Chairman: Review Reserve Mobilization

Washington Report

(March 18, 2014) Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has suggested the military review the ability of the reserve component to mobilize quickly when needed. His comments, which were reported last week by Inside the Pentagon, are linked to the possibility that active-component Army forces fall to 420,000 as a cost-saving measure.

His idea was included in his remarks that accompanied the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, which was released this month. His comments note that “U.S. military response to aggression most often begins in the air or maritime domains,” but usually concludes with a commitment of land forces.

“Therefore, our QDR land forces will need to be even better organized, trained and equipped for the full spectrum of 21st century challenges,” he wrote. “Moreover, since time is a defining factor in the commitment of land forces, I strongly recommend a comprehensive review of the nation’s ability to mobilize its existing reserves as well as its preparedness for the potential of national mobilization.”

An official told Inside the Pentagon that no review plans have been finalized.

The publication also reported on a Pentagon official’s remarks about the review, saying a way must be found to access and train the National Guard and Reserve more quickly than in the past.

Christine Wormuth, the deputy under secretary of defense for strategy, plans and force development, said, while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., “That is the homework assignment coming out of the QDR that is an important one, I think, that the department has taken on board.”