Friday Food For Thought

Pardon My Absence.


Part of my new assignment has gotten thoughts swirling around in my skull about the design of the Army and how I wish I was in the basement of the Pentagon where they build the MTOE of units based on the overall authorization of the Active and Reserve forces.

Why are the Guard and Reserve continuously slashed when we go through cuts in the Active Force?  I understand what it takes to spin-up a National Guard or Reserve unit to deploy.  Sometimes the Army takes tactical risk by accelerating an Active Units ARFORGEN cycle because certain guard units have not cut the mustard in the past.  Part of that I think is limited AGR and ADOS slots at the Battalion/Brigade/Division staff levels.

Now, to my question: Why is the  Guard and Reserve Force smaller than the Active Force? Why is it not 3x size of the current Active Force?

I understand Budget constraints, but as our population has grown, so should our population of Citizen Soldiers.  What allowed the Germans to rapidly seize territory during WWI was the design of their reserve system.  Yes, I understand they had compulsory service which allowed them to build their reserve system.  But for the most part, their Soldiers were proficiently trained and able to mobilize within in a few months.

Based on current deployment outlook the US Army will outstrip itself similar to the beginning of the Surge when deployments were continuously extended, and then resets were truncated to put brigade back into the field.  „Provide For the Common Defense.“ We need to do this, and for the moment, we are unable to truly go on a war footing rapidly.


Über slater

Is a young Cavalry Officer on the Frontier.
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3 Antworten zu Friday Food For Thought

  1. burkemblog schreibt:

    Good to see you back. What’s your new assignment? When i worked in the Pentagon, those force structure decisions were not made in the basement, but in very complex ways, usually in the 2D area I worked in (then-DCSPER, now G1) and in the 3rd floor budget meetings, and also in the National Guard Bureau–the fourth branch of government. It was always a very dynamic process that never really ended.
    As an aside–soldiers in WWI didn’t have the need for the skills that contemporary soldiers must have–mass armies armed with rifles and machine guns was about it–now the electronics alone require almost another army to operate and maintain.

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  2. slater schreibt:

    Plans Section…crazy stuff. We still need men to hold ground, and the population is much denser.
    We still need to be able to go on a war footing, the Army is going to get outstripped.

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    • burkemblog schreibt:

      Plans section where, or don’t you want to be identified more than you already are? You may be right, but then again, how large an army do we need in an era where the fighting part will likely be short and intense, but the occupation last forever? These are, of course, impossible questions to answer definitively.

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