In a September 1997 memorandum, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen called upon the
civilian and military leadership of the Department of Defense to eliminate "all
residual barriers structural and cultural" to effective
integration of the Reserve and Active components into a "seamless Total Force."
As a follow-on to that memo, the Department of Defense begins a study today on
alternative concepts for employing Reserve Component (RC) forces in the future. The study,
titled "Reserve Component Employment 2005," will include participants
from the active, Reserve and National Guard components of the Services, and
representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
and the unified commands.
The study is expected to be completed in February 1999. It will review a full range of
combat and support RC roles in current operational plans and assess currently planned
employment in the U.S. and abroad during peacetime and across the full spectrum of
conflict. Additionally, the study will develop and assess alternative RC employment roles
and force-mix concepts, including an evaluation of costs, benefits, resources, and risks
for each option.
Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre and Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Gen. Joseph W. Ralston are co-chairs of the Defense Planning Advisory Group and have final
review authority. A Senior Steering Group co-chaired by Lt. Gen. Frank Campbell, J-8;
Edward Warner, assistant secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction, and Mr.
Charles Cragin, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, will provide
senior oversight of the study.
"Our goal, as we move into the 21st century, must be a seamless Total
Force that provides the National Command Authorities the flexibility and interoperability
necessary for the full range of military operations. We cannot achieve this as separate
components. Much progress has already been made. We must continue to work towards the
principles of Total Force and achieve full integration of the Reserve and active
components," Cohen stressed in his 1997 memo.