National Guard and Reserve Critical in an Uncertain World

Gen. Mark Milley, commanding general of Forces Command, believes that both the National Guard and Reserve components of the military are incredibly important to maintain safety and security in an uncertain world. Force Command and the active-duty First Army are working to enhance the close-knit relationship that has been formed among the three components of the Army over the past 13 years of fighting.

Three efforts mentioned in this article are:

  • Integrated Combat Training Center rotations - since active duty and reserve soldiers often fought together, it makes sense to have them train together. Recent rotations at the National Training Center or Joint Readiness Training Center have only had up to 40% National Guard or Reserve soldiers - the rest being active duty. Milley would like to see future rotations split 50-50.
  • Reserve component and active duty unit partnerships - in addition to training together at CTCs, Milley wants to pair an active duty unit with a National Guard or Reserve unit, and have them do a lot more paired working and training together on a regular basis.
  • Shift in focus - after more than a decade of preparing Guard and Reserve soldiers for war, the First Army is now shifting its focus to long-term training at home. The First Army is also undergoing a restructuring that will allow it greater flexibility to assist and train for a large variety of needs.

“The Guard and Reserve are critical in order to ensure that the American people are linked in to the operations that are being conducted...Operationally, we cannot execute sustained operations overseas unless we have the Guard and Reserve", said Milley. He also noted that over 70% of the logistical capability in the Army lies in the two reserve components.