With the regular Army shedding personnel to fit in ever-tighter budgets, the U.S. Army Reserve is positioning itself as a low-cost way to keep skilled, experienced veterans associated with the military. The plan, in a nutshell: If you can’t keep ‘em in the regular Army, keep ‘em in the Reserves.
Today, only 9 percent of enlisted personnel and 13 percent of officers who leave active duty sign up with the Army Reserve. To make reserve service more appealing will require changes to military regulation and even federal law, changes among the Army Reserve’s top priorities for 2012.
Some of the ideas for a “continuum of service” sound pretty hard to implement.
But the idea of affiliating Individual Ready Reserve soldiers with a local unit is a sensible one, and should be relatively easy and low cost to implement.