FAS | Military Analysis | GAO |||| Index | Search |

Peace Operations: Reservists Have Volunteered When Needed (Letter Report, 04/26/96, GAO/NSIAD-96-75).

GAO reviewed reservists' participation in peace operations, focusing on:
(1) whether qualified volunteers are accessible; (2) the differences
among the services in their reliance on reserve volunteers; (3) factors
that affect reserve volunteers' availability; and (4) Department of
Defense (DOD) efforts to ensure their accessibility.

GAO noted that: (1) thousands of reservists volunteer for peace
operations when requested to assist active-duty forces; (2) volunteers
generally are well trained and possess the skills necessary to perform
active duty; (3) of all the services, the Air Force has most heavily
relied on reservists; (4) the availability of funding is the critical
factor that determines the extent to which reserve volunteers are used
in active duty operations; (5) other factors affecting the use of
volunteers include the amount of lead time available before volunteers
are needed, tour duration, and whether the requirements call for
individuals or units; (6) the Army and Navy believe that large units are
more difficult to obtain on a voluntary basis because each unit must
consent to an entire mission; and (7) DOD is trying to improve its
access to reserves by allowing them to volunteer for lesser regional
contingencies and peacetime missions, and providing them with
mobilization income.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  Peace Operations: Reservists Have Volunteered When Needed
      DATE:  04/26/96
   SUBJECT:  Defense contingency planning
             Military reserve personnel
             Military budgets
             Armed forces reserves
             Military operations
             Military expense allowances
             DOD Operation Provide Promise
             DOD Operation Deny Flight
             DOD Operation Provide Comfort
             DOD Operation Southern Watch
             DOD Operation Provide Relief
             DOD Operation Restore Hope
             DOD Operation Uphold Democracy
             Guantanamo Bay (Cuba)
             Persian Gulf War
** This file contains an ASCII representation of the text of a  **
** GAO report.  Delineations within the text indicating chapter **
** titles, headings, and bullets are preserved.  Major          **
** divisions and subdivisions of the text, such as Chapters,    **
** Sections, and Appendixes, are identified by double and       **
** single lines.  The numbers on the right end of these lines   **
** indicate the position of each of the subsections in the      **
** document outline.  These numbers do NOT correspond with the  **
** page numbers of the printed product.                         **
**                                                              **
** No attempt has been made to display graphic images, although **
** figure captions are reproduced.  Tables are included, but    **
** may not resemble those in the printed version.               **
**                                                              **
** Please see the PDF (Portable Document Format) file, when     **
** available, for a complete electronic file of the printed     **
** document's contents.                                         **
**                                                              **
** A printed copy of this report may be obtained from the GAO   **
** Document Distribution Center.  For further details, please   **
** send an e-mail message to:                                   **
**                                                              **
**                    <[email protected]>                        **
**                                                              **
** with the message 'info' in the body.                         **

================================================================ COVER

Report to Congressional Requesters

April 1996



Peace Operations


=============================================================== ABBREV

  DOD - Department of Defense
  PSRC - Presidential Selected Reserve Call-Up

=============================================================== LETTER


April 26, 1996

The Honorable Dan Coats
The Honorable Robert C.  Byrd
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Personnel
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Robert K.  Dornan
The Honorable Owen B.  Pickett
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Military Personnel
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

U.S.  participation in peace operations has increased dramatically
since the end of the Cold War in 1989.  At the same time, the size of
the active component has been reduced by nearly one-third, leaving
fewer active forces to respond to these operations.  With increased
stress placed on some active forces, the role of the reserves is
changing.  The Department of Defense (DOD) expects the reserves to
take a greater role in peace operations.\1 While authority to order
reservists involuntarily to active duty has been available for recent
operations in Haiti and Bosnia, DOD will likely have to rely on
volunteers to meet some of its future needs. 

Because of concern over peacetime access to reserve volunteers, we
undertook this review to (1) determine whether qualified volunteers
have been accessible for recent peace operations, (2) identify
differences among the services in how much they rely on volunteers,
(3) determine the factors that affect availability of volunteers, and
(4) identify any actions being taken by DOD to ensure volunteers are

We performed this work under our basic legislative responsibilities
and are sending this report to you because of your oversight
responsibilities for military personnel.  We have recently issued two
related reports on U.S.  participation in peace operations.\2

\1 For the purposes of this report, peace operations include
everything from low-intensity peacekeeping missions, such as military
observer duty, to high-intensity peace enforcement actions. 

\2 Peace Operations:  Heavy Use of Key Capabilities May Affect
Response to Regional Conflicts (GAO/NSIAD-95-51, Mar.  8, 1995) and
Peace Operations:  Effect of Training, Equipment, and Other Factors
on Unit Capability (GAO/NSIAD-96-14, Oct.  18, 1995). 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Much of DOD's capability to support military operations resides in
seven reserve components:  Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Air
Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps
Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.\3 Reservists (a term that includes
National Guard personnel) are called citizen-soldiers because most
hold civilian jobs and perform their military duties on a part-time
basis.  As part of their service obligation, reservists must
participate in prescribed training activities.  In addition,
reservists participate in a wide range of peacetime activities in
support of the active component, such as counterdrug operations,
disaster aid, and exercise support, but this report does not cover
these types of activities.  (App.  I provides further background
information on the reserve components.)

DOD has two ways of gaining access to reservists in peacetime.  Under
10 U.S.C.  12304, the President may order reservists involuntarily to
active duty for up to 270 days.  This is known as Presidential
Selected Reserve Call-Up (PSRC) authority.  The other way of gaining
access is volunteerism.  Under 10 U.S.C.  12301(d), DOD can activate
any reservist with the consent of the individual.\4 The preferred
method for accessing reservists depends on the nature of the mission. 

\3 During wartime, the Coast Guard Reserve comes under the authority
of the Navy, but it reports to the Secretary of Transportation in
peacetime.  We have excluded the Coast Guard Reserve from our review. 

\4 Service by National Guard members within the United States
requires the consent of the appropriate state authority. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

Thousands of reservists have volunteered for recent peace operations
when requested to assist active duty forces.  Among the operations
they have participated in are those in Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, and
Bosnia.  The volunteers chosen for peace operations generally have
had the necessary skills and qualifications to perform their jobs and
have performed well.  However, past success in obtaining volunteers
may not be indicative of the future. 

Reservists have volunteered when needed for peace operations, but the
services' demand for volunteers has varied greatly.  The Air Force
has relied most heavily on volunteers and has been considered a model
within DOD.  The Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps have had less
demand for volunteers, except for certain specialists. 

Availability of funding has been a critical factor in whether reserve
volunteers are used to support active component operations.  In most
cases, the expenses of volunteer support are funded by the active
component.  The Air Force budgets much more for these expenses than
the other services.  The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve
Affairs has been working through the DOD budgeting process to obtain
more funds for reserve support of the active component.  Other
factors affecting the use of volunteers are the amount of lead time
available before the volunteers are needed, the duration of the tour,
and whether the requirements are for individuals or units.  Army and
Navy officials expressed concerns about the extent they can rely on
volunteerism if large numbers of reservists or whole units are

DOD has been able to obtain the reservists it needs through a
combination of involuntary call-up authority and volunteerism.  The
demonstrated willingness of DOD to seek and the President to approve
call-up authority has minimized the need to rely solely on volunteers
to respond to peace operations.  Further, DOD has taken some steps to
ensure continued access to and use of reserves.  Therefore, we are
not making recommendations in this report. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

Volunteer reservists have been used in most U.S.  peace operations
since the Persian Gulf War.  Although comprehensive data is lacking,
we determined that at least 18,000 volunteer reservists participated
in peace operations during fiscal years 1992 through 1996.\5 Among
the key capabilities provided have been airlift, aerial refueling,
and special operations, such as civil affairs and psychological
operations.  (See
table 1.)

                                     Table 1
                       Peace Operations Involving More Than
                       1,000 Volunteer Reservists (1992-96)

                                            Examples of reserve        Number of
Operation             Military mission      support                 volunteers\a
--------------------  --------------------  ----------------------  ------------
Deny Flight/Provide   Support U.N. no-fly   Airlift, fighter               7,534
Promise (Bosnia)      zone; provide         support, air
                      humanitarian          refueling,
                      assistance.           intelligence support,
                                            operations, and
                                            logistics support.

Uphold Democracy      Secure conditions     Airlift, civil                 2,792
(Haiti)               for the return of     affairs, psychological
                      democracy.            operations, military
                                            police, medical
                                            support, and

Provide Comfort       Provide safe havens   Airlift, fighter               2,051
(Northern Iraq)       for population.       support, and

Provide Relief/       Provide security and  Airlift, postal                1,920
Restore Hope/         support for relief    support, foreign
Continue Hope         efforts.              military personnel
(Somalia)                                   training, and

Southern Watch        Monitor repression    Airlift, fighter               1,610
(Southern Iraq)       of population.        support, rescue,
                                            operations, and
                                            intelligence support.
\a Due to data limitations, these numbers may be incomplete. 

From December 1995 through February 1996, 958 volunteers from the
reserve components of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps provided
a variety of support to Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia.  These
volunteers represented 28 percent of reservists deployed to Bosnia
and about 4 percent of total deployed U.S.  military forces.  The
Army relied on ordering reservists to active duty under PSRC
authority; however, some reservists volunteered to be mobilized under
this authority.  The Navy and the Marine Corps also used PSRC
authority to activate some reservists.\6

The reserve components have been able to meet nearly all requirements
for volunteers, according to active component and reserve officials. 
Reservists, they said, are eager to volunteer for "real world"
missions such as peace operations.  Generally, the more publicity an
operation receives, the greater the number of reservists who want to
volunteer.  A 1995 Air Force survey of its personnel showed that 90
percent of the respondents would be willing to volunteer for an
overseas mission such as those in Bosnia or Somalia. 

We identified isolated instances where volunteers could not be
obtained or were difficult to obtain.  The Bureau of Naval Personnel,
for example, tasked the Naval Reserve to provide 148 volunteers in
fiscal year 1995 for a variety of peace operations.  The Naval
Reserve could not fill 11 (7 percent) of the requests.  Army National
Guard officials experienced difficulties keeping many of the
personnel who initially volunteered for the Multinational Force and
Observers operation in the Sinai and had to find replacements in a
relatively short time before the deployment began.  In the end, they
were able to meet all the personnel requirements.  Notwithstanding
these experiences, the general consensus among the officials we spoke
with was that volunteers have proven to be accessible for peace
operations to the extent they have been needed. 

\5 We believe this figure understates the total number of volunteers
who have participated in peace operations.  In some cases, aggregate
data provided by the reserve components focused on nonpersonnel
aspects of the mission, such as sorties flown.  As a result, we were
unable to determine the exact number of personnel involved. 

\6 As of February 1996, a total of 3,475 reservists had been
activated under PSRC--3,348 from the Army, 115 from the Navy, and 12
from the Marine Corps. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.1

The reserve components have established various formal and informal
processes to help them identify, contact, and bring reserve
volunteers on active duty for peace operations.  While no uniform
procedures exist, the reserve commands generally rely on requirements
documents from the active component as a basis for the number and
qualifications of reserve volunteers.  Reserve officials said they
often work with the active component to develop these requirements so
that they can fully respond to the active component's needs. 
Generally, the reserve commands were able to provide volunteers with
the appropriate qualifications. 

The requirements documents we reviewed specified, at a minimum, the
grade and military specialty of the reservists needed and the
expected length of the deployment.  Often the documents were more
detailed.  For instance, Naval Forces Central Command needed a
volunteer to support intelligence analysis work for Operation
Southern Watch.  The requirements document stated that the individual
had to be an enlisted male, grade E-4 or higher, with high-level
security clearances and experience operating specific intelligence
equipment.  In some cases, the active component requested a reservist
by name.  For example, in June 1995, the Army Forces Command
requested by name an Army Reserve major to serve as Chief Contracting
Officer to support U.S.  forces in Haiti as a volunteer for 179 days. 
This request stated that no qualified active duty personnel were
available to fill this position and that this individual met the
criteria due to his previous active duty experience. 

According to service headquarters and major command officials, active
component commands were satisfied with the general quality of
volunteer support.  Recent studies conducted for DOD have shown that
the volunteer reservists who have participated in peace operations
have been qualified for their assignments and performed well.  The
Institute for Defense Analyses conducted several case studies of
reserve units that deployed for peace operations and gave high marks
to their performance.  The Army Research Institute studied a
battalion comprised mostly of reservists that deployed to the Sinai
for 6 months and found that qualified reservists were willing to
volunteer and that the mission was performed successfully. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.2

Past success in obtaining volunteers is not necessarily predictive of
the future.  The future availability of volunteers is of particular
concern to the Air Force because it relies on them more extensively
than the other services.  The availability of volunteers is affected
by a number of variables, including the nature of an operation, the
advance notice provided before volunteers are needed, and the length
of the deployment.  (These issues are discussed later in this

Some reserve officials expressed concern that repeated use of
volunteers eventually could lead to retention problems.  In
particular, Air Force Guard and Reserve officials were concerned
about overuse of their aircrew personnel.  The chiefs of the two air
reserve components stated that based on recent experience, it is
reasonable to expect aircrew members to devote 110 days a year to
military duty, including 60 days away from their home station. 
Fiscal year 1994 data showed that Guard and Reserve aircrews for
several types of aircraft had exceeded the 60-day mark.  For
instance, Guard personnel manning KC-135 tankers averaged 86 days
away from their home station that year.  The Air Force Reserve has
recognized that the increased active duty commitments placed on their
members could have an impact on attitudes toward military service. 
To keep abreast of these attitudes, the Reserve surveyed its members
in 1995.  Among other things, the survey showed that none of the
respondents had definite plans to leave the reserves and less than 5
percent thought they "probably" would not remain or "lean toward" not

The primary concern of reserve officials is the impact increased
military duty may have on the reservists' relationship with their
civilian employers.  They worry that as the military places more
demands on reservists, employers will become less supportive of their
need to take time off from work.  If reservists come to feel they
must choose between their civilian jobs and their reserve jobs, many
may leave the military.  To date, however, there is little hard
evidence that employer support is waning.  According to the National
Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve,\7 the level
of complaints from reservists and their employers peaked during the
Persian Gulf War but has diminished and remained stable since then. 
A National Committee official said that although the Air Force uses
volunteers for active duty missions far more than the other services,
the two air reserve components do not generate the greatest share of
complaints.  He attributed this to an aggressive Air Force effort to
seek employer support.  However, this official and others we spoke
with said employers prefer that reservists be involuntarily ordered
to duty because of concern that reservists could abuse their
reemployment rights.\8 The Air Force Reserve has initiated a survey
of civilian employers.  According to Reserve officials, the
information from this survey will enable them to improve employer
support programs without jeopardizing retention. 

\7 The National Committee is a DOD organization chartered to promote
understanding of the Guard and Reserve and to gain employer and
community support.  One of its key functions is to help resolve
employer/employee problems and misunderstandings that result from
reserve duties. 

\8 Under 38 U.S.C.  4312, a reservist has reemployment rights after
completing military service.  DOD applies this statute to volunteers
as well as to reservists ordered to active duty involuntarily. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

We found differences among the services in their use of volunteers. 
The Air Force prefers to use volunteers whenever it can to support a
peace operation.  DOD Reserve Affairs officials have called the Air
Force a "model" in its use of volunteers.  The Army, the Navy, and
the Marine Corps have used volunteers in relatively small numbers. 

The Air Force has relied extensively on volunteers to support peace
operations.  As discussed earlier, for instance, 880 volunteers from
the Guard and Reserve were participating in Operation Joint Endeavor
as of February 1996, and no reservists had been involuntarily ordered
to active duty under PSRC authority.  Of the more than 18,000
volunteer reservists we identified, about 80 percent were from the
Air Force.  Several thousand volunteers have supported Provide
Promise and Deny Flight (Bosnia), Provide Comfort and Southern Watch
(Iraq), Provide Relief/Restore Hope (Somalia), and Uphold Democracy
(Haiti).  The Air Reserve and Air Guard have provided considerable
airlift and aerial refueling to these operations, and their fighter
units have taken regular rotations with active component forces. 

In explaining the Air Force's extensive use of volunteers, active and
reserve component officials said the service has supported a policy
in which the reserve components are routinely included in the
execution of missions.  However, reserve officials said they must
constantly educate their active duty counterparts on the capabilities
and limits of the reserve components.  Active component officials
also pointed out that the Air Force mission is conducive to using
volunteers because they usually do not deploy in large units and can
fly into and out of the theater of operations. 

In the past 2 to 3 years, the Naval Reserve has emphasized its role
of providing day-to-day support to the active component.  Available
data, however, indicates that reservists have not been used
extensively to support peace operations.  A May 1995 Navy-wide
snapshot report on reserve support to the active component showed
that 200 reservists (both volunteers and those serving involuntarily)
were participating in 6 peace operations, including 105 deployed to
Haiti.  Atlantic Fleet officials said more reservists were used in
Haiti and Cuba than in previous peace operations. 

The Army's practice is to use active component personnel whenever
possible, but it has made some use of reserve volunteers.  Three
notable uses of volunteers have been (1) a 49-member Army Reserve
postal company that deployed to Somalia; (2) 3 Army National Guard
military police companies--400 personnel--that backfilled for active
duty units deployed to Haiti; and (3) an infantry battalion
comprising 446 Guard and Reserve personnel (80 percent of the total
force) that deployed to the Multinational Force and Observers mission
in the Sinai. 

To date, the Marine Corps has not used volunteers to a great extent
for peace operations.  The most notable use of volunteers was the
deployment of three volunteer rifle companies--473 personnel--to
guard refugee camps in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Prior to July 1995, the
Marine Corps Reserve focused on supporting the active component in
wartime.  In July 1995, the Marine Corps added peacetime support as a
reserve mission, and Marine Corps officials expect to use volunteers
more in the future. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

The availability of funding from the active component is the key
factor determining the extent that reserve volunteers are used to
support the active component.  Air Force officials we interviewed
were satisfied with the level of funding available to pay for
volunteers, but Army, Navy, and Marine Corps officials said volunteer
support was constrained by current funding levels.  We were also
told, however, that contingency operations have high priority and
that funding budgeted for other purposes can be redirected to these
operations.  In addition to funding availability, the use of
volunteers is also affected by (1) the amount of notice provided
before the start of the mission, (2) the length of the deployment,
and (3) whether the requirements are for units or individuals. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1

When reservists go on active duty, they generate additional costs to
the military for pay and allowances, travel, and equipment use, with
pay and allowances constituting the greatest expense.  Generally,
these volunteer costs are covered by the active component.  All four
services draw from their account used to fund active component
personnel--the military personnel appropriations account--to cover
the pay and allowances of reserve volunteers.  As shown in table 2,
the Air Force has budgeted the largest amount of funding for reserve
support in its military personnel appropriations account. 

                                Table 2
                   Military Personnel Appropriations
                  Budgeted for Reserve Support (fiscal
                             years 1992-96)

                         (Dollars in millions)

                                               Air              Marine
Fiscal year                           Army   Force    Navy       Corps
----------------------------------  ------  ------  ------  ----------
1992                                  $3.7   $39.5   $12.1          \a
1993                                   2.9    73.2    11.3        $4.2
1994                                   5.3    78.3    11.6         2.1
1995                                 7.6\b   105.7    11.8         3.8
1996                                  14.6   121.3    17.0         1.9
Note:  In addition to military personnel appropriations, reserve
personnel funds are often used to pay for training activities that
benefit the active component.  For instance, Army units have
performed work for the U.S.  Southern Command in Central America as
part of their annual training.  The Navy also uses training funds
extensively to support the active component. 

\a Data not available. 

\b Additional military personnel funds were made available during
fiscal year 1995 for reserve support.  Specifically, $15.1 million
was provided for the Sinai mission and $9.5 million was provided to
prepare equipment for return from Germany to the United States. 

As table 2 shows, the Air Force has budgeted significantly more
military personnel funding for reserve support than have the other
services.  In the budgeting process, the Air Force determines how
much will be needed by active component commands to pay for reserve
support and then designates these funds in its military personnel
budget.  In contrast, Army officials said funding availability
depends on whether the Army's active component end strength falls
below its authorized end strength for a given year.  If so, funds are
available for reserve volunteer support.  The Navy does not budget
enough reserve support funds in its military personnel appropriations
to meet all the requirements of the active component, according to
Navy officials.  Marine Corps officials said their service would have
to increase its military personnel funding levels if more reserve
support is required.  However, a 1995 Navy and Marine Corps internal
report stated that funding increases alone were not the solution. 
Other solutions addressed the need to establish a plan for submitting
and tracking requests for reserve support and the need to develop a
process to evaluate the benefits and savings provided by reserves. 

DOD is making additional funding available for reserve support under
a program initiated in 1995.  The program is aimed at increasing
reserve support to the active component for operational missions,
thereby relieving the stress on the active forces.  DOD officials
hope that this program, by demonstrating the merits of using
reservists, will encourage the services, particularly the Army and
the Navy, to budget more funds for reserve support beginning in
fiscal year 1998. 

The Rand Corporation, in a 1995 study for DOD, identified resource
constraints as an impediment to using reservists in operations other
than war, which include peace operations.  It recommended that funds
be earmarked for reserve support in the military personnel
appropriations accounts.  However, Rand cautioned that increased
funding alone would not increase reserve support because DOD would
also need to tackle operational and institutional factors limiting
the use of reserves, such as a lack of adequate planning and
different service philosophies on the purpose and use of the

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.2

The ability of the reserve components to provide volunteers for a
peace operation is enhanced when advance notice of the requirement is
given, but the amount of notice needed depends on the mission. 
Reserve officials said their personnel need time to arrange for
extended absences from work and family.  The more notice reserve
officials are given by active commands, the greater their chances of
finding volunteers.  While they will make every effort to meet a
short-notice requirement, Air Force Reserve officials said the
reserves are ill-suited to be a quick reaction force and are better
suited to perform missions for which they can more adequately plan. 

Because many variables may affect the amount of lead time necessary
to obtain volunteers, it would be difficult to establish a standard. 
The DOD Task Force on Quality of Life, recently reported that the
need for lead time limited the use of the reserves.\9 The task force
advocated better planning and a minimum advance notice of 6 months to
1 year.  Army National Guard officials indicated that a major
deployment, such as the Sinai mission, would require lead time of
more than 1 year.  On the other hand, some requirements for reserve
support can be filled very quickly.  An Air National Guard official
in the medical readiness directorate, for example, said 2 weeks
advance notice was generally sufficient for a contingency operation. 
In 1995, the Air Force held its first annual scheduling conference to
plan out support to ongoing peace operations.  Both the Air Force
Reserve and Air National Guard participated.  As a result, Air Force
Reserve officials told us that they are able to give reservists 6 to
9 months notice prior to the start of a deployment. 

\9 Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Quality of Life,
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and
Technology (Oct.  1995). 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.3

The length of the tour is another factor affecting the availability
of volunteers.  Air Force and Navy officials said it is easier to
obtain volunteers for shorter tours--30 days or less--because the
reservists do not have to spend long periods of time away from their
family and work.  According to the 1995 Air Force Reserve Survey, the
percentage of respondents willing to volunteer for an overseas
mission dropped as the duration of deployment increased.  (See fig. 

   Figure 1:  Percentage of Air
   Force Reservists Willing to
   Volunteer for an Overseas

   (See figure in printed

Source:  Air Force Reserve. 

Air Force officials told us that flexibility in rotating volunteers
can help meet the requirements for long missions.  They believe that
most active component commanders have come to understand the need for
this flexibility and are willing to provide it.  For example, the Air
National Guard provides fighter support to Operation Provide Comfort
for a 3-month period each year.  The Guard assigns three units 1
month each, and the units schedule their volunteers to cover their
assigned period. 

Army and Special Operations officials said short rotations are often
not feasible for their missions.  For instance, a Special Operations
official said it takes time for civil affairs and psychological
operations personnel to win the support of host-country civilians as
well as their own active component commanders.  Short rotations would
not allow time for effective interactions to develop.  Army officials
also said that the Air Force has the advantage of being able to fly
their personnel easily into and out of the theater of operations.  It
takes a more intense logistical effort to move Army personnel and
their equipment, they said. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.4

Large units are more difficult to obtain on a voluntary basis than
individuals or small units because each unit member must consent to
volunteer for a mission.  This has not been a major problem in the
Air Force and the Navy, which tend to deploy volunteers as
individuals or as part of small units.  The Army has attempted to
deploy units of
50 volunteers and more, but has found that forming these size units
requires "intensive, more complex work-arounds."

Army officials were particularly dissatisfied with the formation of
an Army Reserve postal company that deployed to Somalia in 1992. 
Although they initially had hoped to draw all 49 members from a
single reserve unit, they ultimately had to find volunteers from
several postal units to fill all the slots.  In addition, the Army
National Guard had hoped to draw from a single division to fill about
400 positions in the battalion that deployed to the Sinai.  However,
many of the Guard personnel who initially volunteered dropped out,
and the Guard had to find replacements from other units.  The Army
National Guard has experimented with a volunteer program, called
Project Standard Bearer, to designate units that would be available
to support a humanitarian mission.  Under this program, unit members
agree to volunteer for a 45-day period when needed.  The program was
first used when 3 military police companies averaging about 135
members each backfilled for active forces deployed to Haiti.  There
were mixed opinions on the success of this effort. 

Army Reserve officials oppose taking volunteers out of their home
units to create a new unit because they are concerned that the
readiness of home units will suffer.  If individuals are required,
they should come from the pool of reservists who are not assigned to
units, these officials said, and if entire units are required, the
President should use PSRC authority.  The Army relied more heavily on
PSRC authority in Haiti and Bosnia than the other services.  Navy
officials also said there were limits in how far they could rely on
volunteerism.  If large numbers of individuals or units are needed to
support an operation, PSRC authority is a necessity, they said. 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

In 1994, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs
expressed concerns about how much DOD could rely on volunteers.\10
She subsequently formed a working group to address accessibility
concerns.  Since that time, DOD officials have taken some steps to
ensure that reserves will be accessible for the range of peace
operations they are likely to confront in the future.  Some of these
actions focus on volunteerism, while others affect reservists
activated involuntarily. 

For example, DOD issued a new policy in July 1995 emphasizing the use
of volunteers for lesser regional contingencies.  This policy is
intended to clarify when war planners should anticipate using
volunteers and when they can expect PSRC authority to be available. 
The policy states that while authority to involuntarily order
reservists to active duty should be assumed for major regional
conflicts, the military is to give maximum consideration to using
volunteers for lesser regional contingencies before seeking
involuntary access. 

At about the same time, DOD initiated a pilot program to encourage
active commands to identify opportunities for using reservists during
peacetime.  This initiative is intended to reduce the personnel tempo
of the active duty forces, while providing real world experience to
reservists.  As discussed earlier, this program is also aimed at
making more funds available for using reservists in support of the
active component.  The pilot is expected to continue through fiscal
year 1997 and then be incorporated into DOD's annual programming and
budgeting process. 

To assist reservists activated involuntarily, DOD proposed a
mobilization income insurance program.  This program is intended to
protect reservists from financial hardships resulting from
involuntary call-up.  It was approved as part of the National Defense
Authorization Act for fiscal year 1996 (P.L.  104-106) and shall take
effect on September 30, 1996. 

\10 Deborah R.  Lee, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve
Affairs, Accessibility of Reserve Component Forces (Mar.  3, 1994). 

------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

DOD agreed with this report's findings and conclusions.  The comments
dealt primarily with technical accuracy and clarification.  We have
changed the report, as appropriate, to respond to these comments. 
DOD's comments are shown in appendix III. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :7.1

Our scope and methodology are discussed in appendix II. 

We are sending copies of this report to other interested
congressional committees; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the
Navy, and the Air Force; the Commandant, U.S.  Marine Corps; and the
Director, Office of Management and Budget.  Copies will also be made
available to others on request. 

If you or your staff have any questions on this report, please call
me on (202) 512-4588.  Major contributors to this report are listed
in appendix IV. 

Mark Gebicke
Director, Military Operations
 and Capabilities Issues

=========================================================== Appendix I

--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1

The U.S.  armed forces have seven reserve components: 

  -- Army Reserve,

  -- Army National Guard,

  -- Air Force Reserve,

  -- Air National Guard,

  -- Naval Reserve,

  -- Marine Corps Reserve, and

  -- Coast Guard Reserve. 

The Army, the Air Force, the Naval, and the Marine Corps Reserves
report to their respective service secretaries.  In peacetime, the
Army National Guard and the Air National Guard report to the state
governors, and the Coast Guard Reserve reports to the Secretary of
Transportation.  During wartime, the Coast Guard Reserve comes under
the authority of the Secretary of the Navy and the Army and the Air
National Guards come under the authority of the Army and the Air
Force Secretaries. 

Within the reserve components, reservists may belong to one of three
management categories:  the Ready Reserve, the Retired Reserve, or
the Standby Reserve.  As shown in figure I.1, of the approximately
five million personnel serving in the military at the end of fiscal
year 1995, about one-third belonged to the active component,
one-third to the Ready Reserve, and one-third to the Retired Reserve. 

   Figure I.1:  Total Military
   Personnel (fiscal year 1995)

   (See figure in printed

Note:  Standby Reserve constitutes less than 1 percent of total
military manpower. 

Source:  Reserve Forces Policy Board. 

The Ready Reserve is further subdivided into three groups--the
Selected Reserve, the Individual Ready Reserve, and Inactive National
Guard.  The Selected Reserve has priority over all other reserve
groups because it is considered essential to initial wartime
missions.  The Selected Reserve includes drilling reservists assigned
to reserve units, full-time support personnel, and individual
mobilization augmentees assigned to active component commands.  In
peacetime, these reservists may volunteer for active duty missions or
they may be involuntarily activated under Presidential Selected
Reserve Call-Up (PSRC) authority.  The authorized end-strength of the
Selected Reserve for fiscal year 1996 is about 940,000.  As shown in
figure I.2, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve had the greatest
share of total personnel in the Selected Reserve. 

   Figure I.2:  End Strength of
   Selected Reserve, by Reserve
   Component (fiscal year 1996)

   (See figure in printed


ARNG = Army National Guard
USAR = U.S.  Army Reserve
ANG = Air National Guard
USAFR = U.S.  Air Force Reserve
USMCR = U.S.  Marine Corps Reserve
USCGR = U.S.  Coast Guard Reserve

Source:  National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996. 

The Individual Ready Reserve and Inactive National Guard is a pool of
about 695,000 trained individuals who have previous active duty or
Selected Reserve experience.  These reservists generally have a
remaining service obligation and are subject to mobilization.  These
reservists may volunteer for active duty missions, but may not be
accessed under PSRC authority. 

The Standby Reserve is a small pool of designated key civilian
employees who retain their military affiliation but do not belong to
the Ready Reserve.  The Standby Reservists are not required to train
and are not assigned to units.  These reservists could be mobilized
to fill specific manpower requirements, but are not subject to PSRC. 

The Retired Reserve is comprised of former military personnel who are
receiving retirement pay or who are eligible for retirement pay at
age 60, but have not reached that age.  Retired members who have
completed at least 20 years of active federal service, Regular or
Reserve, may be ordered to active duty by the Secretary of the
appropriate military department at any time. 

--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2

The reserve component forces are considered an integral part of the
U.S.  armed forces and essential to the implementation of U.S. 
defense strategy.  Reductions in the size of the active force and
increased U.S.  participation in peace operations since the end of
the Cold War have increased reliance on the reserve forces, as
illustrated by the inclusion of reserve component units in
warfighting contingency plans and peacetime operations. 

As an integral part of the Total Force,\1 the Reserves and the Guard
provide a broad range of capabilities to the active component.  Army
National Guard and Army Reserve units provide combat, combat support,
and combat service support capability to the active Army.  The Air
National Guard and the Air Force Reserve perform a broad range of
combat and combat support missions, including strategic airlift,
tactical airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and
special operations.  Naval Reserve units participate in most mission
areas of the Navy, including maritime patrol, carrier and helicopter
wings, intelligence units, and medical support units.  The Marine
Corps Reserve provides combat, combat support, and combat service
support.  The reserve components also participate in a wide range of
peacetime support activities, including counterdrug operations,
disaster aid, and host-nation assistance.  In addition to their
federal missions, the Army and the Air National Guards also respond
to domestic emergencies such as natural disasters and domestic

Reservists have traditionally provided a broad range of support to
the active component during peacetime, often supplementing active
forces in nation-building and humanitarian assistance operations
during annual training periods.  Increased participation in peace
operations has placed new demands on the reserve forces.  Peace
operations typically require more support forces than combat
operations.  In these operations, more emphasis is placed on tasks
such as handling refugees, coordinating and distributing humanitarian
aid, serving as a liaison with local officials, and augmenting
command staffs for civil-military matters.  Many of these
capabilities, such as civil affairs and psychological operations,
reside predominantly in the reserve component. 

\1 The Total Force policy was instituted in 1973 to more closely
integrate the active and reserve components of the armed forces. 

--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3

As part of their service obligation, most reservists are required to
participate in prescribed training activities.  Selected Reservists
are required to participate in training to maintain their readiness
and proficiency.  Each year they must participate in at least 48
4-hour inactive duty training periods--the equivalent of 24 8-hour
days, or 12 weekends a year.  Selected Reservists must also
participate in annual training periods of about 2 weeks.  Annual
training is generally performed during one consecutive period. 
However, some reservists, particularly those in the Air Force and the
Navy components, often fulfill the annual training requirement during
several shorter periods. 

The Department of Defense (DOD) authorizes extra inactive duty
training periods for those units and individuals who need to meet
additional training requirements, for aircrew qualification training,
and for unit management activities.  DOD also authorizes active duty
training for full-time attendance at training activities that
primarily benefit the individual, such as specialized skill training,
refresher and proficiency training, and professional development
education programs. 

Members of the Individual Ready Reserve and Inactive National Guard
are not required to meet the same training requirements as Selected
Reservists.  However, they are required to serve 1 day of duty each
year to accomplish screening requirements and may participate
voluntarily in inactive duty training.  Members of the Retired
Reserve are not subject to mandatory training.  However, they are
encouraged to participate voluntarily in order to maintain their

========================================================== Appendix II

To evaluate the accessibility of volunteers, we interviewed officials
at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, service headquarters,
selected major commands, reserve component commands, and other DOD
commands and offices.  We discussed past experiences with obtaining
volunteers for peace operations and obtained their views on factors
affecting accessibility.  We obtained DOD and service policies on the
use of volunteers, procedures for accessing them, and historical
funding data. 

We also sought to obtain data on the use of volunteers for peace
operations between fiscal years 1992 and 1995.  Although we obtained
some data, comprehensive data showing the number of reservists
deployed, their military specialties, the length of deployment, and
the total cost was not readily available from any of the services. 

During our review, we identified relevant studies prepared for DOD. 
These included studies conducted by the Rand Corporation, the
Institute for Defense Analyses, and the Army Research Institute.  We
met with or contacted the individuals responsible for these studies
and obtained documents they prepared for DOD.  Also, we obtained
documents prepared by staff working for the Commission on Roles and
Missions of the Armed Forces concerning peace operations and the
reserve components. 

We obtained information from the following Washington, D.C., area,

  -- Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve
     Affairs; Director for Operational Plans and Interoperability,
     Joint Staff; and the National Committee for Employer Support of
     the Guard and Reserve;

  -- Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans and the Army
     Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel;

  -- Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for
     Reserve Affairs, the Office of Air Force Reserve, the Air Force
     Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, and the Air Force Deputy
     Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations;

  -- Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and
     Reserve Affairs and the Bureau of Naval Personnel;

  -- Reserve Affairs Division, Headquarters, U.S.  Marine Corps; and

  -- National Guard Bureau, the Air National Guard Readiness Center,
     and the Army National Guard Readiness Center. 

We visited the following commands:  U.S.  Army Reserve Command,
Atlanta, Georgia; Air Force Reserve, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia;
Naval Reserve Command and Marine Reserve Force, New Orleans,
Louisiana.; and U.S.  Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida.  In
addition, we contacted the following commands:  U.S.  Army Forces
Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia; U.S.  Army Special Operations
Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Air Mobility Command, Scott Air
Force Base, Illinois; and U.S.  Atlantic Command and the Navy's
Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia. 

Finally, we met with officials of the National Guard Association of
the United States, the Reserve Officers Association, and the Enlisted
Association of the National Guard. 

We performed our work between April 1995 and March 1996 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix III
========================================================== Appendix II

========================================================== Appendix IV


Sharon A.  Cekala
Valeria G.  Gist
Thomas W.  Gosling
Carolyn S.  Blocker


Penney M.  Harwell
Hugh F.  Reynolds

*** End of document. ***