Reform

Part-Time Service Members, Full-Time Citizens

April 11, 2019 | BY C. Todd Lopez

Not every service member wears a uniform full time.

Some hold down civilian jobs most of the time and only occasionally put on their uniforms for regularly scheduled training; for deployments in support of the U.S. government when called upon or, in the case of National Guardsmen, to support their home state governors in times of local emergency or natural disaster.

Service members build sand bags.
Flooding Work
North Dakota National Guardsmen Army Staff Sgt. Jashua Trulson, right, and Army Sgt. Tyler Schlick, place sandbags to block water from backing up through a drainage culvert into a farmyard in rural Cass County, near West Fargo, N.D., April 8, 2019. They are part of a North Dakota Army National Guard’s Quick Response Force team.
Photo By: North Dakota Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp
VIRIN: 190408-Z-WA217-1036C

What National Guardsmen and reservists have in common is they provide much-needed support to their active-duty counterparts, and they are an integral part of the U.S. military mission.

1
The National Guard includes nearly 450,000 soldiers and airmen.
2
On any day, some 30,000 guardsmen are mobilized around the world in support of combatant commanders.
3
The National Guard is represented in 2,600 communities across U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia.
A National Guard C-130J Super Hercules equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System
171214-Z-QY689-002
An Air National Guard C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, drops a chemical fire retardant on the Thomas Fire in the hills above the city of Santa Barbara, Calif., Dec. 13, 2017. The C-130J from the 146th Airlift Wing supported Cal Fire’s efforts to battle the Thomas Fire raging in Southern California last year.
Photo By: Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carzis
VIRIN: 171214-Z-QY689-002
4
Some 10,000 guardsmen are involved in ongoing missions daily across the U.S. supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command to protect the skies above the United States and participate in drug interdiction missions.
5
The Army Reserve has a presence in all 50 states, five U.S. territories and 30 countries. It has more than 200,000 soldiers and civilian employees spread across more than 2,000 units in 20 different time zones.
A service member descends from a helicopter.
Active Response
A Nebraska Army National Guardsman descends from a helicopter during flood response efforts near Columbus, Neb., March 14, 2019. The Nebraska Guard provided multiple helicopters and crews to help transport people and pets identified as stranded or isolated due to historic flooding.
Photo By: Spc. Lisa Crawford, Nebraska Army National Guard
VIRIN: 190314-Z-QR920-521C
6
The Air Force Reserve’s 70,000 airmen are operationally integrated with their active component counterparts.
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The Navy Reserve is composed of 101,000 sailors: 48,000 reservists, 43,000 individual ready reservists and 10,000 full-time support members from every state and territory.
8
Since 2001, Navy reservists have mobilized more than 84,000 times to every theater of operation, including 3,310 mobilizations in fiscal year 2018.
A sailor stands guard in a tower.
Sailor's Watch
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class DeMarcus Coleman stands the main gate overwatch at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, during the exercise Solid Curtain, Feb. 14, 2019. Coleman is an aviation electronics technician.
Photo By: Jacquelyn D. Childs, Navy
VIRIN: 190214-N-GA424-0013C
9
In 2018, 2,135 reserve Marines mobilized supporting 35 operational requirements in each of the six geographic combatant commands. Likewise, nearly 14,000 reserve Marines participated in 76 training exercises, supporting requirements in 41 countries.

Leaders from the National Guard and Reserve components were on Capitol Hill April 10 to tell lawmakers just how busy their service members are.

Click here to learn what National Guard and reserve leaders said to Congress.