The Army National Guard; Operational Reserve or Homeland Security Force?
Author(s)Kirkland, Kristian J.
Contributor(s)ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
KeywordsMilitary Forces and Organizations
Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
*ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
MILITIA ACT OF 1792
BARBOUR BOARD AND REFORM INITIATIVE OF 1840
NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT OF 1920
MOBILIZATION ACT OF 1933
NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT OF 1947
GRAY REPORT OF 1948
MONTGOMERY AMENDMENT OF 1986
QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW OF 2006
ARFORGEN(ARMY FORCE GENERATION)
STATE DEFENSE FORCES
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AbstractOne of the most profound evolutions of the Army National Guard (ARNG) occurred following the release of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. It redefined the role of the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve. This leadership decision dramatically increased the responsibility of the ARNG. As a result, ARNG personnel and equipment have rapidly become exhausted and unserviceable. Units are forced to cross level equipment and personnel to fill shortages in support of deployed units. The net effect of this increased responsibility may have a deleterious effect on the overall national security of the United States. An organization constitutionally established as the primary homeland security force must have the operational reserve role clearly defined. Conversely, what military organization executes the role of strategic reserve in the Guard's absence? The question is not whether the ARNG can support an operational role, but what are the sacrifices to homeland security when it does? Military and political leaders must reduce deployment times, enforce the ARFORGEN process, continue aggressive recruiting, and implement retention campaigns. They also must focus federal and state authorities toward increased civic involvement in homeland security.
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