Reservists to Receive Green IDs
By Maj. Donna Miles, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jun. 8, 1998 Reservists and National Guardsmen representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will be the first to receive new green military identification cards at a June 20 ceremony at Fort Dix, N.J.
Defense Secretary William S. Cohen announced plans in December to change the red reserve component active status forces identification card, DD Form 2 (Reserve), to the same green as active-component cards. He called the change a step toward eliminating "all residual barriers, structural and cultural" in creating a "seamless Total Force" of reserve and active component members.
"It's a quantum leap forward," agreed Lt. Col. Terry Jones, public affairs officer for the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. "It represents a major step toward integrating the reserves into the Total Force."
DoD will issue green reserve ID cards to more than 1.4 million members of the Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve and active Standby Reserve. "Gray-area retirees" -- members of the Retired Reserve who have not reached age 60 -- will continue to get red cards. Reserve family members will continue to receive red DD Form 1173-1 identification cards.
Reserve component members will receive new green ID cards as they change their military status, generally through promotion or re-enlistment, or when their current cards expire. Jones said he expects the complete phase-in to take about five years.
Only their color is the same -- the cards are still different. "Reserve" and the branch of service will be printed on the upper right corner of guardsmen's and reservists' cards. "Active" and the service branch are already on active-duty members' cards.
Reserve component members mobilized or called to active duty for more than 30 days will receive new ID cards with the "Active" designation for the length of their tour.
Army Command Sgt. Major Collin L. Younger, senior enlisted adviser to the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, stressed the color change simply promotes the concept of the Guard and Reserve as integral to the Total Force. Reservists' benefits, privileges and entitlements are unaffected.
"Reservists are being asked to do more as equal partners in national defense," he said, pointing to a wide range of ongoing DoD missions in which the reserve components are key players. Members of the Guard and reserves help maintain the U.S. military presence in Haiti and Kuwait, and to date, almost 17,000 have mobilized to support operations in Bosnia.
The reserves also participate in a wide range of military missions, from airlift support to combined exercises in the former Soviet Union and Latin America. Cohen recently announced a new mission for the National Guard: to support civilian authorities in the event of a domestic incident involving weapons of mass destruction.
Cohen said making the reserve components an integral part of the Total Force is critical as the military prepares to face the next century. The challenges, he said, exceed those of the Cold War era. "Today's problems are more complex and our Total Force must be seamless," he said. "We cannot achieve this as separate active and reserve components."
Cohen announced an integration plan last September to promote the evolution of a seamless force. The plan is based on four principles: that senior leaders clearly understand and recognize the Total Force concept; that active, Guard and reserve units clearly understand each other's missions and roles in operations; that appropriate resources be committed to missions; and that senior commanders ensure the readiness of all parts of the Total Force.
These principles, he said, are fundamental to removing remaining structural and cultural barriers to the integration of active and reserve members.