Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre and other senior officials today commemorated the one-year anniversary of the historic "Seamless Total Force" memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen on this date last year.
"We have made great progress integrating our active and Reserve forces into one team, trained and ready for the 21st century," Hamre said. "Our military leaders are getting the message. Structural and cultural barriers that reduce readiness and impede interoperability between active and Reserve personnel are gradually being eliminated."
"We must now assess the progress we have made, acknowledge those barriers to integration that still exist, and, most importantly, set our plans into motion," he said. "I am heartened by the constructive dialogue we have had this past year and am confident we will build on that momentum."
Cohen's Sept. 4, 1997, seamless Total Force policy memorandum recognized the increased reliance on the nation's Reserve forces since the end of the Cold War. He called on the Department's military and civilian leadership to create an environment that eliminates "all residual barriers," both structural and cultural, to effective integration of the Reserve and active forces. The memorandum builds on the Total Force policy of previous secretaries of defense dating back to former Secretary Melvin Laird, who coined the phrase "Total Force," initiating the integration of active and Reserve components in the 1970s, during the height of the Cold War.
"We have seen examples of the elimination of structural barriers, such as the Army's plan to form six National Guard enhanced readiness brigades into two integrated divisions under active Army leadership," said Rudy de Leon, undersecretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). "A major cultural barrier was removed in June, when we started issuing the Total Force green identification cards to Reserve and National Guard members. The one-year anniversary of Secretary Cohen's memorandum is certainly a most appropriate time to recognize our achievements and further Total Force integration."
"Without the daily contributions made by our Reserve forces around the world, we simply could not accomplish our missions and protect our national interests," said Charles L. Cragin, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). "Total Force integration is not a luxury - it is a vital necessity."
For news representatives who want more information, please call the office of the assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Lt. Col. Terry Jones at (703) 695-3620.
The text of a Sept. 4, 1998 memorandum from the deputy secretary of Defense to the senior civilian and military leaders emphasizing continued progress in integrating the active and Reserve forces follows.
MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARIES OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS
CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
UNDER SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE
COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD
ASSISTANT SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE
GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARMENT OF DEFENSE
||COMMANDERS OF THE COMBATANT COMMANDS
||DIRECTORS OF THE DEFENSE AGENCIES
||CHAIRMAN OF THE RESERVE POLICY BOARD
- SUBJECT: Anniversary of the Secretary of Defense Memorandum "Integration of the
- Reserve and Active Components" dated September 4, 1997
One year ago today, the Secretary of Defense asked each of us to create an environment that eliminates all residual barriers - structural and cultural - for effective integration within our Total Force. We have achieved unprecedented progress in our efforts to reach the goal of a seamless Total Force that provides the flexibility and interoperability necessary for the full range of military operations.
Reservists today are essential players in the Total Force and are vital to our national security. Reserve forces contributed nearly 13 million mandays to Total Force missions and exercises last year. This is equivalent to adding nearly 35,000 personnel to the Active force. Reserve component (RC) Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and members of the Coast Guard are now an integral part of our global presence. Operations in and around Bosnia have been an enormous integration success story.
Structural barriers are being eliminated. The Army plan to use six Army National Guard enhanced readiness brigades to form the core of two new integrated divisions, under active component (AC) commanders, by October 1999 is on schedule. The Air Force has announced plans for the creation of ten Air Expeditionary Forces to respond to current operations. Air Reserve Components are fully integrated into these plans. The Navy has two fully integrated mine countermeasure helicopter squadrons manned with AC and RC personnel with commanding officers selected from either component. The Marine Corps is adding the Light Armored Vehicle Air Defense (LAV-AD) vehicle to its inventory using a new AC/RC integration paradigm. A LAV-AD platoon, manned completely by active-duty Marines, is now assigned to the Reserve 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. "Team Coast Guard" has integrated all active and reserve personnel into its units at all levels. There are two new general officer National Guard and Reserve positions on the Joint Staff to advise the Joint Chiefs of Staff on RC issues. A major overhaul in the Army's Director of Military Support (DOMS) office has taken place with the appointment of a National Guard
general as the DOMS Deputy Director and up to half of the inter-service DOMS operations center staff coming from the RC.
Cultural barriers are being eliminated as well. For example, the active Army has established a stronger line of communication with the National Guard and Reserve. The transition to green military identification cards for Reservists began in June 1998 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The Reserve components are better represented in the Department's management structure than ever before. Active and Reserve component decision-makers now sit side by side at key points in the planning, programming and budgeting process to determine requirements and allocate resources.
Yet, despite our many successes, further actions are necessary before we realize our shared goal of an integrated Total Force. I encourage each of you to use this anniversary of the Total Force Integration Memorandum to assess your progress, take stock of residual cultural and structural barriers, and put in place plans for the future.
John J. Hamre