Panel to Support Greater Use of Reserve

NGAUS Washington Report

(Sept. 3, 2013) A Defense Department panel is expected to endorse greater reliance on reserve-component troops when it makes a formal recommendation to leadership this week.

Members of the Reserve Forces Policy Board will vote Thursday on how reserve-component troops should be used. According to Army Times, officials familiar with the panel’s discussions expect it to support continued use of the National Guard and Reserves as an operational force.

That might not sit well with everyone in the Pentagon. Some service leaders have minimized the capabilities and readiness of the reserve components, while supporters cite its lower cost to the taxpayer.

“There are some no-kidding battle lines being drawn,” a reserve official told Army Times.

NGAUS has long supported greater use of the Guard, frequently citing its ability to perform tasks equal to that of the active component for less money.

Retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the NGAUS president, said, “We are pleased to hear that the Reserve Forces Policy Board has reached this conclusion. We only hope now that the leadership in the Pentagon will take the recommendation seriously and continue to support the Guard and the Reserve as an operational force that gives good value to America.”

The Reserve Forces Policy Board was asked last year by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to provide recommendations as the Pentagon faces continued budget cuts and strategy reviews.