Change in Threat Required Adjustments in Force Structure
During the period of the Cold War, the Reserve components of the armed forces were structured to supply the massive combat sustainability and support functions of a general world war. At is peak in FY 1989, the Reserve components were structured for close to 1.2 million personnel.
With the end of the Cold War, adjustments in the size and structure of the force were necessary to address newly defined threats. These threats have been addressed in our current National Military Strategy, which requires the Reserve components, while smaller in size, to be more modern, ready to mobilize and deploy in a shorter time period, and be fully integrated into not only the wartime requirements but also the peacetime operations of the Active forces. Additionally, the National Guard must continue to be sized and structured to meet both its federal and state missions.
Force structure adjustments were articulated in a broadly defined Active/Reserve restructuring plan shaped principally by the Bottom-Up Review. This plan called for sustaining personnel readiness and minimizing the inevitable turbulence resulting from during a major five-year downsizing effort. The effort, which will be completed by beginning of FY 99, will result in a Reserve component force structure of approximately 950,000.
Broadly speaking, the Army National Guard will continue to focus on preparing for its wartime combat role and its peacetime state and federal missions, while the Army Reserve will retain combat support functions and continue to assume core responsibility for combat service support. The Air National Guard will assume all continental air defense, and the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve will increase their role in strategic mobility and bomber missions.
The Naval Reserve, while smaller, will enhance its strength in providing support to virtually all naval missions. The Marine Corps Reserve, already well structured for the types of threats defined in the today’s National Military Strategy, will continue its mission of augmenting and reinforcing the Marine Corps.
FY 1996 Reserve Component Reductions
FY 96 reductions are being undertaken in this, the third-year of a five-year force and infrastructure reduction effort. These force structure adjustments, modest in comparison to earlier years, will move the Department of Defense closer to achieving its FY 99 force structure goals. More than 80 percent of reductions in both end strength and force structure necessary to achieve FY 99 targets will have been accomplished during the first three years of the drawdown. By the end of FY 96, the Reserve component force structure (positions in units and organizations) will have been reduced from FY 95 levels by 15,963, a reduction of 1.61%. Reserve component end strength (Congressionally authorized and funded positions) will have been reduced by 48,300 from levels appropriated by Congress in FY 95, a reduction of 4.9%. For the remaining two years of the effort, reductions will continue at an even lower annual rate to meet the FY 99 target. These adjustments will focus on refining the Reserve forces as they transition into new roles, missions and readiness postures.
While Reserve component force structure positions will be reduced by 15,963 in FY96, this is not the same number of personnel that will actually leave the force. There are several reasons for this. When coupled with other force structure activations and realignments, as well as unit relocations resulting from base closures and related activities, many of the positions in inactivated units will be aligned to units in other locations. Many Reserve component personnel assigned to inactivated units will be given the opportunity to join other units within a reasonable distance of where they live; however, it is difficult to predict how many individuals will accept a transfer to another unit.
Overall Summary of Force Structure* Changes by Reserve Component
*Force Structure numbers reflect the total number of positions required to support established units and individuals in the Reserve components, as provided by the Services
The following table is a summary of Reserve Component force structure changes from FY 95 through FY 96, and force structure levels projected for FY 99. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100.
|FY 95||FY 96||FY 99 (Target)|
|Army National Guard||415,200||416,000||405,000|
|Marine Corps Reserve||42,600||42,200||42,000|
|Air National Guard||119,300||113,600||111,500|
|Air Force Reserve||84,700||79,400||78,900|
# End Strength numbers reflect the number of positions authorized and funded by Congress
The following table is a summary of Reserve Component funded end strength changes from FY 95 through FY 96, and end strength reductions targets to achieve FY 99 goals.
|FY 95||FY 96||FY 99(Target)|
|Army National Guard||400,000||373,000||367,000|
|Marine Corps Reserve||42,000||42,300||42,000|
|Air National Guard||115,600||112,700||107,000||Changes||-2,900||-5,700|
|Air Force Reserve||78,700||74,000||73,500|