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Have our military commitments "broken the back" of the reserves?

Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by Biscuitsjam, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Biscuitsjam


    Jan 10, 2004
    I hear that all the time in the media, and I don't know what it means...

    Before the war, our Army National Guard battalion was understrength, with obsolete equipment, and inexperienced leadership.

    Now, we're overstrength, with better equipment, and veteran leadership. We get more money for training, our supply system works better, the "good old boy" network is weakened, and we seem to be attracting a high caliber of new recruits. All around, we seem to be much stronger now than we were before.

    I know our story isn't the case everywhere, but are any of you in units that have been "broken" by the war?
  2. hokieglock

    hokieglock Proud Infidel

    i'm in the AF reserves and see the same type environment. lots of money for training and man days.

  3. tc556guy


    Mar 15, 2000
    Upstate NY
    When I first enlisted in 1990, we were very much as you described: old equipment, no training, etc. Around 1994 we were one of the first Brigades to get the "Enhanced" designation, so we started to get a lot of the equipment being funneled to the ECB's from the AD units that were having a stake driven through their hearts by the Clinton Administration ( HE is the reason the Guard is stretched thin today). Combine that with at least two reorgs in my time to the NYARNG due to declining enlistment numbers, and we aren't exactly hurting for equipment now. We ARE hurting for bodies. We are getting plenty of fairly new equipment, and what we aren't getting issued to us back home, we are falling in on once we are in-country.
  4. Biscuitsjam


    Jan 10, 2004
    There was a newspaper article today describing how the Army National Guard is at 100% strength on paper. However, 15-20% of soldiers on the books are waiting at RSP to go to BASIC training. Apparently, the Department of the Army only assigns the Guard a certain number of training slots each year, and they aren't assigning the right number.

    The article didn't mention all the other guys that are on the books but non-deployable, like ROTC cadets, or the soldiers that don't go to drill but are deployable, such as those in the Inactive National Guard. And, of course, we have guys that are on the books and deployable, but that don't go to drill because they are on ADSW orders or some kind of "alternate drilling state" or. . .

    Our unit is SUPPOSED to have 84 soldiers and we have 120+ on the books. However, only about 75 are normally at drill, and only 2/3 of those can actually deploy with us. Of course, when we finally get activated, enough of the other guys will come back to us that we'll be overstrength again.
  5. Broylz


    Jul 17, 2007
    Middle Tennessee
    i enlisted in the guard back in 99. it was a pretty sham job. then we got 3 deployments back to back to back with 4-6 month turn around times and the unit fell apart, like rats on a sinking ship. when it was time to re-enlist i came active duty so i could deploy less often and actually be with my family. not sure how things have changed in the last 3 years but i imagine it has. i might go back when my next 5 years is up and i will be just short of retirement.

    it is alot harder in the guard where you have a civilian life to try to put on hold so you can deploy as opposed to the active duty life where that is pretty much what you plan for all the time. it is easier to get family involved in the FRG and such, if its a good one, so it still sucks but not as much.

    i know that it is harder on the families, but im also sure alot of guard/reservists join those branches thinking it will be part-time and when they find out its busier than some active units, they bail. i used to think it was part-time but luckily i dont mind the lifestyle.
  6. GVFlyer

    GVFlyer Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    Somewhere in the air.
    I am a Regular Army officer, but I serve in an advisory capacity to the National Guard. We just got an aviation battalion back from the sand pit and have a ground battalion presently training up at Fort Sill for deployment. Some of the soldiers in this battalion will be going back for the third time. Their morale is good, they're proud of what they've accomplished, and the only concern I hear is that the politicians will allow them to finish the job they started.

    My concerns are different. I believe that we are using the Guard and Reserve in a manner they were never intended to be used. It would demean them to say that they are not professional soldiers because they are, but they are also cops and firemen, USPS employees and civil servants. We need to get them back to these jobs and the way to do it is to increase end-strenghts in the active Army.

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008


    Jul 16, 2008
    JBLM, WA
    i cant speak of the reserves specifically but the last several years have been hard on ALL branches. a lot of people are getting fed up. but dont believe all the hype. WE KNOW THE JOB AND FOR THE MOST PART ARE WILLING TO DO IT. i head back out in a couple months. this time i get to leave a wife and new baby. regardless its my mission and i'll serve PROUDLY. bottom line is there are MANY, MANY, LIKE ME WHOSE "BACK" ARE STRONG AND READY TO COMPLETE THE MISSION!
  8. Biscuitsjam


    Jan 10, 2004
    Interestingly, by the time I finish my 6-year contract, I'll have served:
    4 months of Initial Entry Training
    1 month of other army schools
    18-month Iraq deployment (6 of that in train-up/train-down)
    15-month (future) Afganistan deployment (6 of that in train-up/train-down)
    1.5 months of Annual Training
    2.5 months of weekend drill

    For a grand total of 42/72 months (3.5 of 6 years) - not exactly "weekend warriors," are we?

    By the way, any other National Guardsmen doing a 15-month activation for Afghanistan, or is that just us?
  9. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    I'm in the Army reserve, in a unit that has been mobilized 2 of the last 6 years. All I see is high motivation and people trying to get the division to mobilize us for an overseas mission. When we get a request for volunteers for Irag/Afghan missions, you have to volunteer the first day the message comes or everybody else beats you to it.

    I see no sign that the reserve is broken, or even unhappy. Of course, CNN also told me that everybody enlisted for the college money and now they're trying to escape to Canada to protest for peace or something. I notice they never actually interview soldiers to support their claims.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  10. Biscuitsjam


    Jan 10, 2004
    Yep, despite our optempo, that's what I'm seeing too.
  11. Broylz


    Jul 17, 2007
    Middle Tennessee
    i think by now the people who got in for college money are out. when i was in the guard we got deployed 2 years in a row and when we got off stop-loss we lost 80% of our unit. that was after OIF 1. i think people know what they are getting into now and are a little more willing to do it.