AUSA Paper: Guard, Reserve Readiness is Essential

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

At a time of diminished funding but emerging commitments, the Army must make certain reserve components have predictable readiness levels to contribute to mission requirements, according to a new paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare.

“Enabling Reserve Component Readiness to Ensure National Security,” part of the institute’s series of Torchbearer Issue papers, focuses on a topic important to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, who in the early days of his tenure as the Army’s 39th chief has stressed the importance of keeping the Army National Guard and Army Reserve fully prepared. “We cannot conduct sustained land warfare without the Guard and the Reserve,” Milley said in early September. “We must remain No. 1 in the face of challenges. That is why my No. 1 priority is readiness. It is readiness across the total force. It is readiness for the entire Army.”

The paper focuses on the Army’s efforts, largely through the U.S. Army Forces Command, to ensure readiness requirements are met. That requires a focus on funding, leadership, integrating reserve components with active forces and also on training, especially pre-mobilization training.

“Since the [Sept. 11] terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland, the Army has mobilized, trained, deployed, redeployed and demobilized more than 1 million soldiers, joint service teammates and civilian interagency personnel in support of multiple contingency operations at home and abroad,” the paper says, showing the capability and capacity available.

“Future Army forces will face a security environment that is unknown, unknowable and ever-changing,” the paper says. “This degree of uncertainty—never before envisioned—had led the senior Army leadership to development a unique operating system that relies on tailorable, scalable and expeditionary forces that are prepared—trained and ready—to meet these global challenges.”

The full report can be downloaded here.