assist in domestic emergencies. Today, roles and responsibilities for defense support of civil authorities are greatly expanded for all DoD Title 10 forces.The combined civilian and military skills of Army Reserve soldiers, coupled with equipment readiness and presence in 1,100 communities across the nation, posture the Army Reserve to provide a multitude of critical response capabilities to support civil authorities during disaster response. Our Selected Reserve includes nearly 200,000 soldiers who can respond rapidly across state lines, if needed, to provide capabilities that include search and rescue, aviation lift, engineer, transportation, quartermaster, civil affairs, medical and mission control.These expanded authorities are a perfect fit with the Army Reserve’s role as an immediately accessible operational federal reserve because the same capabilities already support an expeditionary Army and joint force, such as humanitarian support and disaster relief for the 2010 Haiti earthquake.We have a lifesaving mission. Today, the majority of the Army’s medical capability resides within the Army Reserve. By 2017, nearly 55 percent of all Army operational medical forces will reside within the Army Reserve.We are experts at transportation and sustainment. Our expeditionary sustainment commands deploy to locations devoid of infrastructure to facilitate open seaports and airports, while our logistics and supply chain personnel are experts at moving lifesaving materiel and services into affected areas.We are engineers. A significant portion of the Army’s full-spectrum engineering capability resides within the Army Reserve, with many of these capabilities almost exclusively or predominantly within the Army Reserve.We have a robust aviation capability. Army Reserve medical evacuation helicopters can rapidly transport patients to critical-care facilities. Our fixed-wing aircraft, medium- and heavy-lift helicopters can rapidly deliver life-sustaining supplies, equipment and construction material into devastated areas.Integrating these capabilities are the emergency preparedness liaison officers. The Army Reserve provides 100 percent of the Army emergency preparedness liaison officers. It also provides 33 percent of DoD emergency preparedness liaison officers, who maintain communications among federal, state and local governments as well as nongovernmental organizations to coordinate assistance among all parties during emergency response events. Emergency preparedness liaison officers serve as subject matter experts on capabilities, limitations and legal authorities, and track Army Reserve assets in states and regions.The Army Reserve is fully integrated into the standing DoD task force postured for rapid deployment to provide federal Title 10 support for specific civil defense missions involving a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event. Army Reserve soldiers for these event response enterprises receive specialized training and equipment in compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Administration urban search and rescue standards, and the National Incident Management System resource-typing standards of a Type 1 Collapse Search and Rescue team.Ready to ServeThe Army Reserve is a smart return on America’s investment—a lifesaving, life-sustaining force for the nation that is ready now, ready in times of crisis, and ready for whatever threats and challenges the future holds.We have a complex and evolving global security environment as well as a constrained fiscal environment. Neither of these two conditions is likely to change in the near term. After 14 years of operational deployment, we have the most experienced Army Reserve in our nation’s history—one that has been completely integrated into the total Army and the joint force, and expects to be mobilized.Providing 20 percent of the total force for only 6 percent of the Army’s budget, the Army Reserve is a cost-effective way to mitigate ever-growing risks to national security, particularly in an era of constrained fiscal resources.Clearly, the Army of the future will be smaller. Manpower is expensive, and reductions in end strength are a quick way to reduce costs. However, we must recognize that disproportionately reducing the Army Reserve not only reduces the most cost-effective component of the Army, but also the sustainment and theater-level capabilities the joint force requires when the need arises.The Army Reserve will remain a critical component of the Army because we have unique command and technical capabilities, we are globally available, and we continue to shape our force structure to address the emerging needs of the Army. Ultimately, what America first and foremost expects of its Army is to fight and win our nation’s wars.