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SecArmy Nominee Is a Total Force Believer

US Capitol Building At Dusk
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Architect of the Capitol
Monday, November 06, 2017

Army Secretary-nominee Mark T. Esper says he’s fully committed to Total Force readiness.

“I know all three components fairly well,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. He served 10 years in the Regular Army followed by stints in the Virginia National Guard and Army Reserve before retiring in 2007 with more than 25 years of military service.

“In the last 16 years of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, if we have learned anything, we learned that the Guard and Reserve are not just a strategic reserve but are really critical operational components,” he said.

Esper wants the Army to put readiness “on a better footing” by improving munitions stockpiles and equipment maintenance, engaging in high-end training and ensuring units are fully manned. “That applies to all three components,” he said. “We need to make sure that National Guard brigade combat teams are there as well, and that they are working closely with the active duty,” he said while talking about rotations to combat training centers.

“What most people don't appreciate is that the majority of the Total Army is in the Guard and Reserve. It is critical as we train that we train as a Total Army, in all those regards and across the spectrum of conflict.”