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US Army Reserve

Wherever the Army commits forces in the world - Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Philippines, Iraq - soldiers in the Army Reserve are an integral part, providing critical support, force protection and augmentation. No longer a "force in reserve," the Army Reserve is a full partner across a broad spectrum of operations, from major combat operations to homeland defense, from peacekeeping to humanitarian missions. The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and the Global War on Terrorism have only intensified the pace of operations for the Army Reserve, reinforcing the need for constant readiness and speedy, flexible mobilization.

The U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) is responsible for Troop Program Unit (TPU) soldiers, while the U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Command manages Individual Ready Reserve [IRR] and Individual Mobilization Augmentee [IMA] soldiers. Most US Army Reserve units are corps and theater level assets. Within the total force structure, US Army Reserve units are affiliated with Active Component (AC) units. They are "called up" by specialty to complement or assist their AC units.

In September 2003 Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, chief of the U.S. Army Reserve, stated that the Army Reserve is implementing a transformation plan to create a better balance between answering the call to duty and taking care of Army Reserve soldiers and their families. The intent is to build a rotational force, so that the Army does not have to mobilize an Army Reserve soldier for more than a nine- to 12-month period in a five- to six-year window. The Reserve will add soldiers in high-demand jobs, lessening the burden on those already in these fields and providing a more predictable deployment routine to soldiers, their families and their employers. It is a plan that will provide greater security for the country. The Reserve is reengineering the mobilization process to make it more streamlined; refocusing regional commands to better support soldiers and their families; restructuring units for increased relevance; improving human resources operations; and improving the pool of skilled soldier volunteers to combatant commanders.

The Federal Reserve Restructuring Initiative (FRRI) is synchronized with the Army's Transformation Campaign Plan and addresses people, readiness and transformation. The six Reserve Component Imperatives are:

  • 1. Re-engineer the Mobilization Process. This will remove impediments between the time competent legal authority authorizes mobilization and the time soldiers arrive at the place they are needed.
  • 2. Transform Army Reserve Command and Control. This will appropriately focus efforts on soldier readiness, unit readiness, and shortened mobilization timelines.
  • 3. Remove Unready Units. This will eliminate hollow over-structure and enhance readiness by resourcing a smaller, more focused, high demand, and capable force manned and organized at ALO-1.
  • 4. Implement Human Resources Life Cycle Management. This will ensure "Once a Soldier, always a Soldier" is a statement of fact, not just a desire for Army Reserve soldiers.
  • 5. Build a Rotational Base in the Force. This will facilitate Army Reserve engagement in a wide variety of Army operations, provide units with operational expertise, provide OPTEMPO relief for the Active Army, impart a sense of predictability for Soldiers, and even out the work load across the force.
  • 6. Re-engineer Individual Capabilities. This will ensure the support provided the Active Army is based, not on "Cold War" mobilization TDAs, but instead built to meet World-wide Individual Augmentation System (WIAS).

The Readiness Command Restructuring (RCR) initiative and Federal Reserve Restructuring Initiative (FRRI) lend greater flexibility to efforts that enhance responsiveness to America's foreign and domestic protection needs. Regional Readiness Commands will focus on individual and unit readiness, leader development, training and growth which will demand a new personnel system that achieves holistic life-cycle management for Army Reserve Soldiers. The FRRI end-state envisions an Army Reserve force that is fully manned, equipped, and resourced; a force that is flexible and adaptable to change; and a force of ready, relevant units available for worldwide deployment and capable of split-based operations, reach back and information superiority. The plan to reach this end state is based upon the simultaneous pursuit of six imperatives: reengineer the mobilization process; transform command and control; restructure unit; improve human resource; build a rotational-based force; and improve individual support to combatant commanders.

Due to the essential ready state required of reserve forces, the Army Reserve instituted a new initiative called the Trainees, Transients, Holdees and Students [TTHS] account. The TTHS account increases unit readiness by removing non-deployable soldiers from Troop Program Unit (TPU) force structure positions. It produces Duty Military Occupational Skill Qualified (DMOSQ) soldiers available for deployment as needed to fulfill the Army Reserve's missions. Soldiers who are non-DMOSQ or otherwise non-deployable are no longer be assigned to units. Instead, they will be assigned to the TTHS account. Soldiers in the TTHS account are no longer be the responsibility of individual units, but will be managed by TTHS Managers at the Regional Readiness Command (RRC) level. Soldiers continue to drill, but the training may be with a different unit. Once soldiers are DMOSQ and deployable, they are assigned to their parent or gaining unit. The goal is to have soldiers transitioned out of TTHS as quickly as possible. The target timeframe is less than 180 days. Soldiers benefit in three ways: First, soldiers will no longer be assigned to positions they are not trained to perform. Second, they will have an advocate (TTHS Manager) to help them solve issues, complete paperwork, and get the training they need to be DMOSQ. Third, soldiers will be relieved of unit responsibilities, allowing them to concentrate on their training.

Army Reserve Organization

Three Army Reserve management cells support the Total Army Mission. In Washington, at the Pentagon, the Office of the Chief Army Reserve (OCAR) is part of the Department of the Army (DA) staff. The Chief, Army Reserve (CAR) is advisor to the Army Chief of Staff on USAR matters and serves as the Commander of the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC). OCAR develops and executes Army Reserve plans, policies and programs, administers USAR personnel, operations and construction funds and commands the Army Reserve Personnel Command (AR-PERSCOM).

In Saint Louis, the Army Reserve Personnel Command (AR-PERSCOM), a field operating agency of OCAR, provides career management and training to approximately 374,000 soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). AR-PERSCOM also manages the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) program and the Standby Reserve and Retired Reserve, which includes retirees from the National Guard and Active Army.

The United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) is located in Atlanta. There is one Army Reserve Command and two Regional Support Commands outside the continental United States. The USARC commands all continental United States (CONUS) Army Reserve units. Operational command and control of civil affairs and psychological operations units, which previously fell under the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC), was transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve in late May 2006. The move was aimed at enabling the Army to maximize the effectiveness of these forces by reducing the number of coordinating headquarters, enabling closer and more direct care for the Army Reserve Soldiers and family members assigned to these units. The realignment impacted 9,000 Army Reserve Soldiers located in 25 states.

The USARC reorganized its command and control structure to bring it in line with the new end strength, to enhance its ability to train and mobilize Army Reserve units and to reflect its expertise in combat support and combat service support functions. The new structure consists of 11 Regional Support Commands (RSC), three Regional Support Groups (RSG) and 37 specialized commands. The RSCs command, control and support units in a geographical area. The others command, control and support units in specific functions, such as medical, logistics, engineer and training.

Army Reserve Composition

Force Composition TableThe Army Reserve is comprised of three groups of Soldiers-the Selected Reserve, the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and the Retired Reserve. The Chief, Army Reserve, and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command, oversees more than 205,000 Army Reserve soldiers in the Selected Reserve and another 180,000 in the Individual Ready Reserve and an annual budget of nearly $4.2 billion. In total, there are more than one million Army Reserve Soldiers ready to serve the nation when called upon by the President.

Selected Reserve
The Selected Reserve [Selres] is the most readily available group of Army Reserve Soldiers. The Selected Reserve is comprised of Troop Program Units (TPUs), Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) Soldiers and Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs). In the event of an emergency, all members of the Selected Reserve can be mobilized. Selected Reserve is comprised of: Reserve/Guard Units: Unit members are Guard/Reserve personnel assigned to Reserve organizations, and perform in drill periods & annual training as a minimum Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs): Reserve personnel assigned to Active component organizations; perform in drill periods and annual training. Active Guard/Reserve (AGR): Reserve personnel on full-time active duty or full-time National Guard duty to provide support to the Reserve Components. All Members of the Selected Reserve are in an active status. --10 USC 10143

Troop Program Units (TPUs)
TPUs are the heart and soul of the Army Reserve. These men and women typically train on selected weekends and perform annual training. Troop Program Unit (TPU) soldiers work part-time and receive pay only when they perform duty. Pay is by exception: when a TPU soldier performs duty, he/she submits paperwork and the system manually inputs the pay. The Unit Administrator (UA) usually handles a TPU soldier's pay. The UA submits drills, duty orders, travel and other administrative change documents to the pay account of the soldier's servicing Reserve Component Pay Support Office (RCPSO). The only time that the UA does not do the TPU soldier's pay is when the soldier is performing duty of 30 days or more (this includes travel time) and the duty location has a local finance office. In this case, the soldier must report to the local finance office for pay processing.

Active Guard Reserve (AGR)
AGR Soldiers serve full-time on Active Duty in units and organizations of the Army Reserve, or that directly support the Army Reserve. The Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program supports and enhances the mobilization readiness of the Army Reserve. AGR soldiers serve full time and enjoy the same benefits as Regular Army soldiers, including full commissary and Post Exchange privileges, medical care for themselves and their immediate family, and the opportunity for immediate retirement after 20 years of active federal service. Soldiers on AGR duty serve worldwide in positions that directly support the Army Reserve.

The AGR Program is open to soldiers serving in the Army Reserve, National Guard and Regular Army. To gain eligibility for entrance into the AGR Program, soldiers in the Regular Army and National Guard must be discharged from their component and accessioned into the Army Reserve. Soldiers must be in the grades of Specialist through Sergeant First Class, Warrant Officer One through Chief Warrant Officer Four, or Second Lieutenant through Major.

The Chief, Army Reserve considers eligible Active Guard Reserve (AGR) officers for extension beyond 20 years of active federal service (AFS). By extending AGR officers beyond 20 years AFS, the Army Reserve will be able to take advantage of the talents and experience of officers who until now, for the most part, have had to leave the AGR Program upon reaching 20 years AFS. Members of the AGR Program and other full-time support soldiers and civilians are essential to the Army Reserve's ability to maintain its current high readiness levels and to increasing those levels even more.

Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMA)
The Army Reserve's IMAs are assigned to high-level headquarters where they would serve if mobilized. Most IMAs train annually for two weeks. An Individual Mobilization Augmentee is an individual reservist attending drills who receives training and is preassigned to an active component organization, a Selective Service System, or a Federal Emergency Management Agency billet that must be filled on, or shortly after, mobilization. Individual mobilization augmentees train on a part-time basis with these organizations to prepare for mobilization. Inactive duty training for individual mobilization augmentees is decided by component policy and can vary from 0 to 48 drills a year.

Standby Reserve
Reserve personnel who maintain their military affiliation without being in the Ready Reserve (10 USC 10151) Subject to involuntary active duty under full mobilization (10 USC 12301a) Status Lists in the Standby Reserve: Active Status List: Reservists assigned to Standby Reserve for temporary hardship or other cogent reasons, or who have been identified as "key employees" in their civilian position. Inactive Status List: Reservists not required to remain in an active program, and who maintain their Reserve affiliation in a non-participating status.

Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)
Members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) are trained Soldiers who may be called upon, if needed, to replace Soldiers in Active Duty and Army Reserve units. Many of the Soldiers in the IRR have recently left Active Duty and still have an Army Reserve commitment. Others have chosen to remain Active as Army Reserve Soldiers but not as a unit member or IMA.

Retired Reserve

The Retired Reserve consists of approximately 715,000 Retired Soldiers from the Army (Active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard) who remain part of the Army Reserve family. All Reserve officers and enlisted personnel who receive pay on the basis of active duty and/or reserve service All Reserve officers and enlisted personnel who are otherwise eligible for retired pay but are not yet age 60, have not elected discharge, and are not voluntary members of the Ready or Standby Reserve Retired Reservists may be ordered to active duty whenever required as determined by the Secretary of the Military Department (10 USC 688)

In spite of the high utilization rate, the USAR has the lowest percentage of full-time support (FTS) positions among the reserve components: only 9 percent of the Selected Reserve are in FTS positions. By comparison, FTS levels are at 13.3 percent for the Army National Guard, 26.1 percent for the Naval Reserve, 17.2 percent for the Marine Corps Reserve, 31.5 percent for the Air National Guard, and 23.1 percent for the Air Force Reserve.

The Army Reserve is made up primarily of Combat Service Support units. It has only one combat line unit and only two attack helicopter battalions, but more than 70 percent of all medical units in the Army of the United States are reserve units. The Army Reserve provides the majority to the Army's Echelon Above Division (EAD) combat service support as well as a significant portion of the combat support. Using a tiered resourcing philosophy, the Army Reserve leverages first to fight units with the required wartime resources consistent with their mission. Additionally, it gives added focus to the units designated as force support package (FSP) units. These are units that possess the critical skills necessary to support and project early deploying forces.

The vast majority of reserve units are made up of companies or modularized detachments of companies. Institutional readiness is therefore not determined by evaluating ready brigades or divisions but at the lowest level of command-the company. Normally, these functions would be performed by the parent organization. But in the USAR, that leadership chain stretches over several states since reserve companies are located to sustain recruitment. Transportation companies, as an example, are sited near rural civilian trucking districts or medical companies next to urban areas where civilian hospitals are nearby, but the battalion or brigade leadership may be located a state or more away. Indeed, many subordinate units fall administratively under battalions and brigades with different branch skills. For example, a postal company might be aligned under a chemical battalion or a transportation company under a quartermaster battalion.

Many critical types of support units and capabilities are either exclusively or primarily in the Army Reserve. The Army Reserve has all of the Army's training divisions, railway units, enemy prisoner of war brigades and chemical brigades. It has most of the Army's civil affairs, psychological operations, medical and transportation units and a large portion of its public affairs, engineer and power projection assets, too. All the Army's bridging assets are now assigned to Reserve units.

Today's restructured Army Reserve emphasizes its proven core competencies. It provides 45 percent of the Army's CSS units, 30 percent of its combat support (CS) units, and 100 percent of its training and exercise divisions. The USAR contains 100 percent of the Army's railway units, 100 percent of its enemy-prisoner-of-war brigades, 97 percent of its civil affairs units, 86 percent of its psychological operations units, 70 percent of its medical care units, and 62 percent of its chemical and biological defense capability.

Training & Exercise Divisions 100%
Railway Units 100%
Enemy Prisoner of War Bdes 100%
Civil Affairs Units 97%
Psychological Operations Units 85%
Judge Advocate General Units 81%
Medical Brigades                        80%
Transportation Groups 80%
Chemical Brigades 75%
Petroleum Supply Battalions 69%
Chemical Battalions 64%
Medical Groups 66%
Theater Signal Commands 66%
Motor Battalions 60%
Hospitals 54%
Petroleum Groups 50%
Terminal Battalions 50%
Transportation Commands 50%
Public Affairs 42%
Theater Area Army Commands 40%
Water Supply Battalions 33%

Active Component Relationship

Until recently, soldiers serving on active duty usually had little or no interaction with other soldiers in the Reserve Component (RC). The general consensus throughout the barracks, motor pools and conference rooms of the "real" Army was that most "weekend warriors" played cards during drills, needed haircuts and generally did not meet the standards of the professional soldier on active duty.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As the Berlin wall fell in Germany in 1989 and signaled the end of the Cold War, the US Army began reshaping itself for the challenges of the 21st Century. These changes placed US Army Reserve (USAR) and Army National Guard (ARNG) forces directly in the line of fire. Reserve Component (RC) soldiers responded with pride, professionalism and tons of success. Buzz words such as "Power Projection," "Operations Other Than War" (OOTW) and "Force XXI" all have critical links to the increasing role that reservists play on today's battlefield. Operations such as Desert Storm, Just Cause, and Joint Endeavor prove that Active and Reserve Component forces will not be successful without one another.

The AC/RC relationship in a power-projection Army is fundamentally different from requirements during the Cold War. The Chief of the Army Reserve, the Director of the Army National Guard and other Army general officers participate on general officer steering committees at DA, FORSCOM, and the US Army Training and Doctrine Command to establish programs and standards for all components of the Army.

In December 1999 Secretary of Defense William Cohen deferred the cutting of the last 25,000 reserve component troops recommended under the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review, citing their increased responsibilities helping the Army maintain its obligations. The question of the 25,000-soldier cut called for in the last QDR is not resolved, only postponed. Owing to the fact that these positions are no longer in the budget, the savings associated with their scheduled cut must be found somewhere else. The fiscal year 2000 Reserve Component unit inactivations, when combined with ongoing unit activations and conversions, resulted in a net loss of 10,111 spaces in the Army National Guard, and a net gain of 1,712 spaces in the Army Reserve.

Never before has the Army Reserve been asked to do as much as it does today. What was once a "force in reserve" has become a full partner across the spectrum of operations to satisfy the demands and needs of our country and our Army around the world. Numbers tell the story. Army Reserve soldiers have been deployed 10 times in the past 12 years for operations from Bosnia to Iraq. During the 75 years before that, the Army Reserve had been mobilized just nine times. Since December 1995, we have been in a continuous state of mobilization, with an average of nearly 9,300 soldiers mobilized each year. The years after Sept. 11 saw more than 80,000 Army Reserve soldiers mobilized to fight the global war on terrorism.

Today reserve missions around the world are engaged in intelligence gathering, investigation, training, legal support, communications, postal and personnel support, engineering, mortuary services, logistic and transportation operations, medical support and civil affairs. Army Reserve soldiers are no longer an add-on to military operations. They are increasingly part of a joint, interoperable team with our full-time uniformed men and women in the business of fighting and winning the nation's wars.

With that in mind, the Army Reserve is implementing a transformation plan to create a better balance between answering the call to duty and taking care of our Army Reserve soldiers and their families. It's also a plan that will provide greater security for the country. The Reserve is reengineering the mobilization process to make it more streamlined; refocusing our regional commands to better support soldiers and their families; restructuring units for increased relevance; improving human resources operations; and improving the pool of skilled soldier volunteers to combatant commanders.

The intent is to build a rotational force, so that the Reserve does not have to mobilize an Army Reserve soldier for more than a nine- to 12-month period in a five- to six-year window. The Reserve will add soldiers in high-demand jobs, lessening the burden on those already in these fields and providing a more predictable deployment routine to soldiers, their families and their employers.

Army Reserve Facilities

Army Reserve units are stationed in Hometown, USA, with soldiers located in 1,200 Army Reserve Centers in towns and cities all across America, putting the Army's footprint in every part of the country. Army Reserve soldiers are part of America's communities because those communities are their communities.

The Army Reserve maintains and sustains two of the Army's major Installations, 12 regional support commands and an overseas Army Reserve Command. A provision of the Fiscal Year 2001 Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act, pssed by the House and Senate late in 2000, directed the military services to grant a third star to the heads of their reserve components. Previously, the heads of each Service's reserve forces were authorized 2-star rank.

One key initiative is the use of three different types of storage facilities for storing and maintaining equipment. Equipment placed in these facilities will not be required to support training at USAR training centers during weekend drills. Only unit mission-essential equipment for training (MEET) will be stored and maintained at the owning unit's training centers. The three types of facilities have distinct functions, and their locations will be determined by training support and mobilization requirements.

Since USAR power projection units have key roles in moving the Army overseas and receiving deployed units once they arrive, it is vital to get equipment -- that not already strategically positioned -- overseas quickly. An innovation to better facilitate deployment response times is the Controlled Humidity Storage (CHS) Initiative. The goal was to maintain 30 percent of Army Reserve equipment in these sites. This innovation to better facilitate deployment response times was subsequently re-designated the Strategic Storage Site (SSS) Initiative, with a goal is to maintain 37 percent of Army Reserve equipment in these sites. Besides improving equipment readiness and maintenance operations, this equipment, located at strategic ports around the country, will be immediately ready for deployment. The initial Strategic Storage Site is a 150,000 square foot facility at Gulfport, Miss. Six to seven SSS facilities are planned.

Army Reserve and Homeland Security

Should terrorists strike the American homeland, Army Reserve units and soldiers, possessing a variety of capabilities, would be immediately available. These units include chemical detection and reconnaissance companies, and medical and medical support organizations, all ready to support civil authorities should disaster strike. On the homefront, the USARC is involving Army Reserve soldiers in the Civil-Military Cooperation Program (CMCP). The program uses the Army Reserve's expertise to provide communities around America with mission-related support and allows for disaster response planning and preparations.

Up to 120,000 of the Army Reserve's 205,000 soldiers could be called upon to support civilian authorities in the event of a terrorist incident. Terrorist acts of recent years have focused fears on what has been described by defense officials as America's "soft underbelly" -- its hometown, civilian population. With mandates from Congress, local, state and federal agencies are arming and training themselves to counter those who would do America, and Americans, harm. The Army Reserve has special capabilities it can bring to bear. Among its 2,000-plus units are chemical detection and reconnaissance companies, a myriad of medical and medical support organizations and a number of other groups with specialized functions which officials said counter the effects of weapons of mass destruction and other forms of terrorism. The two largest capabilities the Army Reserve brings to the table in terms of Civil Support are its chemical and medical assets. The Army Reserve holds 59 percent of the medical assets in the Army and 63 percent of the chemical assets in the Army. The Army Reserve has dual-missioned these units. That is to say, they still have their regular wartime mission, but the Reserve provided additional technical training and assets as needed for Civil Support. It turns out that much of this additional training also relates directly to the warfight. For example, the chemical decon units already know their job, but they added commercial, off-the-shelf equipment and additional training in decontaminating civilians. On the medical side of the house, the Army Reserve has 35 hospitals of various types and 22 forward surgical teams.

The Army Reserve is ideally placed for civil support. Army Reserve Civil Affairs units contain 97 percent of the Army's expertise to rebuild shattered infrastructure - social, civil and physical. Military Police units can shelter up to 56,000 displaced persons. The Army Reserve, ready to respond to a chemical incident, contains 63 percent of the Army's chemical capability. Today, the Army Reserve has the largest chemical decontamination capability within DoD. Currently we are training 100 out of 127 decontamination platoons and 8 of the 15 reconnaissance platoons called for in Defense Reform Initiative Directive 25. Reserve medical professionals are working closely in DoD and among the interagency community to leverage capabilities in Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Consequence Management. Residing within the Army Reserve are 68 percent of the Army's medical assets. The Army Reserve contains 50 percent of resourced Mortuary Affairs units, 83 percent of Psychological Operations units, as well as Aviation, Logistics, Engineer and Signal units, which are essential capabilities for WMD Consequence Management.

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Page last modified: 07-11-2011 15:39:44 ZULU