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Chapter 9


The Total Force Policy, implemented in 1973, continues to guide decisions about how manpower resources available to the Department of Defense—active, reserve, retired military, federal civilian, contractor, and allied support personnel—are structured to execute the National Military Strategy and to protect the nation’s interests. The integrated capabilities of the Total Force are essential for the U.S. defense strategy to succeed. Because reserve components (RC) can provide substantial capability within a smaller defense budget, they have been called upon increasingly to contribute within the Total Force. These elements of the Total Force must be seamlessly integrated with their active component (AC) counterparts to achieve the new levels of readiness required to successfully conduct joint and combined operations—now and in the future.


Vision and Challenge

Achieving a seamless Total Force requires command emphasis on supporting the principles of Total Force integration. Progress toward improved integration of reserve and active components depends on key military and civilian leaders creating an environment that eliminates all residual barriers—structural and cultural—for effective joint integration within the Total Force. To achieve effective force integration, the Secretary of Defense has directed that the following basic principles be applied consistently throughout the Services:

· Clearly understood responsibility for and ownership of the Total Force by senior leaders.

· Clear, mutual understanding of the mission for each unit—Active, Guard, and Reserve—in Service and joint/combined operations, during peace and war.

· Commitment to provide the resources needed to accomplish assigned missions.

· Leadership by senior commanders—Active, Guard, and Reserve—to ensure the readiness of the Total Force.

Total Force and the National Military Strategy

Since the Cold War, the National Guard and Reserve have become a larger percentage of the Total Force and are essential partners in the wide range of military operations, from smaller–scale contingencies to major theater war. Today, reserve forces are included in all war plans, and no major military operation can be successful without them.


Active/Reserve Components and Allied Joint Operations

Each Service routinely provides mission–essential reserve component forces to accomplish a multiplicity of global missions. Reserve components are essential in Operation Joint Forge, the Bosnia peacekeeping force. By August 1999, 18,500 Guardsmen and Reservists had served in this effort and either returned to civilian life or were on active duty. The 49th Division Headquarters, Texas Army National Guard assumes command and control of peacekeeping forces in Bosnia in March 2000. Additionally, over 5,200 Guardsmen and Reservists were called up for Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo, where they were indispensable in air operations conducted during May and June 1999. Many have now transitioned to providing support similar to that in Bosnia.

Army RC forces provided vital augmentation in civil affairs, psychological operations, Apache and Blackhawk rotary wing aviation, air traffic control, military police, public affairs and military history, medical, supply, and transportation fields.

Naval and Marine reserve contributions included intelligence and staff augmentation, along with SeaBees and EA–6B aircraft. The Air Force recalled significant numbers of guard and reserve assets, including A–10 close air support aircraft, for Operation Allied Force/Noble Anvil in Kosovo.

In addition to involuntary call–ups, a significant number of reserve service members volunteer daily to support ongoing operations. Overall, more than 25,000 Guardsmen and Reservists supported Operations Joint Forge and Joint Guardian in Southern Europe and Northern and Southern Watch around Iraq.

Following Hurricane Mitch in October 1998, Air Force and Navy Reservists as well as National Guardsmen responded by airlifting disaster relief supplies to Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. The 23,000 reserve component members, primarily Army National Guard and Army Reserve engineers and medical personnel, performed initial damage surveys and restored roads, bridges, wells, and schools in those countries and the Dominican Republic.

Over the past two years, the reserve components provided support to Total Force missions across the entire spectrum of military operations. This support equated to approximately 13 million man–days (the equivalent of about 35,000 full–time personnel) in FY 1998 and 1999. This equates to about one–third of the level of support provided during the peak of the Gulf War, when more than 250,000 reservists served on active duty for an average of six months.



The Department makes continuous efforts to enhance the use of the reserve components within the Total Force. As part of this process, DoD completed a major review in 1999—the Reserve Component Employment–2005 (RCE 05) study. RCE 05 provided recommendations to the Secretary of Defense for focusing future DoD efforts in several high–payoff areas, leading to a number of follow–on actions which are currently underway. It represents a significant step forward in the continuing efforts to build a seamless Total Force.

Accessibility is one of the keys to successful Total Force integration. As reliance on the Guard and Reserve has increased over the past decade, the Department has become more innovative in ways to access the reserve components. Just as the Total Force Policy is shifting the way forces are structured and employed, the idea of planned and efficient utilization is being applied on a routine basis across the Services, leveraging untapped capabilities on reserve components to meet the ongoing mission needs of a much smaller active force.

To meet operational and contingency needs, the Department has the authority to call up a limited number of Individual Ready Reservists under the Presidential Reserve Call–up authority. Previously, this authority was limited to calling up members of the Selected Reserve. Under this authority, the Department can now access skills resident only in the Reserves, which are necessary to accomplish emerging missions. The Department is adding predictability to its call–up process, which ultimately increases accessibility by increasing volunteerism, and improving employer and employee relations. The Department is also exploring the use of distributive (virtual) drilling for limited billets that would allow access to reservists skills while the reservist remains at home. In particular, the Department is examining the feasibility of using traditional reservists to provide joint support through virtual methods. These methods capitalize upon the accessibility of technological innovations to provide production from distributed sites, quite possibly even reservists’ homes. Policies have been rewritten to provide additional flexibility in the use of training time and options for scheduling training, to support active component missions.

While the Department continues to expand accessibility to reservists, it is mindful of the dual role of reservists. Utilization of the Reserves requires appropriately balancing the nation’s ongoing requirements with individual reservists’ non–military career demands. Therefore, when reservists are called, it is essential that they participate in real operational missions or relevant training opportunities.

Reserve Personnel in the Total Force

The reserve components are a valuable resource within the Total Force and are a cost–effective way of maintaining the capability to rapidly expand the force. The findings of several force structure reviews have resulted in more capabilities being placed in the reserve components, with these capabilities increasingly being called upon to support current defense missions and requirements. As the role of the reserve components within the Total Force has expanded, the size of the reserve force has declined. By FY 2001, Selected Reserve end strengths will have nearly achieved a drawdown level of just under 866,000 personnel. Simultaneously, resources to support those forces have been reduced proportionately. Resourcing for the reserve components continues to remain at about 8.3 percent of the Defense budget. But as the force and funding have been reduced, the Total Force missions have increased. The corresponding contributions of the reserve components have increased to a steady state of 12 to 13 million man–days in each of the last three years.

In evaluating this increased reliance on reserve components, indicators at the macro level reflect generally stable rates in readiness, attrition, retention, reenlistment, end strength achievement and employer relations. However, there are some trends that bear watching in the low–density and high demand units that are being called more often to support the military’s worldwide missions. The attrition and retention trends in these units reflect their high usage and cause concern about strains in the relationships between reservists and their civilian employers.

Joint Professional Military Education

Mid–career reserve component officers are playing a broader role in the joint arena. However, most of these officers have been unable to obtain advanced Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) unless they took time away from their civilian jobs to attend the formal schooling. To address this problem, the Department has undertaken the JPME 2010 Study to improve the methods for providing JPME to all officers who work in the joint environment. One of the immediate results anticipated from the JPME 2010 study is the establishment of a distributed learning course which will provide advanced JPME to reserve component officers at the United States Joint Forces Command through the Armed Forces Staff College. This may well become the platform for establishing distance and distributive JPME learning center for active and reserve officers.

Full–Time Support Programs

The full–time support force is key to ensuring that reserve component members are ready and capable of responding to the wide range of operations. The full–time support force, enhanced by ongoing integration initiatives and supported by recent changes in law, is now better positioned to ensure guard and reserve members are smoothly integrated into new or ongoing missions and operations. Recent legislation expanded the duties that active guard and reserve personnel may perform, helping to further integrate the reserve components into the planning and decision making processes throughout the Department and the Services. Effective management of the military technician force in FY 2001 and beyond was greatly enhanced by recent legislation that placed particular emphasis on the dual status nature of the technician force, enhancing readiness and ensuring a robust technician force. The increased use of the reserve components in the wide range of operations has brought into focus the authorized level of fill of full–time support positions. To maintain the level of readiness required, the reserve components must be resourced at full–time support levels to allow execution of their expanded role.

Integrated Pay and Personnel Systems

Separate active and reserve pay and personnel systems caused many delays and problems that have frustrated commanders and service members. Developing a common pay and personnel system is a high priority for the Department and particularly the reserve components, with the Guard and Reserve actively engaged in the development of the Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System (DIMHRS). The DIMHRS personnel and pay module will provide the capability to effectively manage all members of the force, active and reserve, with a single, comprehensive record of the service member’s entire career.

Inactive Duty Training Travel Support

The drawdown of the military and significant realignment of missions and units resulted in some Selected Reserve members traveling long distances in order to serve. Reservists not within a reasonable commuting distance of their training site frequently had to pay out–of–pocket expenses for travel by air to perform inactive duty training. Two new statutory provisions will help reduce expenses incurred by reservists.

Reservists are now authorized to purchase airline tickets at the official government fare to travel to and from inactive duty training, enabling them to purchase airline tickets at a reasonable price and to change or cancel tickets without financial penalty, if dictated by military necessity. Reserve component members are also authorized to travel space required on military aircraft to perform inactive duty training if there is no means of travel by road, railroad, or a combination of both. This provision benefits guard and reserve members residing in Alaska and Hawaii, as well as reservists who perform inactive duty training at overseas locations. This provision, in combination with the ability to purchase government rate airline tickets, will significantly reduce the personal expenses incurred by reservists.


Force Planning

DoD has reviewed and modified force planning processes to provide the National Command Authority greater flexibility in the use of reserve component units. Policy changes recently implemented require that reserve component capabilities be tied to war and contingency plans across the total spectrum of national military requirements. These changes provide the Services and the regional commanders in chief (CINCs) greater efficiency and flexibility in accomplishing missions and help improve active and reserve component integration. The following illustrate some of these changes:

· Army. Six Army National Guard enhanced Separate Brigades assigned to two new active Army division headquarters to form integrated divisions.

· Navy. Two fully integrated Mine Countermeasure Helicopter Squadrons with commanding officers selected from either component.

· Marine Corps. Light armored vehicle air defense platoon integrated into the Reserves light armored reconnaissance battalion. Also, active duty inspector–instructor staffs integrated into reserve unit tables of organization.

· Air Force. New Air Expeditionary Forces fully integrated.

· Coast Guard. Team Coast Guard fully integrated active/reserve personnel into units at all levels.

The Army activated two integrated division headquarters on October 1, 1999. Each integrated division consists of an active component headquarters and three Army National Guard enhanced Separate Brigades. The light division is the 7th Infantry Division located at Fort Carson, Colorado, and the heavy division is the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Riley, Kansas, with a forward element at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The enhanced Separate Brigades maintain their individual wartime mission requirements while the nondeploying division headquarters provide training and readiness oversight. Under the Army National Guard’s division redesign program, selected lower priority combat units are being converted to required combat support and combat service support units. Under the Division XXI design, 515 reserve component soldiers are assigned to active component heavy divisions forming multi–component units. Reserve component soldiers will conduct all readiness training with the assigned active Army division. The 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) is the first digital division and it started integrating reserve component soldiers in June 1999.

The Air Force has recently undertaken a transition to an Expeditionary Aerospace Force. This new organizational construct will allow even greater integration of active, guard, and reserve units to meet contingency taskings and provides optimal use of reserve forces due to long–term forecasting of deployments. This greatly improved schedule forecasting will help minimize reservist/employer conflicts.


Reserve components plan to increase use of simulation, embedded training, and distributed learning technologies to train Selected Reservists in the Total Force. Expansion of these technologies is essential to achieving planned improvements in force integration and readiness. Distributed learning technologies have the potential to make training more cost–effective and available to the active and reserve communities. The full spectrum of distributed learning media, fully interoperable with existing DoD and government systems, is being actively pursued and will facilitate improved training readiness throughout the Department.

The Joint Reserve Intelligence Program (JRIP) leverages the pre–paid training days of approximately 20,000 intelligence reservists in direct support of force–wide intelligence requirements. In FY 1999, the JRIP allocated approximately 40,000 man–days to CINCs, combat support agencies, and the Services in direct support of current intelligence requirements. The JRIP expects to execute approximately the same amount in FY 2000. Potentially, the JRIP can provide 2,450 military workyears of intelligence support annually. The JRIP enhances individual and unit wartime readiness training by providing intelligence reservists the opportunity to do in peacetime what they do in wartime. Moreover, these reservists frequently bring unique mixes of civilian and military skills, capabilities, and networks to the operational environment that may be particularly useful, but not otherwise available to the defense community. Congressional legislation now permits joint and unified commands, combat support agencies, and the Services to transfer Operation and Maintenance funds directly to the reserve components in support of additional workdays to meet unexpected intelligence requirements. As a result, many of DoD’s 20,000 intelligence reservists now provide critical and unique support to current operational requirements.

Military Assistance to Civil Authorities

The United States’ vulnerability to terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) at home has necessitated the development of a strong defense against domestic terrorism. At the direction of the President, and in partnership with Congress, new plans, policies, and laws have been developed to increase the nation’s ability to counter asymmetric threats and to prepare to manage the consequences of WMD attacks against U.S. citizens and/or infrastructure.

In support of this initiative, the Department is leveraging existing military capabilities to support civil authorities in partnership with other federal agencies. The National Guard and reserve components will be increasingly called upon to apply their expertise and capabilities to this mission. The Guard and Reserve are uniquely suited for this mission because they are a highly effective workforce spanning nearly 4,000 communities across the country with well–established links to the civilian first responder community of police, firefighters, and medical service personnel of communities, counties and states.

During FY 1999, the Department took major steps to establish reserve components as critical partners in supporting response to incidents involving WMD. Ten WMD Civil Support Teams (formerly called Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection teams), each consisting of 22 full–time Army and Air National Guard members, were formed with one in each of the ten federal regions. These teams are available to provide immediate support and expert technical assistance to local first responders following a WMD incident. In FY 2000, Congress directed that 17 additional WMD Civil Support Teams be established.

The Department identified reserve component patient decontamination and WMD reconnaissance capabilities for expansion and upgrade. These units will provide support and expert technical assistance to local first responders following a WMD incident. This effort is part of the long–term goal of expanding WMD response training and equipment into several existing reserve component functional areas.

Reserve Component Facilities

Joint use of facilities, consolidating reserve units, and co–locating units on existing military installations continue to be major initiatives in meeting reserve component facilities requirements in FY 2000 to FY 2005. Development of reserve component facility requirements has changed as a result of this effort. For example, the Army National Guard will host the Army and Marine Corps Reserve in a new joint complex in Gray, Tennessee, that includes a maintenance building, parking areas, and separate field training sites. The Army Reserve is expanding a training center at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, to accommodate a new Marine Corps Reserve training center and outdoor range. At Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, an active component base, Air National Guard units relocating from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport will occupy new facilities. The Army Reserve built and is operating a new 84,000 square foot building in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a new 135,000 square foot facility in Manchester, New Hampshire, both of which accommodate Navy and Marine Corps Reserve units.

Although joint use programs are part of a recent facility initiative, the program has over 20 projects under design or construction to meet the needs of the active, reserve, and guard forces. As units look for ways to reduce the cost of leasing, base operations support, and real property maintenance, joint use opportunities offer the Services the ability to pool their resources and acquire needed facilities at a significantly lower overall cost.

The benefits of joint use go beyond economics. When the units live and work together, they learn about each other’s capabilities, supply and maintenance programs, training systems, and culture. These experiences help to break down cultural barriers and facilitate Total Force integration.

The Department’s emphasis on joint use facilities and the reserve components’ many successes are the catalyst for future joint projects. The components continue to review their facility requirements with an eye toward consolidating similar needs. The Department’s ability to provide needed facilities in the future will depend, in part, on how well joint use opportunities are developed.

Reserve Component Equipment

Reserve forces are vital to the Total Force as they provide significant support for operational missions and additional combat power to augment active units. Success as a force multiplier requires that active and reserve equipment is compatible and interoperable. The reserve components receive their equipment from two sources—new acquisitions and redistribution from the active component. From FY 1999 to 2002, the Services plan to redistribute to the reserve component older equipment, which if purchased new would cost nearly $2.7 billion. The Services will also procure $6.6 billion in new equipment for their reserves. This marks a significant increase in new equipment procurements for the reserve components.

In addition to the Service procurements, Congress traditionally adds funds for guard and reserve equipment in the form of a separate National Guard and Reserve Equipment Appropriation, as well as making additions to active component procurement accounts for reserve equipment. For example, in FY 1999 Congress added $352 million in National Guard and Reserve equipment appropriations and $492 million in specific adds to active accounts. These funds were used to procure needed items such as Single Channel Ground–Air Radio Systems, trucks, C–130J aircraft, F/A–18 aircraft modifications, and F–16 Precision Attack Targeting systems.

To ensure that reserve component equipment is compatible and interoperable with active component equipment, the Department is conducting a study to determine the impact that equipment differences between active and reserve units have on reserve component mission capability. This study is expected to identify areas for further review to ensure the Total Force integration of the reserve components.


Maintaining the integrated capabilities of the Total Force is pivotal to successfully achieving the goals of shaping, preparing, and responding to the challenges and opportunities confronting the nation. Only a well–balanced, seamlessly integrated military force is capable of dominating opponents across the full range of military operations. Employing the concepts and principles of the National Military Strategy, the Concept for Future Joint Operations, and the Total Force Policy, the Department will continue to meet the challenges of restructuring, streamlining, and modernizing its Total Force to ensure efficient and effective operational capability.

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