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Release No: 246-95
September 07, 1995

No. 246-P:09/07/95:"The 25th Anniversary of the Total Force

"The 25th Anniversary of the Total Force" is the theme for former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird's remarks to the annual Alumni Banquet of the Reserve Forces Policy Board, beginning at 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 11, 1995 at the Fort Myer Officers Club.

News media representatives are welcome to cover the banquet. Remarks are expected to begin at about 9:30 p.m.

Those invited to the banquet include members of congressional committees that oversee military activities, service secretaries, chiefs of the military services and service Reserve components, state committee chairmen for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, military association leaders and former members of the Reserve Forces Policy Board.

The 24-member Reserve Forces Policy Board was created by Congress in 1952. Acting through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, the board serves as the principle policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Reserve component matters. Members include the assistant secretary responsible for reserve affairs from each of the military departments, and Active and Reserve component general and flag officers representing all of the services, including the Coast Guard.

In 1970, then-Secretary Laird announced the decision of the Total Force Concept in his report to Congress. "It was absolutely imperative to bring our Guard and Reserve Forces into the mainstream of defense plans and operations," said Laird.

As we honor 25 years of ever-increasing reliance on the National Guard and Reserve, Laird believes they will assume an even greater role. "The cost effectiveness of the Total Force takes on even increased importance as we look at the stringent defense budget restrictions we face during the next twenty-five years of Total Force planning," he said. "I am . . . ready to pull out all the stops for the future of our Total Forces as we view their future."

For additional information, contact Lt. Col. Terry Jones at (703) 695-3620.

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