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REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE RESERVE FORCES POLICY BOARD
I am pleased to have this opportunity to present a brief summary of the Reserve Forces Policy Board’s observations and recommendations of the past year. The Board’s theme this year was "1998—The Year of Total Force Integration," a theme that ended up being synonymous with some of the events that happened during the year. In a symbolic gesture toward achieving full integration of the active and reserve military components, Secretary of Defense Cohen implemented a Total Force identification (ID) card initiative in June 1998. This initiative directed that ID cards be the same color—green—for all active and reserve component military personnel. This change responds to a pledge made by Secretary Cohen in a recent policy memorandum calling on DoD’s civilian and military leadership to eliminate "all residual barriers—structural and cultural—to effective integration of the Reserve and Active components into a seamless Total Force." The Board is excited about the direction the Total Force is headed.
The Board serves as the principal and independent policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on matters relating to the reserve components. The Board wants to be the resource of choice, providing efficient integration and effective utilization of reserve components into the Total Force. Representatives from each of the Service secretariats, active components, and reserve components serve as Board members. The Board provides timely, relevant, and credible advice and reporting to ensure that Department of Defense decisions affecting the reserve components enhance the capability of the Total Force to meet national security requirements. The reserve component members represent a wide range of industrial, business, professional, and civic experience, in addition to their military expertise. Many of the issues worked by the Board are discovered during field trips. For example, the Board recently made field trips to Germany and England, as well as Tazar, Hungary, and Tuzla, Bosnia, to see and hear first-hand how the mobilized Reserve and Guard personnel were doing in theater operations. The Deputy Secretary of Defense was later briefed, and the Board continues to work issues that surfaced during this seven day trip.
On September 4, 1997, Secretary Cohen signed a memorandum on Integration of the Reserve and Active Components, where he outlined his vision for increasing reliance on the reserve components. In his memorandum, the Secretary defines integration as: "The conditions of readiness and trust needed for the leadership at all levels to have well-justified confidence that the Reserve components are trained and equipped to serve as an effective part of the joint and combined force within whatever timelines are set for the unit—in peace and war." In May 1998, an ad hoc committee consisting of reserve, active duty, and civilian Board members recommended, with the approval of the full Board, a set of guidelines to assist each of the Services as they devised their Total Force implementation plan in accordance with the Secretary of Defense’s goal of seamless integration. With Deputy Secretary of Defense concurrence, the following guidelines were disseminated:
· Services should have a methodology to continually identify cultural and structural barriers and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate them.
· Services should identify short-term goals to enhance Total Force confidence and trust while simultaneously developing long-term strategies to institutionalize a strong working relationship between all components.
· Services should take appropriate action to reinforce that the Service Chief of Staff/Chief of Naval Operations/Commandant of the Marine Corps, with the full cooperation of senior Guard and Reserve leadership, is accountable for all Service components.
· Consistent with the Defense Planning Guidance, all components should have well-defined missions which clearly delineate pre- and post-mobilization requirements to execute their missions.
· All components should be resourced to accomplish defined missions at agreed readiness levels.
· Consider developing a resource policy and budget process for the peacetime use of Guard and Reserve.
· Should develop a process to set common standards (both pre- and post-mobilization) within all components. Give required support to allow the Guard and Reserve to train to those standards. Develop a cooperative Total Force approach to assess whether the units are in fact meeting required standards.
In July 1998, the Board sponsored a symposium at the National Defense University to work the provisions of Secretary Cohen’s memorandum on Integration of the Reserve and Active Components. In the memorandum, the Secretary stated his desire to create an environment that eliminates all barriers—structural and cultural for integration of the Total Force. The purpose of the symposium was to identify and examine the cultural and structural barriers that exist between the active, Guard, and Reserve components and focus on their cause and impact upon the integration of the Total Force. At the core of the symposium was the issue of developing a seamless American military force. In addition to the Board’s membership, participants included congressional representatives, experts from academia, industry, Reserve and Guard Associations, think tanks, the Department of Defense, and other government agencies. The objectives of the symposium were:
· To hear candid views of active and reserve component barriers to integration of the Total Force.
· Identify cultural barriers to integration, determine their causes, and propose possible means to removing those barriers.
· Identify structural barriers to integration, determine their impact, and propose possible means to removing the barriers.
BARRIERS TO INTEGRATION
During the symposium, speakers and participants identified and examined, through panel discussions, the cultural and structural barriers affecting integration. During the panel discussion on cultural issues, four reservists relayed the cultural barriers they felt existed when they transitioned from active duty to a reserve component. The two primary cultural barriers they all agreed upon were that the active component did not train and educate its members on the roles and capabilities of the reserve components, and the feeling by National Guard and Reserve personnel that they were perceived as second-class citizens. The panel discussions were used as a catalyst for afternoon seminars. The seminar groups identified the causes of cultural and structural barriers, the impact on Total Force integration, a possible solution to the barrier and what that solution will accomplish, and a process to make the solution a reality. Approximately two hundred barriers that were identified during focus group meetings were further refined into five main cultural and six main structural barriers.
The cultural barriers identified between the active, Guard, and Reserve were grouped under these five main categories:
· Lack of trust (both sides)/lack of confidence in reserve component capability by active duty.
· Failure of the Services to adequately manage all their components as a seamless organization.
· Second-class citizen syndrome.
· Inadequate/ineffective coordination and communication between active and reserve components.
· Roles of each component not clearly identified for an effectively integrated 21st century military force.
The structural barriers identified between the active, Guard, and Reserve were grouped under these six main categories:
· Lack of a coordinated Total Force approach to the Services’ budgeting process.
· Incompatible pay and personnel systems.
· Incompatible equipment and weapon systems.
· Inadequate representation of the Guard and Reserve senior leadership, at the appropriate grade level, on active duty staffs.
· Lack of a coordinated Total Force approach in developing and implementing training and military education requirements and programs.
· Inappropriate disparities in benefits, in today’s military environment, between active, Guard, and Reserve forces.
TOP 20 COMMANDERS IN CHIEF ISSUES
Over the past couple of years, the Board has visited several of the commanders in chief (CINCs), most recently United States Central Command, United States Special Operations Command, and United States European Command. Those unified commands not visited personally were contacted in a series of video-teleconferences. The purpose of the visits and video-teleconferences were to solicit from them the reserve component issues they feel impeded making Total Force a reality. The Board is involved with many of the following Top 20 issues as determined by all nine CINCs:
· Implement Smart ID cards for all reserve component members, which incorporate essential mobilization data.
· Develop Joint Professional Military Education (PME) course for reserve component members assigned or pending assignment to joint staff billets.
· Increase Secretary of Defense authority to re-call from 15 up to 30 days (Title 10 U.S.C., Section 12301(b).
· Modify end strength accountability for reserve component members augmented for more than 179 days.
· Increase numbers of full-time reserve component officers/noncommissioned officers at unified commands.
· Increase number of general officer/flag officer positions in unified commands.
· Allow repetitive individual/unit Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up (PSRC) tours and encourage extensions of current PSRC tours, when appropriate.
· Create a joint pool of funds for man-day contributory support and establish DoD level contingency fund.
· Reserve component members should receive parity of benefits comparable to active component in Initial Duty for Training or Active Duty status (commissary, government airfares, etc.), when appropriate.
· Permit Reserve component members Lump Sum Leave settlement in excess of 60 days for noncontingency operations.
· Standardize mobilization and deployment administration (simplification of forms, fund citations, etc.)
· Continue efforts to establish one pay system.
· Establish one system for aligning the service component documents to the joint command document and track reserve component personnel against specific positions on a Joint Table of Manning and Distribution. Require all Services to follow a common command billet control numbering system. Standardize manpower documentation systems.
· Reengineer security clearance process—CINC requirements are impaired by current system.
· Continue efforts to establish one personnel system.
· Equip and train the reserve components at levels closer to the active component.
· Ensure full partnership for all elements of Reserve/ Guard in weapons of mass destruction missions.
· Modify DoD Directive 5210.42, Nuclear Weapon Personnel Reliability Program, to allow for reserve certification, yet still meet the spirit and intent of the directive.
· Conduct a detailed study of the mobilization process, e.g., RC-2005 study.
· Allow mobilization training time for selected units and/or individuals to be waived, when appropriate.
25TH ANNIVERSARY OF TOTAL FORCE POLICY
The Reserve Forces Policy Board commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the Total Force Policy with its Board members, alumni, and guests on October 14, 1998. Former Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, who crafted the historic Total Force Policy, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Schlesinger provided his personal historic perspective, past and future, on what today remains our cornerstone policy on Total Force. Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre introduced the visionary former defense secretary. The true validation of this policy is that all succeeding defense secretaries have continued to work to its full implementation.
Another commemoration highlight was the Board’s photo with the President of the United States. Of interest is the fact that the Board’s origin is traced back to President Truman’s Executive Order 10007 of October 15, 1948, when it first operated as the Committee on Civilian Components. A photo was taken of that historic occasion. The Board was successful in replicating that picture with President Clinton in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the executive order.
After commemorating this historic event, the Board worked on three policies and three legislative initiatives that could benefit Total Force integration. These initiatives are only proposals and have not yet been approved. These initiatives were the result of fusing 20 CINC issues and 20 symposium recommendations into a total of six composite initiatives. The three policy initiatives being proposed are:
· Direct an educational summit to address the feasibility of redesigning commissioning and PME programs from a more Total Force perspective and review the potential of extending a form of Joint PME to reserve components.
· Direct a military entitlements and benefit review to determine if disparities between the active and reserve components are appropriate in today’s environment.
· Request each Service conduct a Total Force review utilizing innovative applications of technology to optimize opportunities for skills training while reducing nonmission related training.
The three legislative initiatives being proposed are:
· Support the authorization of, and exemption for, Reserve Chiefs and National Guard Directors to become 0-9 billets.
· Support legislative action to give the Secretary of Defense the ability to call to active duty certain Guardsmen and Reservists with special skills which may be required in the early development of a domestic or national emergency prior to a PSRC.
· Support legislative action to encourage an integrated military by providing relief of active duty end strength accountability when reserve component members are called to extended duty.
INFORMATION OPERATIONS AND HOMELAND DEFENSE
One of the most important areas that the Board started to focus on was in the area of Information Operations/Homeland Defense. Recent events indicate that some foreign and domestic computer technology expert could compromise the security of the United States. With many of the highly trained and experienced computer trained active component members leaving active duty for better paying positions in society, the Board was exploring ideas and methods to capture and utilize this expertise in the reserve components. By capturing and leveraging reserve component personnel civilian skills in the information technology business, they could bring industries’ latest techniques and approaches to protecting information systems. There is increasing concern that the need for computer expertise in the business world is outstripping the military’s ability to train and retain sufficient capability for the nation’s security. Similarly, an increasing risk to our domestic shores from terrorism with weapons of mass destruction creates a natural and critical role for the Guard and Reserve domestically in Homeland Defense. The Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs has taken the lead on these issues.
Unprecedented progress in our efforts to reach the goal of a seamless Total Force is being made, but further actions are necessary before we realize our shared goal of an integrated Total Force. The Board’s goal is to continue to assist the Services and CINCs as they develop and implement their plans for Total Force integration. The Board plans to continue furnishing the Secretary of Defense with our Total Force findings and recommendations. The 21st century goal is to have a seamless Total Force that provides the National Command Authority with the flexibility, interoperability, and skills necessary for the full range of military operations.
The Reserve Forces Policy Board’s annual report entitled, Reserve Component Programs, Fiscal Year 1998, is scheduled for publication in March 1999. It will provide more detailed information regarding Reserve component programs and issues.
Terrence M. O’Connell
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