Draft Report Touts Guard, Reserves as Bargain

NGAUS Washington Report

(May 21, 2013) Army Times says the Pentagon is preparing to send a report to Congress that details how reserve-component (RC) troops are cheaper to the taxpayers than their active-component (AC) counterparts, even when mobilized. 
 
The study is based two years of research conducted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, according to the story posted May 20 at www.armytimes.com. 
 
According to a draft copy of the report obtained by Military Times, the analysis concludes that Guardsmen and Reservists not only are less expensive in a drill status but also when fully mobilized. 
 
The lower costs are attributable, in part, to lower lifecycle costs for benefits such as retirement and health care.
 
Army Times cited the draft report's example of an Air Force master sergeant from the active component who costs taxpayers a total of $129,000 per year, while an Air Force Reserve master sergeant mobilized for a full year costs $107,000. 
 
The report does say, however,  that the financial calculation varies for every unit depending on its manning, equipment and training requirements and the higher the operational tempo, the more cost-effective the active component appears to be. 

Underlying data in the report comes from the Pentagon Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE).

Army Times quoted a congressional staffer familiar with the report saying the report could be a bombshell on Capitol Hill. 
 
CAPE “is the impartial referee for costing and force analysis for the entire department." the staffer said. "Do I think this study will make a huge splash? Absolutely.”
 
The Pentagon disavowed the draft copy obtained by Military Times, dated April 26, saying the report is not yet complete.