How the Guard and Reserve Will Fight in 2025


© 1999 David T. Fautua

From Parameters, Spring 1999, pp. 127-49.

Lately it has become an article of faith that the passage from the current "Army of Excellence" to the "Army After Next" of 2025 will not occur unless all three components--the Active Army component (AC), Army National Guard (ARNG), and Army Reserve (USAR)--arrive together as an integrated force.[1] Yet while guidepost-concepts like "seamless Army" and "total force" capture our best intentions, it remains uncertain if such high hopes will become reality. Embedded mistrust among the three components, for example, is likely to resurface and impede future initiatives as Army budgets decline.[2] Nevertheless, the wisdom for transitioning into the 21st century as an integrated team is self-evident, making it imperative to find sensible ways to achieve that. This article takes up the challenge by examining two general areas. The first section examines a prevailing attitudinal belief-system, herein labeled the "pyramid mentality," which is undermining trust relationships between the AC and Reserve Components (RC) and will continue to do so if not corrected. The second section examines six ongoing pilot programs designed to bring the Active, Guard, and Reserve closer together and then explores them further for better routes toward a "seamless Army" by the year 2025.

Tilting the Pyramid

First, here is an oft-stated but poorly applied truism: The Army National Guard is not the Army Reserve, nor vice-versa, and neither is like the Active Army. On the surface, the differences seem apparent. In reality, the distinctions, particularly between the Reserve Components, are deeply complicated and, to a surprising extent, poorly understood by leaders from all three components. The oversight has led to mistakes in operational thinking and unwarranted condescension in the transition to a "seamless Army." More commonly, observers understand that regulars work full-time, train an average of 240 days a year, socially cocoon themselves on military posts, and make up less than half the Army force. Guard and Reserve members work part-time, two days a month, train for an average of 39 days a year, are socially rooted in civilian communities where they hold civilian jobs, and command over 54 percent of the total Army force.[3]

Less obvious is how each component's unique characteristics have been applied to undermine trust relationships among them, thus spoiling a unified approach to "seamlessness." Perhaps the best way to grasp the differences is to recognize the reality that each component is defining its role (and place) in the Total Force based on its perceived position within the tri-institutional hierarchy, a formulation noted here as the "pyramid mentality." More than just describing a "food chain" survival relationship, the pyramid mentality outlines a belief system that undergirds attitudes which, in turn, affect (positively or negatively) interdependent relationships.

Fundamentally, the pyramid thesis posits that the way in which all three components think and act when dealing with each other is in hierarchical terms, a paradigm injurious to all. Two such pyramids are undermining the transition to the Army After Next (AAN), as shown in Figure 1, below.

Figure 1. Relevant Readiness and Relevant Power Pyramids.

In the first version, "relevant readiness" is prized above all else. Being "most combat ready" with the "most relevant force" to fight and win the nation's wars or meet its pressing security needs is the essence of the "relevant readiness" pyramid. In the second version, "relevant power" is what is most important. Here relevant power refers to the inherent political power wielded by each institution to influence decisionmaking and to get its way. Relevant political power is perceived among the three components as crucial in terms of how progress (or regress) is ultimately determined.

The pyramid mentality is a nuanced version of an old affliction. A mix of history and law has formed within the Army a sort of psychological hierarchy with the notion of preparedness as the Army's raison d'être. Not surprisingly, then, the AC sits atop the "relevant readiness" pyramid. This is because regulars are widely accepted as the preeminent professionals responsible for scripting warfighting doctrine and are the first to act when a military crisis arises. Because of the AC's full-time status and first-to-fight responsibility, it has always been the most combat-ready and thus able to claim the top position.[4] The concomitant authority has also enabled the AC to define for the reserves the standards for being "prepared." Or as expressed in today's vernacular, the AC's job is to show the reserves "what `right' looks like." Historical examples for such a high-minded outlook are abundant, dating back to the American Revolution and coming to full force with the post-Civil War writings of Emory Upton.[5] For the post-Cold War era, the AC's standard for "relevant readiness" has come to be defined as an immediacy for deployment readiness, an immediacy for returning back to top form after redeployment, and an immediacy for keeping up with an unforgiving peacetime training pace.[6] Translated into an attitudinal belief system, anyone--or any unit--failing to measure up to these standards is thought to be less than fully prepared and thus less than fully worthy.

Under such an institutional definition of self-worth, it becomes clear how the USAR would be seated in the second tier and the ARNG at the bottom. As a federal force, the USAR is the most "accessible" to the Active Army to meet immediate "relevant readiness" requirements. By mutual agreement, the USAR was purposely structured to perform the AC's combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) missions, enabling the regulars maximum latitude to fulfill their combat arms role and the USAR maximum participation as a ready and relevant force.[7] Indeed, "Ready and Relevant!"--the clarion call of the USAR--is borne out by its deployability record, where reservists have shouldered the greatest load. Over 70 percent of all RC forces participating in Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti (1995-96), for example, were USAR soldiers, and almost the same percentage is holding true for the 17,000 reservists sent to Bosnia since 1995 for Operations Joint Endeavor and Joint Guard.[8] If the AC has been characterized as the "good servant"[9] for its apolitical, professional culture, than the USAR can be viewed by the tri-army as the "good partner" for its "accessible" culture and institutional willingness to be relevant to the Total Force.

For just the opposite reasons, the Army National Guard is at the bottom of the "relevant readiness" pyramid. Because of the Guard's Constitutional link to the individual states, it is practically inaccessible to the Active Army to meet immediate deployment requirements. Nor does the ARNG's force structure dovetail with the Total Force's needs. Indeed, because the Guard owns 58 percent of the Total Force's combat forces,[10] it is perceived by the AC and USAR as a twofold impediment: first, for being less combat ready precisely because it possesses the largest percentage of combat forces (the toughest arm to keep ready); and second, for being less relevant in the overall force structure because of its incompatibility with the Total Force's needs as outlined in the two major contingency strategy. Here, too, the Guard's deployment record bears out the charge. Until "Charlie" Company of the Virginia National Guard's 3d battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment (Light), 29th Infantry Division, deployed to Bosnia in September 1997, no Army National Guard infantry unit had deployed for a real-world mission since Vietnam.[11]

But the entire rating scheme is turned on its head when "relevant power" is considered. The Army National Guard wields the greatest amount of political power of the three components to influence the overall transition effort to AAN. In part, because of its dual-Constitutional responsibilities to serve both state and federal governments, the Guard is uniquely positioned to maximize the political powers of the respective state governors as well as its own national institutions. The Guard has its own formidable registered lobby group in the form of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), a powerful voice on Capitol Hill.[12] The NGAUS is, in turn, fortified further by the unity among the 50 state and four territorial Adjutant Generals (TAGs), the senior-ranking ARNG officer of each state, who cooperatively coalesce their state connections through their own potent association, the Adjutants General Association (AGAUS).[13] As Lieutenant Colonel Clemson Turregano made clear in his recent comparative study of the tri-component power relationships, "The AGAUS Executive Secretary can readily access all 54 TAGs if there is an important matter that needs attention . . . . [Thus] a critical message can be sent from Washington to the state TAG; the TAG can talk with the governor, and a [coordinated] response can be back to lawmakers or critical decision makers possibly within hours."[14] Indeed, not until 1903 did the National Guard change from being under state control in time of peace and dual control in time of war to dual control in time of peace and national control in time of war.[15]

It makes a difference, too, that the ARNG members take an oath to their state constitutions secondary to their oath to the United States Constitution.[16] Some regulars will be surprised to know that in South Carolina, for instance, the post of the Adjutant General is an elected position. Thus the process for an officer to become the TAG in South Carolina is akin to that of a civilian candidate running to become a governor or state senator. Such politico-military duality affords the Guard the ability to translate (deftly) institutional concerns into "local" concerns and vice versa without being judged by the same apolitical "good servant" standard as the AC.

Aside from its Constitutional foundation, there is another aspect to the Guard's relative power which is ennobling and unmatched by the other two federal components. None of the aforementioned institutional politico-military ties matter as much to average Americans as the ties that the ARNG has to them personally. For every local emergency, it is the Guard which they see first and most prominently. Whether the circumstance is a hurricane in the Carolinas or Gulf states, fires in Florida or California, floods across the Midwest, or tank displays for school fairs and community parades, it is the Army National Guard which is tangibly serving the people's needs, led by local leaders, commanded by state governors. Herein lies the Guardsmen's most potent power, stretching back three centuries before towns became colonies and ultimately a nation: their indestructible "connectedness" to the people; where all power in America is derived and translated by the power of the vote. To the average American at the community level across the country, it is the Guardsman who represents for them "the good soldier."[17]

For all the reasons described, one can see how no single explanation can easily account for the confusion among the three components' separate roles. Any attempt to generalize, too, is extremely difficult as the AC, ARNG, and USAR are complex cultures on their own, legally, politically, and historically. But having already conceded much to their points of distinctions, some generalizations can be made and are necessary to correct the "pyramid mentality."

One generalization is the perception among regulars that the RC have failed to keep quality soldiers, particularly officers, in their forces--at least not enough quality, that is, to warrant automatic trust as equals.[18] This belief goes beyond disparities in collective training skills, which all regulars recognize as a consequence of operating "part-time" and under steep budget shortfalls. Indeed, such a view has existed for some time and should come as no surprise. In part, the origins for this generalized perception can be traced to the outdated notion of the "expansible army," first conceived in 1820 by then-Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, which did not stress quality in the reserves and is only now being corrected.[19] The expansible army strategy held that in peacetime the nation would only pay for a small but well-trained standing army while maintaining a large pool of less-than-fully-trained militia in the event of war. Over time, the practice of maintaining a "large pool" came to mean using slack standards for retaining poor quality. Indeed, not until 1996 did the reserves change their standards for promotion from "fully qualified," a euphemism for "minimum acceptable" based on variable standards, to "best qualified," a standard mirroring the Active Component's.[20] Loopholes in the Guard's promotion system, meanwhile, still exist, and thus its overall personnel quality will be called into question.[21]

One consequence of such a perception from the reserves' perspective, particularly that of the USAR, has been to overreach their capabilities to "prove" their worth.[22] Consider the case of the AC/RC force structure of the 4th Infantry Division (Ft. Hood, Texas), the Army's first FORCE XXI division. As planned, some 417 slots (of 15,719) are earmarked for the Reserve Components (ARNG, 162; USAR, 255).[23] These slots are to be filled primarily with drilling reservists from the local area, that is, with citizen-soldiers who possess the right military occupational skills (MOS), are trained (MOSQ), and who live within a "reasonable commuting distance," defined as within a 50-mile radius. But even as the plan was publicly unveiled, the 50-mile distance had to be extended out to 100 miles.[24] More troubling, the plan calls for more than two dozen technical MOSs and officer branches that presumably must be filled by MOSQ soldiers. But getting soldiers trained in their MOS is an uphill challenge under the best of conditions for the RC, never mind trying to locate 417 varied, MOS-trained, drilling reservists within a 100-mile radius of Killeen, Texas.[25]

The allocation of RC billets will also make it tougher for the RC to overcome complicated personnel challenges. Virtually all of the 417 billets are for individuals rather than units. Of these, most of the officer and NCO positions are earmarked for the Guard, positions that are relatively easy to fill. This means that the USAR must bear the heavier burden of securing fresh recruits or reassigning E4-level soldiers from local units to the 4th Infantry Division. If current plans hold, as an example, the USAR will have to provide over 100 medics (MOS 91B), almost all them at the E4 rank. Another pressing problem is the fact that these reservists will serve as individuals and not as an RC warfighting unit under its own leadership or its own (particular) pay and promotion support system. Even if the long-term effect on culture-exchange is viewed as a greater good, the lost opportunity to develop "go-to-war" RC units must be recognized as a calculated tradeoff. Moreover, while the ARNG managed to get three organized units into the 4th Infantry Division, adding an additional 90 or so more Guardsmen to the total, the Guard, too, will have a tough challenge filling its 162 individual billets. At the time of this writing, the Texas Guard was troubled over FORCE XXI billet commitments that might "break" existing Guard units whose soldiers were to be transferred to the 4th Infantry Division.

These challenges are but the tip of the iceberg. The fast-paced, high-stress "operating tempo" (OPTEMPO) common to active divisions will almost certainly press reservists to train beyond their normal 39 days. Even if that annual training were increased to 60 days, as the USAR is planning, the increase is almost certain to have adverse effects upon reservists' civilian employment.[26] Keep in mind, too, that these 39-60 days cannot now come in the normal weekend installments of two to five days a month, but rather in blocks of two to three weeks over various periods to meet field-training patterns. Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Charles Cragin is already wary that the unpredictability and repetitiveness of overseas deployments--never mind the added "routine" stress of serving in a FORCE XXI division--is weakening the "tensile strength" between reservists and their civilian employers.[27]

Another generalization can also be made about the way the three organizations have conceived "reserve duty." From its origins, Americans have joined the Guard and Reserve with the understanding that they were volunteering to serve part-time in a force whose object was to prepare them to fight the nation's next war or to meet national emergencies when called up. In keeping with that understanding, the RC set up a routinized, predictable training pattern of one weekend a month and two weeks of active training a year. Individual expectations of serving part-time were not the only calculations to be affected by such an understanding. For their part, the AC designed mobilization war plans to conform to a World War III scenario. But when all this abruptly changed after the end of the Cold War in 1989, neither the preconceived expectations nor war plans have been adequately addressed to keep pace to the phenomenon known as "operations other than war" (OOTW), an umbrella term that, by definition, does not fit the World War III mold. The change in the nature of war represented by OOTW has upset the conventional understanding of "reserve duty."[28]

This conceptual flaw can be seen in the mobilization strategies governing reserve components that have not kept pace with the realities of conflict in the post-Cold War era. The Army has routinely sent thousands of reservists in virtually every peacekeeping or peacemaking mission, most for upwards of six months per deployment. With the possible exception of the Gulf War, none of these deployments has fit the tacit understanding of fighting a World War III. Nor have these "peace" operations measured up to the national-emergency standard. Yet the governing mobilization strategy for the Guard and Reserve, known as FORMDEPS, has equated OOTW to World War III, and the RC to the AC.[29]

When AC units are alerted for an operation, for example, they are expected to step up their preparations for the eventual deployment. But for the Guard and Reserve, alert notification does not equal mobilization orders. Alert notifications bring no automatic increase in training days to prepare, as is the case with the AC. Instead, reservists must remain on a part-time basis until they receive mobilization orders that automatically place them on active duty. Meanwhile, extra training days must be allotted by exception, funds allowing, such as putting reservists on extended duty, or "AT," or "active duty special work" status. Nor do civilian bosses liken alert status to being called out on an official mobilization order, which leaves reservists in a lurch to ask for time off.[30] To complicate matters further, unless the President issues a "Stop Loss" order as part of the "President's selective reserve call-up," or PSRC, reservists are not completely mandated to deploy. In short, reservists can--and have--opted out. These and similar obstacles interfere with home-station preparedness, such as screening soldiers for dental problems that might prevent deployment.[31]

When mobilization orders are finally issued and reservists are placed on full-time status--a point at which civilian employers are traditionally expected to release them[32]--RC units find that FORMDEPS requirements provide for only three days to finalize home-station preparations and to get to their mobilization station, generally miles away at an AC post like Ft. Benning, Georgia. Thus much of the alert preparation is done "part-time." For many Reserve units, too, it is only when they arrive at the AC mobilization site that the hard process begins of measuring combat readiness, identifying shortfalls, and training them up to standards. The experience has left some reservists demoralized and embittered and the regulars spiteful and untrusting. Meanwhile, the standard expectation among reservists remains founded on a routinized training pattern of "two days a month and two weeks a year." In the minds of many Guardsmen and Reservists, this is all that should rightfully be asked of them until a World War III or a legitimate national emergency occurs or unless the rules are adapted to the nature of war in the post-Cold War era.

The final generalization is that senior Guard leaders will almost certainly refuse to accept that the "relevant readiness" mindset applies to them. We can anticipate at least two reasons to account for their rejections. The first rationalization is that any decrement of their total force structure, consisting primarily of 15 enhanced Separate Brigades (eBde) and eight divisions, will be perceived as a decrement in their "relevant power."[33] Thus despite the fact that none of the Guard's eight combat divisions figures into the existing war plans as outlined in the 1996 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), both the National Guard Bureau and NGAUS are nonetheless adamant that they not only maintain their existing structure but also receive the requisite budget to keep it "ready."[34] Indeed, when the QDR directed that the ARNG pare its "over-structure" in an effort to stabilize the Total Force, the Guard flexed its "relevant power" and forced General Reimer to forestall most of the proposed cuts.[35]

The second explanation is that the Guard mistrusts the AC to render an honest assessment of Guard readiness or to keep to its word that, in war, the Guard will fight alongside the AC. Bitter memories over its treatment during Desert Storm have not abated. The experience of the 48th Brigade, Georgia National Guard, is a case in point. Despite having successfully passed a National Training Center (NTC) rotation the year before Desert Storm, the 48th Brigade returned to the NTC for "brush up" training only to undergo grueling train-up standards that caused the brigade to miss the war altogether. Indeed, none of the three enhanced Guard maneuver brigades that were called up made it to the war. Whether the AC purposely raised the standards for readiness, as the Guard claimed, or whether the increased standards were themselves a consequence of a heightened concern under wartime conditions is not at issue in this essay.[36] The point here is that the Guard believed then that the AC broke a solemn trust. If the open venting against the AC at the 1998 NGAUS gathering in Wisconsin is any indication, moreover, the Guard has neither forgotten nor forgiven the active force.[37]

Such resentment makes any attempt by the AC to inspect the Guard's readiness somewhat problematic. Thus where the ARNG is quite open to ask the AC for assistance and expert advice to improve readiness, it resists such assistance if it senses anything like an inspection of Guard readiness. It's no surprise, then, that in the buildup of the new AC/ARNG division, the AC's "training readiness oversight" responsibility, or "TRO," has been among the thorniest issues to iron out. In an arrangement that seems to force the AC into a corner, the preponderant portion of Active Army billets will remain (or be confined, depending on your perspective) on AC posts, including both AC major general division commanders, and roughly 200 billets each at Ft. Riley, Kansas, and Ft. Carson, Colorado. Meanwhile, only a small forward staff of about 20 from each post will be sited near where the Guard brigades are actually located.[38] Advice and assistance, yes; inspection and oversight, no.

How, then, should tri-component leaders sort out the mess? In what way do these generalizations point to a solution? Perhaps the first step is to recognize that the problem stems from the way in which the components have come to regard each other. As this essay has argued, the habit of thinking hierarchically is not only destructive but also hardened by the forces of history and discrete institutional culture, impediments that are not easily overcome. All parties should recognize the trap. Realistically accounting for each institution's historical pull is an absolute must. Instead of trying to replace the pyramid, a better alternative would be to redefine its aims in such a way as to maximize each component's strengths for the common goal of building a seamless Army. To eliminate the inclination for hierarchical thinking, the pyramid should be reconstructed to tilt to its side.

Figure 2. A First-to-Fight Orientation.

In the new conceptualization, shown in Figure 2 above, the primary objective is "first to fight." It is an inclusive, simple term that portrays how corporate ends can be properly related to means, intentions to capabilities, and objectives to resources. Figure 2 shows that the tip of the spear is filled with those units designated to deploy and fight immediately or within two months of preparation. They would be identified as the "Now + 60" or N60 team. These units would include not only the five front-line AC divisions, but also selected high-priority RC organizations like the USAR's Force Support Package (FSP I) or ARNG "round out" units.[39]

The second category would include selected units that can deploy soon or within a 90-day window of notification. This team would be known as the "Soon + 90" or S90 team. The S90 team might include the five second-line AC divisions, the two AC/ARNG divisions (which include three heavy enhanced National Guard brigades in one and three light ones in the other), and selected FSP II USAR units.[40] The final category is the "Later + 180" or L180 team. This team would require up to six months of preparation before being deployed. It is here, for instance, that the eight ARNG divisions would be placed.

A complimentary "tiered resourcing" strategy should also be applied across all three forces. As an example, the N60 team would be funded to a 90- to 100-percent readiness standard, the S90 team at 80-89 percent, and the L180 group at a 65-79 percent. "Resourcing" here would include not only money, but people and force structure as well.[41] Emphasis must be on the front lines. Above all, forward-edge units would be filled to the greatest extent possible with reservists on full-time or near-full-time status.[42] The USAR's "Reserve Association Support Program" (RASP) points to a solution here. In that pilot program, selected Reserve volunteers serve on a two-year active-duty assignment with the AC, after which they are returned to their original unit as drilling reservists.[43] While the current program is limited to enlisted soldiers, it could easily be expanded and tailored to fit the new first-to-fight priorities.[44]

The top priority of any RASP-like program should be to place Reservists and Guardsmen on full-time or near-full-time status for, say, two years. They should be recruited for the front-edge and then passed back to the S90 and L180 units after their tour. Such an arrangement resolves much of the civilian employment dilemmas across the Total Force. It would also blend RC soldiers seamlessly into the first-to-fight culture. These soldiers would, in turn, be the primary trainers for the drilling reservists of their parent organizations. Such "muddy boots" assignments, moreover, should be tied to RC promotion criteria and rewarded accordingly. Under this scenario, it is not hard to see how the first thousand captains, lieutenants, and privates who enter the program in the year 2000 would mature into the generals, colonels, and sergeants major for the Total Force by 2025.

Space and intent prevent a deeper discussion of the first-to-fight conceptualization. The point here is not to prescribe a new strategy, but to describe how a new strategy is an absolute imperative if the Army After Next is ever to become a seamless Army by 2025. Nor is it certain that the ongoing programs designed to enhance AC/RC integration will produce the desired results. That's all the more reason, then, to analyze and critique those programs against the conceptual yardstick offered here. In the next section, six ongoing AC/RC integration pilot programs are analyzed more deeply to uncover insights into the quality of the Army's transition into the 21st century.

Six Paths to Seamlessness

Of the many pilot programs launched on behalf of the seamless Army, six offer important insights on the quality of thinking thus far. This is not to say that all six pilot programs are without flaws. Indeed, two programs, the AC/ARNG division and the integration of ARNG infantry companies into AC battalions, may potentially send the seamless Army to the wheelchair. Auditing the concepts as well as the programs themselves will offer important insights to determine if intentions are properly related to capabilities. The six programs are: FORCE XXI, the Reserve Association Support Program, the AC/ARNG division, the "Hybrid/Integrated Alternative," AC/RC commands, and the Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act (ROPMA).

  • Much has been said about FORCE XXI. It remains here only to reinforce the point that "part-time" soldiers at the front edge represent part-time priorities and short-term thinking. Such programs will neither enhance seamlessness nor bring out the best in citizen-soldiers. Placing selected reservists on full-time or near-full-time status, as previously discussed, not only allows the Guard and Reserve to leverage their core competencies at the front, but also propels "competence velocity" throughout the Total Force when front-edge reservists, imbued with a front-edge culture perspective, pass back to their home units as drilling reservists.[45] Indeed, this point cannot be overstated. Core competencies--not force structure--will be the currency each component must possess if it is to own a place in the Army After Next of 2025.[46] Creating "advantage opportunities" to get the most out of each component's core competencies is also the smartest way to leverage the Total Force's "skills inventory" for the betterment of the whole.
  • To be sure, laws and regulations will have to be revisited, reassessed, and replaced. This will not be easy, and anyone recommending revolutionary change cannot be naïve about the obstacles. But current political trends at least provide an opportunity to encourage revolutionary thinking. The point to keep in mind is that a plan that places reservists on full-time or near-full-time status for a tour at the front edge is a strategy that realistically acknowledges and properly accounts for the inherent differences in all three Army components. By imagining a "front-edge perspective" as the controlling idea, any push to remove existing barriers will be that much more acceptable.

  • Another pilot program that deserves attention is the Reserve Association Support Program, or RASP. As conceptualized, RASP provides a direction to navigate through the various legal, political, and cultural shoals en route to the Army After Next. But as it stands, the program is badly underfunded, underpublicized, and underfocused.
  • RASP is a three-year pilot program that the USAR started in March 1998. It is designed to enlist 100 non-prior-service soldiers into USAR Tier 1A Force Support Package combat support and combat service support units. After spending 24 months on Active Duty for Training status, to include Initial Entry Training, these soldiers would be returned to their original units of assignment as drilling reservists. But due to an anemic marketing campaign, the program has attracted less than ten percent of the volunteers required. Part of the problem for the low turnout, too, is the small size of the bonus that the USAR is offering, about $5000. While the AC is willing to add another $5000 from its own account, raising the bonus to $10,000, that funding is temporary, designed only for the pilot group of 100 soldiers as a means to prime the pump.

    In truth, money thrown into RASP demonstrates how short-term urgencies to recruit have overshadowed the long-term importance of building a seamless Army. Neither the USAR nor the AC has seen in RASP the exponential potential it holds for the future. Even if the AC were to provide the additional funds for the full term of the program and the USAR were to land all 100-plus soldiers and then shift those soldiers to the FORCE XXI division tomorrow, the skills that have been targeted for the pilot program will not match the most important billets, such as combat medics, that must be filled.[47] Nor will the incentives, which are cast in terms of dollars and cents, attract the type and quality of soldiers the seamless Army will require for the future.[48]

    A whole new way of thinking about career progression must take hold in designing a hybrid RASP. As an example, reservists must hold the "front-edge RASP" perspective in the same high regard as the AC does the "muddy boots" perspective. Those who have borne the greatest weight of field duty--and excelled--must be culled out for advanced promotion, top schools, and important assignments. Old notions of reserve duty may still apply for the L180 team, but those positions will not offer the best opportunities for promotion and advanced schooling. More and more, RC career progression in the Total Force must be one of choice rather than chance. If this means that citizen-soldiers may have to decide to put their civilian careers on temporary hold for two years, it will also mean that they will be able to plan and predict their life patterns at the front edge rather than be "nickeled and dimed" by the demands of reserve duty that always seems to extend above and beyond normal drill periods. Reservists have sarcastically termed such extra--and unpaid--service as "love duty." A hybrid RASP offers an important tool to unscrew these problems from the system, but only if it is imagined holistically and with a discerning eye to the future.

  • The third important pilot program involves the push to create the AC/ARNG division. Perhaps the severest criticism that can be leveled against this concept is that the plan lacks sincerity. There can be few redeeming qualities in a strategy that preaches integration while fostering antagonism. In addition to the shortcomings noted earlier, the AC/ARNG plan suffers from the same narrow view as RASP. Why, for instance, does the division omit the USAR, which contains most of the theater-, corps-, and division-level core competencies in combat service and combat service support skills? Whether the oversight is deliberate or politically driven, the foregone opportunities for instituting a seamless culture must be recognized as a top-tier failure. Conceiving the AC/ARNG division in the closed, discrete, and distant formulation that it has at present falls far short of the potential that Guardsmen and Reservists can achieve.
  • Just the opposite must happen. The first order of business is to redesignate the plan for what the future demands: an RC/AC division. In other words, the appropriate perspective is to imagine the RC/AC division in a conceptualization similar to the FORCE XXI division, only this time the RC is in control. The life patterns and culture of the citizen-soldier, not the soldier-citizen, must prevail. The battle focus is still anchored to the first-to-fight perspective, but the priorities for RC ownership dictate that they are held responsible for readiness. Simple math, too, makes the case better than words can for division command: three ARNG enhanced brigades equal one ARNG major general division commander--period.[49] All that remains is to determine who should assist the Guard division commander.

    Of the two assistant division commanders, the one responsible for maneuver can be an AC officer and the one charged with logistics can be a USAR officer. The ARNG division commander runs the division from the primary headquarters at Ft. Riley and Ft. Carson, and his assistants direct the training and logistics operations with a fully integrated tri-component staff, some of whom will be sited where it makes the best sense. Such a tri-component leadership structure not only leverages the expertise and core competencies of each component, it also provides for a built-in key in the persons of the assistant division commanders to unlock and tap the best advantages of each institution. Here, then, is the controlling idea: the "good servant" working in tandem with the "good partner," both working for the "good soldier," and all serving in a seamless division that is ready to deploy to war within 90 days.

  • The "Hybrid/Integrated Alternative" is the fourth pilot program. This is a two-phased strategy that falls under an umbrella plan called "Support to Organizational Training, Functional Area Analysis."[50] It is designed and conceived by the AC to improve its methods and techniques of support to RC units, but primarily to the Army National Guard's 15 enhanced separate brigades spread across the country.[51] In the Hybrid phase, just recently completed, 15 "Training Support Brigades" (TSB) were created and paired with the 15 enhanced brigades in order to provide customized mentorship. Training Support Brigades are primarily staffed by the AC, including most of the key headquarters leadership positions. The TSBs exist to assist their National Guard enhanced brigades in a host of activities, like helping to prepare yearly training plans and synchronizing allocation priorities of scare resources such as training areas and logistics support. Under the Integrated Alternative phase, to end in October 1999, "Training Support Divisions" (TSDs) are to be created to provide administrative support to the TSBs. Where the TSBs are primarily staffed by the Active Army, the TSDs' assets, personnel, and funds will come mainly from the USAR.
  • For better or worse, the Hybrid/Integrated Alternative was legislated as part of Title XI in 1994. The program was perceived by many to be a politically driven effort to prevent a repeat of what happened to the ARNG during Desert Storm rather than a concept to build a seamless Army for the future. It is also a terribly costly program for the AC in terms of expert, experienced soldiers. Over 5000 billets, most of them mid-grade officers, staff sergeants, and sergeants first class, were siphoned out of the ten already undermanned AC divisions to establish the TSBs. Moreover, like the AC/ARNG division concept, the focus is primarily on the Guard. Rarely will there be a concerted effort to integrate into an enhanced separate brigade's "lane training," the main collective training event, any USAR combat support or combat service support units. Generally, USAR units conduct their "lanes" separately and under the primary supervision of the USAR's Training Exercise Divisions.[52] Thus the potential for exploiting cross-fertilization of core competencies during the collective phase, arguably the most important phase of any training, is marginalized by design. It is also unclear whether the "Integrated" phase will prosper. As the main purpose of the TSD is primarily to assist the Guard, questions about "return on investments" cannot escape Reserve planners, especially when most of the assets--as well as the purse strings--are held by the USAR.

    This is not to say, however, that the entire strategy is without merit. The TSBs will provide the Reserve Components an important "one-stop shop" for all manner of training-related matters. The TSBs are staffed with leaders who possess field experience as well as functional expertise. They are also starting to earn the same type of service-oriented reputation as the Readiness Groups, the organization that the TSBs replaced. The Readiness Groups acted like a "1-800-HELP" organization, pouncing on RC problems without retribution or negative reporting. The Reserve Components will receive the same kind of user-friendly assistance from the training support brigades, which can create "advantage opportunities" for the Guard's enhanced brigades by incorporating Reserve combat support and combat service support units in a "seamless OPCON" arrangement. If this objective can be met, then the Hybrid Alternative will easily deliver on all that it has promised without having to rely on the less promising Integrated Alternative.

  • The fifth pilot initiative is the AC/RC command plan, which falls under an umbrella strategy called multi-component units, under which AC and RC personnel, equipment, and funding are joined in a common organization to capitalize on resources and core competencies. Starting in fiscal year 1999 through fiscal year 2000, 12 such fully integrated units will be formed.[53] By prior arrangement, the AC will command eight of the units, most of which are combat support or combat service support, and the ARNG and USAR will command two each.[54] While there are many issues yet to resolve, such as pay, promotion, legal matters, and funding, all three components are well aware of the challenges and have agreed to work seriously to make this worthy plan a reality.
  • The problem arises when manpower-intense, combat maneuver organizations are included as part of the strategy. While four of the 12 units mentioned above possess combat arms competencies, none are combat maneuver organizations (infantry, armor, or cavalry). The omission was perhaps no mistake. Combat maneuver organizations, whether in the active component or the National Guard, are the hardest of all Army branches to keep ready because of the collective training requirements. Indeed, combat maneuver units depend less on technological superiority than on the superiority of collective training, proof of which was made clear in the famous battle of 73 Easting during Desert Storm. In that battle, an American cavalry troop consisting of only nine Abrams tanks, 12 Bradley armored fighting vehicles, and 140 soldiers decimated an elite Iraqi tank brigade in 23 minutes and captured over 200 prisoners without sustaining any casualties.[55]

    Such one-sided devastation resulted from the cohesion within each tank and Bradley crew, which requires a minimum of five weeks to practice loading, arming, firing, and maintaining its equipment. Only then can a crew load and fire its main gun on the move, against a moving target, and almost never miss. It takes another three to four weeks to integrate crew skills into platoons and companies so that the many can fight as one. Another three to four weeks are required to integrate companies into battalions. Still another month must be dedicated to integrating battalion task forces into battle-sharp brigade combat teams. In short, combat maneuver skill is a warfighting competency that can be achieved only through relentless repetition of collective training drills. It also requires much time. This is the only way to make difficult warfighting skills for manpower-intensive organizations like infantry and armor become second nature.[56]

    Thus the heated exchanges that arose when the Army announced its intentions to replace AC infantry companies with ARNG infantry companies came as no surprise. The proposal is to replace six AC infantry companies with ARNG infantry companies in two selected AC brigades, one each from the Army's only two light infantry divisions, the 10th Mountain Division in New York and the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. Each brigade has three battalions, and each battalion has three infantry companies. Under the proposal, all three battalions of the selected brigade would get a Guard company, but only at the expense of losing an AC company. As it was announced, the proposal drew fire from all sides, including from both AC divisions, from the Chief of the Infantry School, Major General Carl Ernst, and from the National Guard. While fully supportive of AC/RC integration initiatives, Ernst summarized the AC's position by noting that the "rifle company is not the place to start." The Guard, meanwhile, questioned the sense of integrating company-sized units as opposed to battalion-sized organizations.[57]

    Ironically, at almost the same time when the AC and ARNG were debating the issue, the solution was being proved in the Mojave Desert. In perhaps one of the most stunning examples of AC/ARNG combat maneuver integration, the 1st Squadron, 221st "Wildhorse" Cavalry of the Nevada National Guard absolutely crushed an AC brigade combat team--from an above-the-line AC division--in several head-to-head battles during a National Training Center rotation. The drubbing was no fluke. The Nevada squadron had fought as part of the vaunted 11th Armored Cavalry "Blackhorse" Regiment, the Army's "opposing forces" (OPFOR) at the National Training Center. How the Nevada squadron was able to achieve such a razor-sharp warfighting edge points to a solution for integrating maneuver elements in the Army After Next.[58] Here are four points to note.

    There is no question that all sides sincerely want to make a success of AC/ARNG maneuver combat command integration. It is no longer a matter of gaining or losing prestige, but rather one of necessity. The question thus far has been how. As it is currently conceived, no one is happy--and for good reason. The real question should be why. Why impale the seamless Army with such a blunt idea when a workable solution has already proven itself under the toughest of conditions at the NTC? It was probably a good thing that the "blue force" brigade combat team did not realize it was being devastated by an Army National Guard squadron. The soldiers' pride might have been too hurt for them to learn from the experience. It would not be wise for everyone else to miss the lesson.

  • The final pilot initiative is the Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act, or ROPMA. Of all the programs discussed here, this is the most important. How well the Guard and Reserve will be able to fight and win by the year 2025 will in large measure be determined by how each values the quality of its force. How and why it selects, nominates, and promotes its soldiers, NCOs, and officers and sends them to the best schools can be answered only after the Reserve Components first determine what a successful career path is. Some examples have already been offered in the text and notes of this essay, but they only scratch the surface. Even granting the improvements that ROPMA engendered, the standards, stipulations, and decisions for promotion in the Guard and Reserve, whose members both come before the same board, are deeply parochial and uneven.
  • No one should be in rush to advocate a system that mirrors exactly that of the AC. The reserves are different. They each operate under different institutional stipulations, such a deciding if an AGR (full-time Guardsman or Reservist) or drilling reservist (part-timer) should command a given reserve unit. Both must deal with geographic boundaries that divide their force structures into independent parts which are difficult to mesh into one central system. Thus a drilling Guardsman in one state cannot serve in a higher position of a sister unit in another state, even if that unit is just a few miles across the border. To climb up the ranks, some officers have changed career fields as an expedient to get promoted, even if they hold no expertise in the new career field. The pre-ROPMA system either supported such moves or had no patent method to see through the charade.

    All that can be said at this point is that the new ROPMA laws should not be taken as a lasting change. They are only the beginning. The entire system must be thoroughly reexamined, with its various component pieces broken down and analyzed to determine how each piece fits to the other. It must also reflect the new imperatives of the 21st century, above all the "first to fight" perspective. Parochial agendas must be eliminated and replaced by a performance-oriented career pattern. The AC must also recognize its part in crafting a new RC career system for the 21st century. In many ways, the AC has been party to the "dumbing down" of the Guard and Reserve. For instance, in the 1998 class at the Command and General Staff College, a crucial year-long school for junior field-grade officers, only 64 slots out of more than 1050 were afforded to the Guard and Reserve, each of which received 32 slots apiece. But of that, only ten slots, five each to the Guard and Reserve, were earmarked for the full term. The other RC attendees were forced to depart midway through the training. Compare that figure to the 128 officers from the other services or the 90 international officers who attend for the full term. Moreover, in the college's most prestigious course, the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), which offers a second year of specialized study, no slots are allocated to the Reserve Components.[59]

    Thus the new RC career system must be seen as a joint responsibility of all three components. Above all, the hybrid system must identify and define what a successful career looks like. Whatever that standard is, it must be commonly held and well understood by the Guard and Reserve. The sum total of an upgraded, standard career system will breed top-quality officers, NCOs, and soldiers that will sustain the Total Army of 2025.[60]

    The Covenant

    Thinking anew to prepare for an uncertain future is in keeping with the best of Army traditions. The challenges of the new millennium are plentiful enough to keep everyone who cares alive to the possibilities. Thankfully, senior political and military leaders are beginning to speak openly about the real damage to readiness that a complacent polity has caused. But as serious as these problems are, the Army has faced such problems before. Few can forget the Army's sorry shape after the Vietnam War. The leaders who turned that Army around were rightfully rewarded in Desert Storm for their vision and fortitude. But that turnaround must be understood as occurring within the context of the Cold War. Things were clearer then, if no less difficult. For the most part, too, those leaders have retired into civilian life.

    The way is therefore clear for a new breed of leaders with new ideas for a new world ahead. There is every opportunity for this new leadership to represent all three components and be joined in one common purpose. All the tools are on hand to help build a seamless Army: the Army Warfighter Experiment Project (AWE), Joint Vision 2010, and the Army After Next Project. To be sure, Army leaders have spared no expense to mark a sound path, even if sometimes imperfectly or with a questionable return on investment.[61] The desire and will are present. But the single most important element is missing: trust. Without trust, the seamless Army will always remain an elusive idea. There is abundant "relevant power" in the Army family to build the seamless Army of the 21st century if all three components trust each other enough to share it. There is an equally fruitful chance for all three components to achieve "relevant readiness" if all are willing to trust in a new way of conceiving their partnership. In this sense, the routes from the Army of Excellence to the Army After Next are just as clear as those from Vietnam to Desert Storm. But as Sociologist Stephen Covey has warned, trust must be earned, not captured. This, too, can be in hand once all three components are trustworthy to the others and to the covenant of one seamless Army.


    1. General Dennis J. Reimer, et al., "One Team, One Fight, One Future: Total Army Integration," White Paper, Chief of Staff's homepage at

    2. Budget shortfalls for ARNG OPTEMPO have already prompted another round of open griping. See "The National Guard in a Brave New World: Anything Useful to Do, Besides Fighting the Army?" The Economist, May 1998, p. 42. Complaints about the "unpredictability" of peacekeeping or peacemaking deployments are also beginning to fester among top Reserve officials, as noted by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Charles Cragin in King Cruger, "Reserves, Guard Air Concerns: Pentagon Official Makes Quick Stop in Bosnia," European Stars and Strips, 4 August 1998, p. 3. See also George C. Wilson, "Is Reserve-Active Rift Mending?" Army Times, 12 October 1998, p. 70.

    3. Ronald Hunter and Debra Gordon, eds., "Reserve Forces: Total Force Policy," in 1998 Reserve Forces Almanac (Falls Church, Va.: Uniformed Services Almanac, 1998), pp. 85-93, 133-36.

    4. Although this claim has been recently challenged by Brian McAllister Linn in Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1997).

    5. See for example John McAuley Palmer, An Army of the People: The Constitution of an Effective Force of Trained Citizens (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1916); idem, America in Arms: The Experience of the United States with Military Organization (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1941); Richard H. Kohn, Eagle and Sword: The Federalists and the Creation of the Military Establishment in America, 1783-1802 (New York: Free Press, 1975); and John K. Mahon, History of the Militia and the National Guard (New York: Macmillan, 1983). For Upton's contribution, see Stephen E. Ambrose, Upton and the Army (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1964); Emory Upton, Military Policy of the United States (Washington: GPO, 1904); and idem, The Armies of Asia and Europe: Embracing Official Reports on the Armies of Japan, China, India, Persia, Italy, Russia, Austria, Germany, France, and England (rpt. of the Appleton & Co. ed., 1878; New York: Greenwood Press, 1968).

    6. Indeed, returning to "full form" was one of Major General Lawson Magruder's major concerns. The 10th Mountain Division commander recently lamented that after a battalion's nine-month deployment to Bosnia, "It takes you a darn year to get that battalion back up to where they were before they deployed in the conventional operations and training arena." Sean D. Naylor, "Wanted: A Better Quality of Life: Soldiers Give Cohen an Earful on Pay, Retirement," Army Times, 14 September 1998, p. 3.

    7. Mary A. and Don Binder, eds., "RC: Past Sacrifices Mean Relevance Today," The Federal Reservist, 4 (Summer/Fall 1997), 1, 5. See also Clemson Turregano, "Inside the Off-Site," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Syracuse, 1996, pp. 90-92, 109.

    8. "U.S. Army Reserve, 1908-1998: A Federal Force," Army Reserve, Summer 1998, p. 24. See also Cindi Florit, ed., "Job Security," in 1998 Handbook for the Guard and Reserve, 7 September 1998, p. 19.

    9. The notion of the "good servant" is taken from Carl H. Builder's, The Mask of War: American Military Styles in Strategy and Analysis (Baltimore: John Hopkins Univ. Press, 1989), pp. 190-93.

    10. Major General William A. Navas, Army National Guard Fiscal Year 1999 Posture Statement (Arlington, Va.: Army National Guard Office of Policy and Communications, 1998), p. 21.

    11. Brian R. Calvert, "Virginia Infantrymen Return from `Troll Duty' in Bosnia," National Guard, July 1998, p. 16. The track record has made the Guard sensitive to any slight, however removed or unintended. See "National Guard Conducts Disinformation Campaign," in Washington Update: Senior Army Reserve Commanders Association, October 1997, pp. 1-2.

    12. As opposed to the AC's near equivalent, the Association of the Unites States Army (AUSA), which is not a registered lobby group. While the USAR's counterpart, the Reserve Officer Association (ROA), is, its political strength is not as united owing to the several interests of "member groups." The ROA represents not just the USAR, but also the Air Force Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, US Public Health Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration--as well as the National Guard. See Turregano, "Inside the Off-Site," pp. 117-18; and Tranette Ledford, "Guard-Active Rift Debated at Conference: Reserves Are Needed, but Are they Supported?" Army Times, 21 September 1998, p. 32.

    13. Turregano, "Inside the Off-Site," pp. 111-12. The three territories are Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The fourth TAG is in the District of Columbia.

    14. Ibid.

    15. Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (2d ed.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1985), p. 170 (italics added).

    16. See also Navas, 1999 Posture Statement, p. 3.

    17. Perhaps this was the operating idea behind a recent law that South Carolina legislators passed specifically to benefit their Guardsmen. As of June 1998, South Carolina Guardsmen working for the state are authorized to "buy" up to six years of their Guard service to add to their state retirement. The law effectively speeds up the date of state retirement and increases retirement benefits for participating Guardsmen. Understandably, the law angered South Carolina Reservists who were excluded from the new law. Dave Moniz, "New Law Excludes Reservists," The State (Columbia, S.C.), 20 August 1998, sect. B, p. 3.

    18. Concerning officers, perhaps the best explanation for such a dim view was offered by historian Russell F. Weigley, who argued that what militia officers lacked was "leadership. . . not simply battlefield leadership. . . but [understanding of] the art of war." Weigley, The American Way of War: A History of United States Strategy and Policy (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1973), pp. 54-56.

    19. Allen R. Millet and Peter Maslowski, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States (New York: The Free Press, 1984), pp. 121-22. While historians will be quick to point out that the notion of the "expansible army" was never adopted into law, this article addresses the reality of how the ideology of the "militia" derives directly from Calhoun's premise, laws notwithstanding. Upton's opus drips with this paradigm, and the current "reserve duty" belief system reflects this truth. More on the latter concept is discussed below.

    20. The change in standard has already led to lower promotion rates for the recent captains board, but was especially high for the Guard. See, for example, Tranette Ledford, "2,590 Reserve Officers Passed Over by Captains Boards," Army Times, 20 July 1998, p. 29. See also 1998 Reserve Forces Almanac, "ROPMA--The Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act," pp. 102-08. The President signed ROPMA into law on 5 October 1994 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY95. It became fully effective 1 October 1996, and it was the first major change to the laws that govern Reserve officers since the Reserve Officer Personnel Act of 1954. The Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Naval Reserve, and Marine Corps Reserve all fall under the provisions of ROPMA.

    21. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard fall under the provisions of ROPMA, but also continue to be governed by 32 USC, "National Guard," (1998 Reserve Forces Almanac, "ROPMA--The Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act," p. 103). Changes under ROPMA include the elimination of the time-in-service requirement for promotion, a "best qualified" rather than "fully qualified" standard for mandatory promotion, and establishment of a Reserve Active Status List for individual officers, providing incentives for completion of advance degrees and officer professional military education. See also Tranette Ledford, "The Rules Are Different for Reserves," Army Times, 29 June 1998, pp. 13-14.

    22. This line of argument does not overlook the personal entreaties made by Army Chief of Staff General Dennis Reimer to enlist true cooperation among the reserves, especially from the Guard. But "true cooperation" must also be placed in the context of an era of dwindling resources, a disinterested polity, and a sharp increase for RC deployments, including combat arms units. More and more, the RC are being forced to "play as a team." See Zac Northup, "Face to Face with General Dennis Reimer, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army," National Guard Review, Spring 1998.

    23. Donna Peterson, "Division XXI to Include Reservists: Integration at the Lowest Level--The Affordable Way to Go," Army Times, 22 June 1998, p. 26. For the proposed FORCE XXI force structure, see Jim Tice, "How Will You Fare in XXI?" Army Times, 22 June 1998, p.12.

    24. According to the Defense Department's guidelines, however, the 100-mile radius applies "only to those units that exclusively conduct four drills on two consecutive days during the training year [i.e., a weekend drill], and only if government meals and quarters are provided at the base where drills are conducted" (italics in original). No such constraints are imposed for drilling Reservists commuting within a 50-mile radius. See "Ready Reserve--Inability to Participate," in Ronald S. Hunter and Debra M. Gordon, eds., 1998 Reserve Forces Almanac (Falls Church, Va.: Uniformed Services Almanac, 1998), pp. 88-89. While the former conditions can be physically arranged, moreover, there are still nettlesome legal parameters governing pay and compensation, for example, that the AC must account for. Adding to the AC/RC logistics will be the fact that reservists are spread across the division primarily as individuals in at least 26 different organizations.

    25. A vicious cycle, too, could arise even if the Guard and Reserve were able to find the "right" soldiers. Such soldiers, for example, would almost certainly have to be drawn away from existing units, pulling down those units' readiness ratings in turn. None of the RC soldiers, moreover, will be serving as part of RC units. In other words all reservists, at least for now, will be serving as individual reservists drilling in AC units under an AC chain of command. This prospect is ripe for continued misunderstandings if current RC rules, like weekend drill, are not changed to accommodate the demands of an active unit.

    26. This was the hard lesson learned by Specialist Barry Gumaer of Charlie Company, Virginia National Guard, who lost his job after redeploying from Bosnia. Cindi Florit, ed., "Job Security," in 1998 Handbook for the Guard and Reserve, 7 September 1998, p. 24; and Tranette Ledford, "Total Integration Could Hurt Reservists' Careers," Army Times, 29 June 1998, p. 18.

    27. Cruger, "Reserves, Guard Air Concerns," p. 3.

    28. Even the hurried experience of the Korean War, where reservists were hustled from their homes to the Korean front, did not change this mindset. By the time of the Vietnam War, Reserve Components were once again purposely left out of the early stages of the war by the Johnson Administration, and only after much pressure from the AC leadership were they called into action. For the Korean War experience, see David T. Fautua, "The `Long Pull' Army: NSC 68, the Korean War, and the Creation of the Cold War U.S. Army," The Journal of Military History, January 1997, pp. 112-15. For the Vietnam experience, see Richard B. Crossland and James T. Currie, Twice the Citizen: A History of the Unites States Army Reserve, 1908-1983 (Washington: Office of the Chief, Army Reserve, 1984), pp. 193-210.

    29. The primary mobilization strategy in need of adjustment is Forces Command's Regulation 500-3-3 "FORSCOM Mobilization and Deployment Planning System (FORMDEPS)," Vol. III, "Reserve Component Unit Commander's Handbook (RCUCH)," 31 March 1998.

    30. Such struggles occur despite the fact that the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) has been strengthened to protect reservists' job security. Like other "World War III" thinking, employers, too, have been conditioned by traditional practices of "two days a month and two weeks a year." Thus, while USERRA has been a foundation for successfully resolving many complaints, "educating" both employers and reservists to the rules remains a big challenge, according to senior ombudsman Lieutenant Commander Sarah Rogers. See Cindi Florit, ed., "Job Security," in 1998 Handbook for the Guard and Reserve, 7 September 1998, 18-24.

    31. Michael A. Warren, Edward P. Shanahan, and Deborah Foster-King, eds., United States Army Reserve in Operation Joint Endeavor, Vol. I: Mobilization and Deployment, Army Staff Perspective (Atlanta: Office of the Command Historian, USAR Command, 1996), pp. 23-46. Nor is the "spirit of the law" that governs the PSRC easily applied, as the USAR found out during Operation Joint Endeavor in support of the initial Bosnia operations. The PSRC specifically forbids the mobilization of individuals from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). To get over this legal impediment to solving personnel shortfalls, the USAR issued pinpoint assignment orders for individual soldiers to semi-organized units called "unconventional derivative units." See Neil F. Rogers, ed., United States Army Reserve in Operation Joint Endeavor, Vol. II: Mobilization and Deployment, Major Army Command Perspective (Atlanta: Office of the Command Historian, USAR Command, 1996), pp. 30-34. It remains to be seen, too, if the new "IRR Activation Authority" plan will be sufficient to solve the problem. At the time of this writing in late 1998, no comprehensive policy had been officially announced by the USAR, which is responsible for overwatching the program. See Tranette Ledford, "Drills, Training Now a Reservist's Option," Army Times, 12 October 1998, p. 10.

    32. Tranette Ledford, "Employers Feeling Work Crunch: Some Businesses Struggle When Reservists Called Up," Army Times, 14 September 1998, p. 20. Idem, "Employers Confused about reservists' role," Army Times (12 October 1998), 24. See also Florit, ed., "Job Security," 1998 Handbook, pp. 18-24.

    33. Zac Northup, "Face to Face with General Dennis Reimer, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army," National Guard Review (Spring 1998).

    34. Jack Weible, "Reimer Offers Olive Branch: Promises to End Personnel Dispute," Army Times, 22 September 1997, p. 26; and Katherine McIntire Peters, "On Guard: The Army and the National Guard Stand Divided in the Face of Fierce Battle over Dwindling Resources," Government Executive, January 1998, pp. 34-37. See also Northup, "Face to Face with General Dennis Reimer, National Guard Review (Spring 1998).

    35. Hunter and Gordon, eds., "Army Guard and Reserve Restructuring," 1998 Reserve Forces Almanac, pp. 133-36. See also Peters, "On Guard," Government Executive (January 1998), pp. 34-37; Jerry A. Jacobs, "Guard Talks Big, Can it Deliver?" Army Times, 3 November 1997, p. 69; Zac Northup, "Face to Face with General Dennis Reimer," National Guard Review; and Jack Weible, "Effectiveness of Staff Cuts Questioned: House Panel Approves Cutting 8000 in Army," Army Times, 25 May 1998, p. 15.

    36. Tom Donnelly and Sean Naylor, "Guard Deployment Decision Postponed," Army Times, 4 February 1991; and "The 48th Brigade: A Chronology from Invasion to Demobilization," National Guard Magazine, May 1991.

    37. Such imbedded resentment found unabashed venting during the annual NGAUS gathering in Wisconsin, where Governor Tommy Thompson pasted General Reimer and the AC for causing much of the poor AC/Guard relations. In the governor's words, "The Army just doesn't get it." Tranette Ledford, "Guard-Active Rift Debated at Conference: Reserves Are Needed, but Are They Supported?" Army Times, 21 September 1998, p. 32.

    38. DAMO-FDF Information Paper, "Active Component/Army National Guard (AC/ARNG) Integrated Divisions," 10 April 1998.

    39. The five front-line AC divisions include 1st Cavalry (Ft. Hood, Tex.), 3d Infantry Division (Ft. Stewart, Ga.), 82d Airborne (Ft. Bragg, N.C.), 2d Infantry Division (Korea), and 101st Air Assault (Ft. Campbell, Ky.). The USAR's FSP units are primarily combat service support units. While there is only one "round-out" ARNG unit, 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry, Nevada Army National Guard, the advantages of reinstituting this form of AC/RC lash-up may be more profitable than is assumed. The point is discussed more fully in the second section below. See Togo D. West and General Dennis J. Reimer, et al., "Active Army Divisions," in The Soldiers Almanac, January 1998, pp. 14-5; and Sean D. Naylor, "Doubts Raised over 2d-line Divisions," Army Times, 20 April 1998, p. 3.

    40. The second-line divisions include 1st Armored Division (Germany), 1st Infantry Division (Germany), 4th Infantry Division (Ft. Carson, Colo.), 10th Mountain Division (Ft Drum, N.Y.), and 25th Infantry Division (Ft. Shafter, Hawaii). See Naylor, "Doubts Raised over 2d-line Divisions," Army Times, p. 3. Respectively, the three heavy and light ARNG enhanced brigades include: 1st AC/ARNG Division (Ft. Riley, Kans.); 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (N.C.); 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (S.C.); 48th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Ga.); 2d AC/ARNG Division (Ft. Carson, Colo.): 45th Infantry Brigade (Okla.), 39th Infantry Brigade (Ark.); and 41st Infantry Brigade (Ore.). See DAMO-FDF Information Paper, AC/ARNG Integrated Divisions," 10 April 1998; and Navas, Army National Guard Posture Statement, Fiscal Year 1999, p. 8.

    41. While the USAR was the first to develop the tiered resourcing scheme in 1994, it will require a major overhaul before it can support the concept noted here. The basis of the tiered strategy, though, will carry much value if applied uniformly across the Total Force. The original concept is described in Kathryn Roe Coker and Edward P. Shanahan, eds., United States Army Reserve Command Annual Command History, 1 January to 31 December 1995 (Atlanta: Office of the Command Historian, USARC, 1997), pp. 12-14.

    42. "Near-full-time status" might apply, for instance, to any RC units serving on a part-time basis and assigned to the forward-edge team. While the unit may operate part-time, its key chain-of-command leadership would be on a full-time tour. Such an arrangement would wed the RC leadership to the everyday operations of the AC forward-edge division and allow for a more tailored, focused--and semi-independent--training plan when the RC unit actually meets to train during weekends. In short, the RC leadership would make all the necessary arrangements to target specific AC assets to support weekend training, instead of forcing the whole division to rearrange its training patterns to cover weekend drills.

    43. Billy W. Thomas, "RASP Program," Voice of the Double Eagle, US Army Reserve Command Bulletin, June 1998, p. 2.

    44. Ibid. The implementation date for RASP was 16 March 1998. But RASP targets only soldiers enlisting at skill level one. Officers can and should be added to this program, particularly second lieutenants. The conditions (or contract) seem about right. Selected soldiers would spend 24 months on Active Duty for Training status, to include Initial Entry Training, and return to the "Troop Program Unit" (TPU) of assignment upon completion. Naturally, officer basic training would be added if officers were included. The current TPU obligation is four years.

    45. This viewpoint differs in scope from the proposals in the 1997 National Defense Panel review. The authors of that study argued that "a total force, fully integrated, requires a common culture to engender unity of thought and action." While this may be ideal, it is also too all-encompassing and unmindful of the differences among the three components. The "culture" which is addressed here is targeted primarily to the "front-edge, first-to-fight" team. Reservists passing back to the S90 and L180 units from a tour at the front would be the "culture carriers." See Philip A. Odeen, et al., Transforming Defense, National Security in the 21st Century: Report of the National Defense Panel, December 1997 (Arlington, Va.: National Defense Panel, 1997), pp. 55-56.

    46. Much can be gleaned from the business world regarding "core competencies": how to identify them, how to define them apart from non-core competencies, and how to leverage them across business sectors as well as to shape future enterprises. See, for instance, Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad, Competing for the Future (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1994), esp. chaps. 1 and 10; idem, "The Core Competence of the Corporation," Harvard Business Review, 68 (May 1990), 79-91; and William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone, The Virtual Corporation: Structuring and Revitalizing the Corporation for the 21st Century (New York: Harper Business, 1992).

    47. The combat medic MOS (91B) was not one of the "targeted" skills on the initial RASP list. Thomas, "RASP Program," Voice of the Double Eagle, p. 2.

    48. No one doubts that money may be the determining factor to enlist recruits into the program. But more recently, the greatest challenge have been to reenlist soldiers, especially those with key competencies. According to a recent survey, for instance, soldiers are leaving the Army because they sense no real commitment to readiness. By dumping more money into RASP without a strategy to tie that program into the "Total Force" in a way that strengthens the seamless Army and rewards the best among RASP candidates, the net effect will be to devalue the entire program and lessen the opportunities to improve overall readiness. See Sean Naylor, "Soldiers: Commitment to Readiness Not Apparent," Army Times, 22 September 1998, p. 4.

    49. Those tracking AC/ARNG integration initiatives will find it curious that the 4th Armored Division of the Texas National Guard has been selected to command the Bosnia operations in the year 2000, including the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, an AC unit. If Brigadier General Robert Halverston, the commander of the 49th, can be trusted to command a division with AC units under hostile conditions, would it not also be self-evident that an ARNG division commander can command an RC/AC division within the confines of the United States? See Sean D. Naylor, "Guard Regiment Heading for Bosnia: Headquarters Role Marks First Ever in Peacetime," Army Times, 5 October 1998, p. 10.

    50. "Support to Organization Training (SOT) Functional Area Assessment (FAA)," in Forces Command (FORSCOM) Regulation 350-2, September 1998, chaps. 2 and 3.

    51. The Army National Guard enhanced Separate Brigades are identified as Light (L), Mechanized (M), or Armored (AR) and are in order of designation as follows: 27th Infantry (L), N.Y., Conn.; 29th Infantry (L), Hawaii, Calif., Ore.; 30th Infantry (M), N.C.; 39th Infantry (L), Ark.; 41st Infantry (L), Ore.; 45th Infantry (L), Okla.; 48th Infantry (M), Ga.; 53d Infantry (L), Fla.; 76th Infantry (L), Ind.; 81st Infantry (M), Wash.; 116th AR, Mont., Utah, Idaho; 155th AR, Miss.; 218th Infantry (M), S.C.; 256th Infantry (M), La.; 278th ACR, Tenn. See Navas, Army National Guard Fiscal Year 1999 Posture Statement, p. 10.

    52. FORSCOM Regulation 350-2, chaps. 2 and 3.

    53. The 12 units and commanding "flag" component, including the personnel involved, are as follows: 1/159th Command Aviation Battalion, AC flag, AC 246, ARNG 179; 46th Engineer Battalion, AC flag, AC 506, ARNG 165; 32d Army Air & Missile Defense Command, AC flag, AC 69, ARNG 112; 122d Military Police Detachment, AC flag, AC 17, USAR 42; 673d Dental Company, AC flag, AC 45, USAR 14 (AC number includes six from the Professional Officer Filler System, or PROFIS); HQ, US Army South, AC flag, AC 145, ARNG 88, USAR 88; 52d Engineer Battalion, AC flag, AC 364, ARNG 144, USAR 144; HQ, 93d Signal Brigade, AC flag, AC 66, ARNG 9, USAR 13 (and one space rotates between the ARNG and USAR); HQ, 142d Signal Brigade, ARNG flag, ARNG 168, AC 65; 1/171st Combat Aviation Battalion, ARNG flag, ARNG 239, AC 70; HQ, 304th Corps Material Management Center, USAR flag, USAR 321, AC 55; HQ, 3d Medical Command, USAR flag, USAR 186, AC 40 (AC number includes 11 from PROFIS). See "12 Multi-Component MOTOE Units Planned for FY 1999, FY 2000," in SARCA, Washington Update, September 1998, p. 1.

    54. Ibid.

    55. Robert H. Scales, Certain Victory: The U.S. Army in the Gulf War (Washington: US Army, Office of the Chief of Staff, 1993), esp. ch. 1. For a wider discussion on the dilemmas of collective training as it is being affected by the Quadrennial Defense Review, see Frederick W. Kagan and David T. Fautua, "Could We Fight a War If We Had To?" Commentary, 103 (May 1997), 25-29. The most prescient argument for the superiority of collective warfighting "skills" versus technological superiority is in Stephen Biddle, "Victory Misunderstood: What the Gulf War Tells Us about the Future of Conflict," International Security, 21 (Fall 1996), 139-79.

    56. One might also add "money" along with "time." See, for instance, Sean D. Naylor, "Readiness for Two Wars in Question," Army Times, 14 September 1998, p. 2. See also Billy E. Wells, Jr., "The Future of Infantry: Maneuver in the 21st Century," in AY 97 Compendium, Army After Next, ed. Douglas V. Johnson II (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 1998), pp. 1-36.

    57. Sean Naylor, "Active-duty Slots Could Go to Guard: Experiment with Light Infantry Could Set Pattern for Entire Army," Army Times, 25 May 1998, p. 3.

    58. Aaron R. Kenneston, "From Cowpens to the California Desert: Integrating Reserve Component Units into Tactical Operations," Armor, 107 (May-June 1998), 17-19, 53.

    59. "CGSOC 98-99 Class Headlines," on the Ft. Leavenworth Web Site, ggsos989/headline.htm, p. 1. Whether such limitations were set by the AC to meet other priorities or are a result of budget constraints on the part of the RC--or both--is beside the point. The AC must assume the lead to create better "advantage opportunities" for the RC to succeed. There are several positions in both the Guard and Reserve structure, for instance, that warrant at least two SAMS slots per component per year.

    60. Still and all, the AC's model for a "successful career," as outlined in OPMS XXI and which took the better part of four years to produce, is worthy of serious consideration by the RC. See Jim Tice, "OPMS XXI Personnel System Launched," Army Times, 12 October 1998, p. 8.

    61. Richard J. Newman, "Bombs Get Smarter; What About Generals? The Army Recently Conducted a $1 Million War Game, and the Enemy Lived to Fight Again," U.S. News & World Report, 18 May 1998, p. 42. See also Sean D. Naylor, "A Lack of City Smarts? War Game Shows Future Army Unprepared for Urban Fighting," Army Times, 11 May 1998, p. 22.

    Lieutenant Colonel David T. Fautua is a regular Army officer currently serving as the chief of plans and operations at the US Army Reserve Readiness Command, Ft. Jackson, S.C. He has served in various infantry positions in two tours in Germany and the United States, and recently served as an assistant professor of military history at the US Military Academy. He received the Society for Military History Moncado Award for his article on the creation of the Cold War US Army in the Journal of Military History. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, holds master's degrees in business and history, and is a Ph.D. candidate in American history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He attended the April 1998 AAN wargames as an observer. As with all Parameters articles, the views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of the US Army Reserve, US Army, or Department of Defense.

    Reviewed 10 March 1999. Please send comments or corrections to