WASHINGTON - Army Reserve leadership was actively fostering discussion alongside key members of every Army component to lay out a vision of the Army of 2030 at the recent meeting and exposition of the Association of the United States Army. The annual event took place October 10-12, 2022, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, a 2.3 million square foot space that housed the future and innovation of an ever-evolving Army.
On the first day of AUSA Lt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels, chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command hosted “The Army of 2030 and Beyond” panel. Panelists included Maj. Gen. Chris Smith, deputy commanding general (Australia) for the U.S. Army Pacific, Brig. Gen. Stephanie Ahern, director of concepts for the Futures and Concepts Center, U.S. Army Futures Command; Lt. Col. Benjamin Jensen senior fellow, Future War, Gaming, & Strategy / International Security Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies; and Katherine Kuzminski, senior fellow and program director, Military, Veterans & Society, Center for a New American Society.
Each panelist represented a specialized field and focused on future trends and Daniels' priorities to assess whether the United States Army Reserve is on track to support Army 2030/2040, as well as emphasized future capabilities.
In her opening remarks. Daniels pointed out that “the last time all three components took a hard look at force structure or did a bottoms-up assessment of capabilities and how to best position them, was back in 1993.”
Including all the components “presents a unique opportunity to reimagine the capability mix between the active and the reserve components in a way that supports and strengthens the joint force and our nation’s defense,” she said.
The seminar’s moderator, Peter Singer, The New York Times best-selling author of “Like War” and “Ghost Fleet,” emphasized how the “USAR transitioned to an operational reserve providing combat support, combat service support, and functional enablers in a predictable cycle of uncontested mobilizations and deployments.”
“During the next 15 years, the USAR must provide trained, manned, and equipped units,” Singer continued, “[and] to do so we must think differently about the Army Reserve.”
A key to such efforts will be technological advancements, which will require new Army Reserve capabilities, Singer said.
“New capabilities drive changes to the Army Reserve posture,” he said. “Where we station units combined with how we recruit, retain, and employ personnel.”
This is critical as the Army undergoes its largest modernization efforts in decades, to which Singer asks, “What knowledge, skills, and behaviors should the Army Reserve recruit for now that will impact capabilities needed in 2030 and 2040?”
In her closing remarks, Daniels left the audience with more thoughts on the Army Reserve’s future. “However, we shape the Army Reserve of 2030 and 2040, our goals can only be achieved if we have the right Soldiers and leaders filling our ranks,” Daniels said. “The future of the Army depends on the decisions we make today.”
And in one more point, the chief of the Army Reserve said, “We’re looking for quality candidates for the future force.”
So, make sure to spread the word, she urged, “The Army is hiring.”