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US Army Reserve

United States Army Reserve

Seal of the U.S. Army Reserve
Active 1908–present
Country  United States of America
Branch  United States Army
Size 205,000 reserve[1]
Part of U.S. Department of the Army
Garrison/HQ Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S.
Commanders
Current
commander
LTG Jeffrey W. Talley

The United States Army Reserve (USAR) is the federal reserve force of the United States Army. Together, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard constitute the army element of the Reserve components of the United States armed forces.

In 1908 Congress created the Medical Reserve Corps, the official predecessor of the Army Reserve.[2] After the First World War, under the National Defense Act on 4 June 1920, Congress reorganized the U.S. land forces by authorizing a Regular Army, a National Guard, and an Organized Reserve (Officers Reserve Corps and Enlisted Reserve Corps) of unrestricted size, which later became the Army Reserve.[3] This organization would last into the 1950s, providing a peacetime pool of trained Army Reserve officers and enlisted men for use in war. The ORC included the Officers’ Reserve Corps, Enlisted Reserve Corps and Reserve Officers Training Corps. The Organized Reserves were redesignated 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps. Recognizing the importance of the Organized Reserve to the World War II effort, Congress authorized retirement and drill pay for the first time in 1948.

While the Korean War was still underway, Congress began making significant changes in the structure and role of the Army Reserve. These changes transformed the Organized Reserve into the United States Army Reserve, seemingly from 9 July 1952.[4] This new organization was divided into a Ready Reserve, Standby Reserve, and Retired Reserve. Army Reserve units were authorized twenty-four inactive duty training days a year and up to seventeen days of active duty (called annual training).

Reserve service today

Reserve soldiers perform only part-time duties as opposed to full-time (active duty) soldiers, but rotate through mobilizations to full-time duty. When not on active duty, reserve soldiers typically perform training/service one weekend per month, currently referred to as Battle Assembly, and for two continuous weeks at some time during the year referred to as Annual Training (AT). Many reserve soldiers are organized into Army Reserve troop program units (TPU), while others serve in active Army units as Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMA), or are in non-drilling control groups of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Reserve Soldiers may also serve on active duty in support of the US Army Reserve (USAR) in an Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) status.

All United States Army soldiers sign an initial eight-year service contract upon entry into the military. Typically, the contract specifies that some of the service will be in the Regular Army (also called Active Component/AC) for two, three, or four years; with the remaining obligation served in the Reserve Component (RC). Some Soldiers elect to sign contracts specifying that all eight years be served in the RC.

Soldiers entering directly into the U.S. Army Reserve nevertheless spend a period of initial active duty (approximately five months depending upon Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)) for basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT). All U.S. Army Reserve soldiers are subject to mobilization throughout the term of their enlistment. Soldiers who, after completing the AC portion of their enlistment contract choose not to re-enlist on active duty, are automatically transferred to the RC to complete the remainder of their Statutory Obligation (eight-year service total) and may be served in a drilling Troop Program Unit (TPU), Individual mobilization Augmentee (IMA), or Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) status.

Commissioned officers, Warrant Officers, and Non-commissioned officers of the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) and above are considered to be on indefinite status if they have more than 10 years of service. (This no longer applies to reenlist with an "Indefinite" status as part of the Army Reserve. Memo is dated 20080110 – It is not retroactive.)

The Army Reserve was composed of 205,000 soldiers as of 2009.[5]

Current leadership

On 9 June 2012, Lieutenant General Jeffrey W. Talley became the 32nd Chief of Army Reserve, and Commanding General, United States Army Reserve Command (USARC).[6]

On 2 November 2012, Command Sergeant Major James Lambert was sworn in as the Interim Command Sergeant Major of the Army Reserve, serving as the Chief of the Army Reserve's senior advisor on all enlisted soldier matters, particularly areas affecting training, leader development, mobilization, employer support, family readiness and support, and quality of life.[7]

Importance to the active army

In the early 1980s, Army Reserve soldiers constituted the following numbers in US Army units:[8]

  • 100% of training divisions, brigades, and railway units
  • 97% of civil affairs units
  • 89% of psychological operations units
  • 85% of smoke generator companies
  • 78% of Petrol/Oil/Lubricant (POL) supply companies
  • 62% of Army hospitals
  • 61% of terminal companies
  • 59% of the supply and service capability of the Army
  • 51% of ammunition companies
  • 43% of airborne pathfinder units
  • 43% of watercraft companies
  • 42% of chemical decontamination units
  • 38% of combat support aviation companies
  • 26% of combat engineer battalions
  • 25% of Special Forces Groups
  • smaller percentages of other units and formations such as combat brigades and tank battalions


In 1980, the peacetime USAR chain of command was overlaid with a wartime trace. In an expansion of the roundout and affiliation programs begun ten years earlier, CAPSTONE purported to align every Army Reserve unit with the active and reserve component units with which they were anticipated to deploy.[9] Units maintained lines of communication with the units – often hundreds or thousands of miles away in peacetime – who would presumably serve above or below them in the event of mobilization. This communication, in some cases, extended to coordinated annual training opportunities.

Despite the commonly held belief that CAPSTONE traces were set in stone, the process of selecting units to mobilize and deploy in 1990 and 1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm largely ignored CAPSTONE.

In the post-Cold War draw-down, all of the Army Reserve's combat units were disbanded, except the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment. This meant the disestablishment of the three remaining Army Reserve fighting brigades: the 157th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Separate) of Pennsylvania, the 187th Infantry Brigade (Separate) of Massachusetts, and the 205th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light) of Minnesota. Many of the Army Reserve training divisions were realigned as institutional training divisions.

With the Army National Guard providing reserve component combat formations and related combat support units, the Army Reserve is configured to provide combat support, combat service support, peacekeeping, nation-building and civil support capability. With roughly twenty percent of the Army's organized units and 5.3 percent of the Army's budget, the Army Reserve provides about half of the Army's combat support and a quarter of the Army's mobilization base expansion capability.


In 2008, the Army Reserve contains the following percentages of the Army's units of each category:

In fiscal years 2007–2009, the Army Reserve was realigned into a functional command structure. The majority of Army Reserve units are now assigned to operational and functional commands. Operational commands are deployable elements which command deployable units of the same or similar capabilities regardless of peacetime geographic location. For instance, the 377th Sustainment Command (Theater) commands all Army Reserve sustainment units, while the 11th Aviation Command commands all Army Reserve aviation assets. Likewise, functional commands are responsible for command of units of the same or similar capabilities regardless of peacetime geographic location, but are not, as a headquarters, deployable.

The training structure has been transformed in order to streamline command and control. Instead of multiple training divisions, each with its own geographic area of responsibility, the new structure features four training commands responsible for specific categories of training throughout the United States. Each command is configured for either initial entry training, advanced individual training schools, leader development or battle command training. These commands train soldiers of the Army Reserve, Army National Guard and the active component, through formal classroom and “hands on” training. Two training support commands under the First United States Army, designated First Army East and First Army West, provide customized, realistic unit-specific and operation-specific training. Training Support Commands (TSC) plan, conduct and evaluate training exercises for Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard units. TSC are organized under the United States First Army into two subordinate units.

As a part of this realignment, most of the regional readiness commands were eliminated, leaving only seven globally. These were redesignated "[regional, civil or mission] support commands"; the four in the Continental United States being "regional"; the geography for which each regional support command increased significantly, but all of the support commands were stripped of their former command and control authority over units in their respective territories. Instead, the support commands provide base operations and administrative support to Army Reserve units within their geographic region.

Current formations and units

Headquarters Commands

The Pentagon, Washington, DC

OCAR provides the Chief, Army Reserve (CAR) with a staff of functional advisors who develop and execute Army Reserve plans, policies and programs, plus administer Army Reserve personnel, operations and funding.[10] The CAR is responsible for plans, policies and programs affecting all Army Reserve Soldiers, including those who report directly to the Army. OCAR is composed of specialized groups that advise and support the CAR on a wide variety of issues.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Through USARC, the CAR commands all Army Reserve units. USARC is responsible for the staffing, training, management and deployment of its units to ensure their readiness for Army missions. The Army Reserve consists of three main categories of units: operational and functional, support, and training. Due to Base Realignment and Closure Act, the headquarters of USAR has moved to Ft. Bragg.

Operational and Functional Commands

Support Commands

Training Commands, Institutional

Training Support Commands

Support Brigades

Special Units

Historic Organizations (Retired)

Other components

The Army of the United States is the official name for the conscripted force of the Army that may be raised at the discretion of the United States Congress, often at time of war or mobilization for war. The last use of the Army of the United States was in 1974.

See also

References

Notes

External links

  • U.S. Army Reserve
    • Full listings of Reserve units
  • Army Reserve
  • US Army Reserve Shooting Team

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