subscibe today

Today's Focus:

Transitioning the Strategic Reserve into an Operational Force


"Our job, as a team of senior liaisons, is to make sure that every Army Soldier gets a proper greeting, gets proper care, gets an opportunity to bounce information off of us and then we hand those folks off from us to the warrior transition units."

- Col. James Conaway, MDW

Army team gives special welcome home to all wounded


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"To me it's the reality-based part of the Army-being an NCO. As an NCO you get a Ph.D. in people and a Ph.D. in Soldiers."

- Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis M. Carey, FORSCOM

FORSCOM: 'Back to basics' for Year of NCO


May 25 - July 4: Season of Remembrance

June 2009:

- National Safety Month

June 13 - July 8: 90th Anniversary Transcontinental Motor Convoy trip from D.C. to San Francisco

June 25: Korean War

July 2009:

July 4: Independence Day

2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant


Army Professional Writing


Transitioning the Strategic Reserve into an Operational Force

What is it?

Transitioning the strategic reserve into an operational force (Army Initiative 4) is one of seven initiatives being spearheaded by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. The objective is to transition the Army's reserve components, both the National Guard and Army Reserve, from a strategic reserve into an operational force.

A strategic reserve is a force in waiting, which does not expect to deploy unless and until there is a conflict. Reserve units that are part and parcel of the operational force, by contrast, are fully integrated into the deployment cycle.

The objective is a reserve-component force that is manned, trained and equipped for recurrent mobilization and for employment as cohesive units. This in accordance with the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model, the all-volunteer force and the Citizen-Soldier ethos.

What has the Army done?

The Army has taken decisive steps to transform its reserve component into an operational force. These steps include:

- Establishing (in Feb. 2008) an AI4 task force to manage and facilitate this transition
- Synchronizing AI4 activities and initiatives across the Army staff and government agencies
- Creating Army Campaign Plan (ACP) Annex I, which is the AI4 implementation plan

In this way, the Army is institutionalizing its ongoing use of reserve-component forces for overseas contingency operations.

Why is it important to the Army?

As Casey has observed, we are in an "era of persistent conflict," and conflicts today are inherently manpower intensive: They require American ground troops. That's why the Army is adopting a rotational deployment cycle, in which all Soldiers, active duty and reserve component alike, are expected to regularly deploy.

The requirement for reserve-component forces that are trained and ready to deploy has become especially pronounced since September 11, 2001. Indeed, 540,000 reserve-component Soldiers have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in support of current operations. Thus, as a practical matter, the Army's reserve component is an operational force.

What remains to be done?

More formal systems and processes are required to ensure that reserve-component forces are properly resourced, trained and prepared for overseas deployments. These more formal systems and processes include:

- Developing AI4 performance metrics
- Implementing the recommendations of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserve
- Hiring additional full-time staff and adjusting budgets accordingly

Final decisions on force readiness levels and resources will be decided in the Fiscal Year 2012-15 Program Objective Memorandum.


AI4 Task Force Website

Commission on the National Guard and Reserve

Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 1200.17, "Managing the Reserve Components as an Operational Force" (PDF)

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