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United States Marine Corps Reserve Structure
CSC 1993
SUBJECT AREA - Manpower
                         EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
TITLE:   United States Marine Corps Reserve Structure
AUTHOR:  Major Karim Shihata
THESIS:  For the Marine Corps, the problem is that current SMCR
organization is not conducive to selective early activation of
reserve units in support of crises or contingency operations.
The solution to this problem is to integrate the SMCR into the
active force structure providing a systematic means for selective
early activation of reserve units.
BACKGROUND:  In operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Restore
Hope reserves were used prior to or without a presidential call-
up.  Yet within the Marine Corps, there is no system in place to
facilitate determination of what capability to activate, which
units to use, or where to assign the units once activated.  The
SMCR's structure duplicates the active force structure and
operates independently from the active forces during peacetime.
The current system is not cost effective, does not facilitate
rapid, efficient mobilization, and does not provide the forces
most needed to reinforce the active forces.
RECOMMENDATION:  There are three policy changes that will
significantly improve the reinforcement capability of the SMCR.
First, integrating SMCR units into the active force at the lowest
possible level.  Second, modifying Title 10 of the U.S. Code to
allow more flexibility in the use of SMCR forces to meet
peacetime, contingency, and crisis response reinforcement
missions.  Third, changing the composition of the SMCR to enhance
MAGTF capabilities rather than duplicate MAGTF functions.
                             OUTLINE
Thesis.  The planned force reductions inherent in the base force
concept will cause the active forces to depend more heavily on
reserve components.  For the Marine Corps, the problem_is that
current SMCR organization and training is not conducive to
selective early activation of reserve units in support of crises
or contingency operations._The solution to this problem is to
integrate the SMCR into the active force structure providing a
systematic means for selective early activation of reserve units.
I.    Introduction
      A.   USMCR structure
      B.   USMC mission as part of new national military
           strategy
           1.  Presence, forward deployment, crisis response
           2.  Impact of force reduction on mission capability
II.   Thesis statement paragraph
III.  Major points supporting thesis statement - Identify problem
      A.   Hollow active force created by reductions
      B.   Reliance on reserves is only viable alternative
      C.   SMCR structure does not support USMC missions
IV.   Solution
      A.   Conceptual basis for organization
           1.  Vertical and horizontal integration
           2.  Reinforcement role rather than duplicate MAGTF
           3.  Efficiency - cost effective - reduce requirement
               for active force structure dedicated to SMCR
               management
           4.  Add muscle not fat to deployed MAGTFs
      B.   Reorganization concept
           1.  Three basic changes required
               (a).   Maximum integration with active forces
               (b).   Modify title 10 of the US Code
               (c).   Focus SMCR organization on reinforcement
                      not duplication
           2.  Operational impact of reorganization
           3.  Force structure impact of reorganization
V.    Conclusion
          UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE STRUCTURE
The Marine Corps Reserve structure is divided into the Selected
Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) and the Individual Ready Reserve
(IRR).  Composed of a division, wing, and force service support
group (FSSG), the SMCR is essentially a mirror image of the
active Marine Corps structure.   This mirror image Marine air
ground task force (MAGTF) structure of the SMCR, designed for a
national military strategy focused on the Cold War Soviet threat,
is not the optimum structure to support current and anticipated
Marine Corps missions.
    The 1992 national military strategy requires balanced,
flexible forces capable of rapid response to crises worldwide.
This rapid response, ranging from nation building to conventional
combat, may not be possible under the new base force structure
concept. The planned force reductions inherent in the base force
concept will cause the active forces to depend more heavily on
reserve components.  For the Marine Corps, the problem is that
current SMCR organization is not conducive to selective early
activation of reserve units in support of crises or contingency
operations. The solution to this problem is to integrate the SMCR
into the active force structure providing a systematic means for
selective early activation of reserve units.
    The current SMCR structure does not support the specified and
implied tasks of the Marine Corps derived from the national
military strategy because the forward presence and rapid response
missions are not reinforced adequately by a reserve force which
duplicates the capabilities within the active forces, and whose
organization, operations, and training are functionally
autonomous from the active force.  For the purposes of this paper
SMCR structure includes the MAGTF structure itself, the SMCR
training relationship with active forces, and the deployment and
employment practices and procedures of the SMCR.
    There are two main reasons why the SMCR organization is
critically important to the Marine Corps.  First, despite
official statements to the contrary, the Marine Corps is creating
a hollow active force.   Second, the reduced combat power
enherent in a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) causes a greater
reliance on reserve forces, making their organization and
training more critical than ever before to the success of the
whole Marine Corps.
    With respect to the creation of a hollow force, it is
abundantly clear that the budget cutting is producing just the
type of force everyone claims to want to avoid.  For example,
from 1989 to the present, artillery strength within the active
forces declined by 47.1 percent.  Third Marine Division has only
four infantry battalions, no tanks, no light armored vehicles,
and only two battalions of artillery.  Third FSSG and 1st Marine
Air wing also have substantially reduced capabilities.
First Marine Division deactivated an entire tank battalion, and
the combined arms regiment (CAR) only exists on paper.  The
Marine divisions, wings, and FSSGs that deployed to Desert Storm
no longer exist.
    Reductions in the combat power of its major subordinate
commands (MSCs) causes the MEF to no longer have the same
fighting capability that it had just 24 months ago.  In order to
beef-up the MEF's combat strength reinforcement or augmentation
is required.  During Desert Storm all of I MEF's MSCs were
reinforced.  During operation Restore Hope the Command Element
was reinforced from throughout the active Marine Corps and by
individual reservists.  These two operations represent the polar
ends of the spectrum of conflict into which a MEF might be
deployed, yet each one required both regular and reserve
augmentation.  Using these two most recent MEF deployments as a
basis for conclusions about future MEF deployments, it is
reasonable to assume that most or all future MEF deployments will
require augmentation or reinforcement.
    The reduced combat power inherent in a MEF means that the
Marine Corps must either redefine what constitutes a MEF and what
its capabilities are, or develop an effective reinforcement plan
to supplement the combat power of the MEF. Given a national
command structure that ear-marks specific active forces for
particular regional contingencies, the Marine Corps' ability to
reinforce a MEF from other active forces may be limited.
In that case, the SMCR may be both the best and the only
reinforcement option.  If the Marine Corps does not acknowledge
the smaller combat capabilities in the active force MEF
structure, then it must accept the reality that some portion of
the MEF's combat power must come from the SMCR.
    Current SMCR structure is autonomous from the active force
structure and organized using the MAGTF model.  Even though
current plans do not envision the deployment of SMCR forces as a
reserve MAGTF, the SMCR continues to organize, train, and equip
itself as if that were the case. Examples of this are the reserve
combined arms exercise program; training deployments by division,
wing, and regimental headquarters; mobilization exercises and
combat readiness evaluations conducted for those same units; and
equipment purchases intended for command and control by regiment,
division, and wing level SMCR headquarters.
    The practical consequence of this organizational structure
and method of operation is a lack of horizontal and vertical
integration with the active forces in all functional areas.
The purpose of a MAGTF is to create the most killing power
possible from a given number and type of combat forces.  To
create that killing power all parts of the MAGTF are incorporated
into a whole, they are integrated.  Each part functions in
cooperation with the other like the muscles of an atheletes body.
The brain controls the actions of all the muscles and moves them
so they work in harmony with each other.  Each muscle must do its
job in conjunction with others, it must work in harmony with the
rest of the body neither dominating or lagging behind the other
functions.  Each muscle is horizontally and vertically integrated
into the whole.  Similiarly, to produce the desired killing power
all the elements of a MAGTF must function smoothly in conjunction
with one another.  In the body, if more speed or power is needed
the answer is to add more muscle not additional brain.
In the MAGTF, an increase in killing power is created by adding
more fighting units that integrate into the force to produce the
desired increase.  Thus, it is logical that the SMCR's
reinforcement role should focus on creating more muscle to
support an already functioning brain.  To produce the desired
killing power the muscle provided by the SMCR must be thoroughly
integrated into the deployed MEF.
    Lack of integration leads to inefficient mobilization and
deployment practices.  The isolation of the reserve component
from the active component during peacetime training and
operations produced a system of ad hoc mobilization during Desert
Storm.  That ad hoc system affected the entire mobilization
process.  Political considerations aside, the decision was made
to activate units at the battery, battalion, and squadron level.
These units were then more or less evenly distributed on a radom
basis among active duty units.  None of the SMCR units had
previously established relationships with the headquarters to
which they were assigned.  There was no commonality of standard
operating procedures, no knowledge on either parties part with
respect to personel or equipment status, and no established
procedures for integration of the reserve units into the active
force structure.  While the units were absorbed into the active
forces, successfully deployed to the theatre of operations, and
effectively used in combat, this success was largely due to
individual initiative and the generous amount of time available,
generally about 90 days, for the units to activate, deploy to the
theatre of operations, and prepare for combat.
    There are three policy changes that will significantly
improve the reinforcement capability of the SMCR.  First,
integrating SMCR units into the active force at the lowest
possible level.  Second, modifying Title 10 of the U.S. Code to
allow more flexibility in the use of SMCR forces to meet
peacetime, contingency, and crisis response reinforcement
missions.  Third, changing the composition of the SMCR to enhance
MAGTF capabilities rather than duplicate MAGTF functions.
    The optimum SMCR structure to support the reinforcement role
of the Marine Corps reserve is to integrate the SMCR into the
active forces at the lowest level possible, creating a cohesive
team that functions effectively throughout the spectrum of
conflict.   To accomplish this, the SMCR structure and function
must change. The most basic change is to assign SMCR units to
active commands at the battery, company, and squadron levels.
This peacetime assignment and integration of SMCR units to active
headquarters produces force structure savings, enhanced training
opportunities, op-tempo reductions, and horizontal and vertical
integration between regular and reserve forces.
    Assigning the SMCR headquarters functions to active force
headquarters dramatically reduces the active forces committed to
supporting the SMCR.   Reducing the number of active personnel
supporting the reserve establishment translates into higher
manning levels within the Fleet Marine Forces and into a base
force with less overhead and more combat power for the number of
people on active duty.  Using the artillery as an example,
adding one reserve battery to an active battalion brings each
battalion to a total strength of four batteries.  During the
1980s battalions controlled as many as six firing batteries;
thus, adding a reserve battery to their table of organization
should not exceed their structural ability to manage
equipment and personnel assets.  With reserve augmentation at the
battalion, regimental, division, and wing levels all additional
command and control responsibilities resulting from the
integration of the SMCR units with active forces can be
accomplished more efficiently within the active establishment
than with a separate staff in a remote location.
    Integrating active and reserve components under a single
commander enhances training opportunities for both components.
The reservists will have better access to the regular community
allowing them to maintain currency in their occupational
specialties.  The reservists, with their longer tenure within a
unit, will lend continuity to the parent command.   Access to
major exercises will improve reserve training.
The development of standard operating procedures and a person to
person working relationship between the commanders and principal
staff officers will eliminate most or all the work-up time
required for reservists prior to deployment.
    Op-tempo can be reduced by using SMCR units to participate in
major exercises, conduct operations such as counter-nartcotic
survellience, participate in short duration deployments as part
of the forward presence mission, and fill contingency roles that
may be appropriate to the specific capabilities and limitations
of particular reserve units.   Integrating SMCR units at the
lowest possible level takes advantage of the generally high
level of individual and small unit proficiency in the SMCR, and
eliminates the command and control functions that are difficult
to maintain at an acceptable level of proficiency.   Including
the SMCR units in initial plan development rather than as an
afterthought produces a coherent force package that effectively
uses all the capabilities of the total force.
    Horizontal and vertical integration of the active and reserve
forces is achieved through common standard operating procedures.
The reserve units are included in deployment plans in the same
manner as the regular units.   For employment purposes,
operational procedures are practiced and standardized in advance.
The result is a reserve unit that trains with its wartime parent
headquarters, understands and follows the tactical operating
procedures employed by that parent unit, knows when and under
what circumstances it may be called to active duty, and knows all
the specific actions, including times and locations for
deployment actions to be taken in the event of activation.  The
chain of command and required actions are clear. The result is
improved performance at a lower cost.
    To demonstrate the proposed structure, an artillery regiment
under the new system is displayed graphically below.
Eight reserve batteries are added to an active regiment.   One
reserve battery for each of the four battalions that presently
comprise the regiment, and one battalion of four reserve
batteries under a reconstituted regular battalion headquarters.
                     10 MARINES
1/10          2/10           3/10          4/10           5/10
 Reg. Btry     Reg. Btry      Reg. Btry    Res. Brty       Reg.
 Reg. Btry     Reg. Btry      Reg. Btry    Res. Brty       Reg.
 Reg. Btry     Reg. Btry      Reg. Btry    Res. Brty       Reg.
 Res. Btry     Res. Btry      Res. Btry    Res. Brty       Res.
The savings achieved by the above organization include three
battalion staffs, one regimental staff, the active force support
personnel associated with each of those staffs, the equipment
dedicated to support the training, deployment, and employment of
those units, and the facilities costs related to each of those
units.
    A second way to enhance SMCR structure and training is to
modify Title 10 of the US code as it applies to the training and
activation of SMCR units.  Title 10 currently calls for 48 drills
and 14 days of active duty per year.  Drills are conducted
monthly with the two week period of active duty scheduled
annually.  That system reduces the SMCR's flexibility and their
ability to merge their training with active force training.  The
law should be changed to allow more flexible scheduling; for
example, the law might be rephrased to allow up to 30 days of
active duty with a proportionate reduction in monthly drills. If
improving SMCR training and scheduling allows reserve units to
meet certain active force commitments the benefits in terms of
op-tempo reduction, cost savings, and SMCR training could be
substantial.
    The SMCR's MAGTF structure does not offer the best
reinforcement package because it does not address shortages that
exist in the active forces.  A more profitable approach would be
to identify critical shortfalls within the active MAGTFs and
focus on developing those capabilities within the SMCR.  For
example, a recurring theme in after action reports and
discussions throughout the Marine Corps is the limited capability
to move supplies from the beachhead or port to the forward units.
The larger the force employed in an operation the more acute this
problem becomes.  Rather than pile more like kind forces onto a
deployed MEF, specific capabilities should be reinforced to
produce the total force that will accomplish the mission.
Using the above example, a truck company may be more important to
activate than a rifle company.  Through a thorough analysis and
decision making process it is possible to identify most of the
potential shortfalls and build a SMCR structure based on those
identified areas.
    To summarize, the present and planned reductions in budget
and structure seriously degrade the combat power of the active
forces causing increased reliance on reserve forces.  The SMCR
represents a cost-effective way to bolster that combat power.
However, the present SMCR structure does not complement the
active component structure, or provide for the selective
activation of reserve forces and their integration into the
active forces required for effective support of crises or
contingency operations as envisioned by the national military
strategy.  In operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Restore
Hope reserves were used prior to or without a presidential call-
up.  Yet within the Marine Corps, there is no system in place to
facilitate determination of what capability to activate, which
units to use, or where to assign the units once activated.  The
solution is to organize in a manner that supports the way the
Marine Corps plans to deploy and fight.   There should be a
seamless transition from peace to war.   By integrating the SMCR
into the active force at the lowest possible level, they
participate in and are available for use during all phases of
planning; however, the national command authorities still retain
the ability to employ or not to employ reserves as they deem
appropriate.  Thus, integration saves force structure, is cheaper
to operate, enhances combat power more effectively than the
current system, builds a better trained and coordinated total
force, and provides more flexibility at all levels of command
than the old system.
                          BIBLIOGRAPHY
1.  Fogleman, R.R. Gen USAF  "Views of the Commander-in-Chief
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2.  Hayden, H.J. LtCol. USMC  "Sounds of Battle Around the
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3.  Hellere, C.E. Col. USA  "A Cadre System for the US Army."
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4.  Jeremiah, D.E. Adm  "In Singling Out Winners of Gulf War,
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5.  Laughlin, G. Representative  "With Major Cuts Pending, Close
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6.  Montgomery, G.V. Representative  "Greater Reliance on
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7.  U.S. Marine Corps.  The Role of the Marine Corps in the
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8.  U.S. Marine Corps.  "Desert Shield/Desert Storm"
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      06/12/91 by JLJ
9.  The White House.  National Security Strategy of the United
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