Posted on Sep 6, 2015
CW4 Russ Hamilton (Ret)
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I've spent 37 years in the Army, in both the active and reserve components. Most of my career has been in the reserves. Regardless, I've consistently seen different "rules" and regs applied not to mention the never ending attitude on deployments that reservists and guardsmen are inferior to active component Soldiers.The active component gets promoted faster, has priority at required schools and typically treats reservists/guardsmen like second class Soldiers on deployments. I can give dozens of examples if needed but I'll save it for now. Bottom line is the Reserves/Guard constitute the bulk of the Army - the Army needs the Reserve/Guard and can't do without them so treat them as equals and not second class Soldiers. Give them the same opportunities for promotion and schools. And especially to the active component, quit assuming we are "inferior" Soldiers during deployments. We often outperform active duty Soldiers plus we bring a multitude of other skills to the table - we are cops, engineers, CEO's, nurses and so on. Let's make everything equitable.

Just to clarify, not all AC elements are like this, nor are all RC/NG elements "top shelf." This issue is a problem that has been around since when I joined the Army in 1978 - I'm sure it goes back even further. This post is about fixing attitudes, ending stereotypes and providing equal educational opportunities to RC/NG Soldiers that AC Soldiers enjoy.
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Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 75
CSM Michael J. Uhlig
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CW4 Russ Hamilton (Ret) - our Reserve Component Soldiers are a very viable part of our mission! Soldiers from my unit are in 12 countries tonight spread across three continents, do you think for a minute we could be spread that thin and not rely on our full spectrum force, which includes our Reserve Component force? We not only incorporate them, we rely on them and trust them, they are our partners, sometimes you just have move past the stereotypical blinders and trust that people will do their jobs, they often bring many better practices or ways of doing things with them!
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CW4 Spo Sea Section Oic
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Well said CSM Uhlig!
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SGT Bryon Sergent
SGT Bryon Sergent
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CSM Michael J. Uhlig - Well said and Thank you!
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MSG Thomas Currie
MSG Thomas Currie
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There was an old (1950's vintage) Air Force song "Goddamned Reserves" that pretty accurately summed up the situation as seen from the reserve side of things. The beginning goes like this "in peacetime the regulars are happy; yes, in peacetime they're anxious to serve; but just let them get into trouble & they call out the goddamned reserves"

On the other hand, the active force tends to look on the guard and reserves as "Weekend Warriors" with second-class equipment (whose fault is that), poor training, and no discipline.

Both sides have some truth in their opinions.

I can't speak directly for the current situation but from what I have seen and heard nothing really changed much about the active force leadership considering the guard and reserves as low quality fillers for whatever tough jobs were outside the road to glory.

What I can speak directly to is what the Army leadership did to ensure that neither the active force or the guard would take the mission of the guard seriously.

My last active duty assignment was with Readiness Group Atlanta, supporting the guard throughout Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico, and parts of Tennessee and Alabama. At that time 24th ID at Fort Stewart was the "Rapid Deployment Force (Heavy)" -- the guys who were expected to provide the real combat power to back up the light forces (82nd Airborne). 48th Bde, Georgia National Guard, was the "roundout" brigade for the 24th ID.

According to all the plans, if we needed to deploy serious combat power somewhere, the 82nd would be immediately available, with the 24th ID right behind, either flying to use pre-positioned equipment or loading their Tanks and Bradleys on ships at Savanna. As soon as the two active force brigades of 24ID departed, 48th Bde would arrive at Fort Steward, draw their equipment, and move to follow on the next ships out of Savanna. Worst case, 48th Bde would be a couple of weeks behind the other two brigades arriving wherever needed based on the availability of transport. This wasn't just some wild fantasy, 48th Bde had deployed to the Middle East for regular training, and their tank battalion was the only NG roundout unit that had completed an NTC rotation as part of an active force brigade.

Then Iraq invaded Kuwait. And the first response at the Pentagon was that some staff officer ran to the book shelf, picked up the full set of CAPSTONE manuals, ran back to his desk, and promptly dropped those CAPSTONE manuals in the Round File.

Exactly as planned, we sent 82nd Airborne to Saudi Arabia to face off against a force of over 5000 tanks. Obviously a light division wasn't enough to handle that task, and we had a solid plan that called for sending 24th ID, but instead we sent another light division (101st).

Once the decision was made to use force to push Iraq out of Kuwait, we worked up the order of battle, determining which commanders would get that coveted ticket punch for a combat command. One thing we made damn sure of was that no national guard unit would be included.
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SSG Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
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Edited 8 y ago
CW4 Russ Hamilton (Ret) With all due respect, I disagree with that premise. Understanding that in comparison, I have the third of your time in the Army, I have always been a mobilized reservist. In an honest comparison, I would say yes, the RC is more laxed with the Rules at times, but there is that experience in a civilian career that ups the ante. You can not compare an Active duty soldier that only knows the active duty side, to one that has knowledge of his military job, as well as other jobs experiences, and maybe a college degree. Usually RC units are more easily adaptable to an ever changing battlefield.

AC component usually forgets that we have 2-3 days a month to do what most of them do in 30 days, in addition to our regular jobs outside the military. We are more versatile when it comes to wearing multiple hats. Even sometimes, like my unit is presently experiencing, have a command that has no regard or knowledge of downtime to let troops recover. (meaning pulling 12-14 hr days every single drill weekend)

As a good example I can give you my unit's last AT operation, were we had to set up our level II medical facilities in the field, and be operational within 36 hours. Mind you we are not at 100% strength, more like 60%. Well, instead of 36 hours we were already up and ready in the first 24 hours, and able to start the training, in addition to do 2 more real life medical support missions to OCS training taking place in another location. In less than a week we proved to our command that we were able to meet the demands of our METL and SubMETL tasks 100%. It really came in handy that we had medics that were electricians, builders, and heavy equipment operators.

This was not easy to accomplish, but I am very proud that our soldiers were able to get the big picture of what we do in our unit.

I am not trying to put down the active component, but my personal experience is that as a single soldier, I have earned the respect of both AC and RC component commands. This has never been an issue with me, and this is more like that usual banter between our branches of service, because when the metal meets the meat, these preconceptions all die suddenly.
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SFC Recruit Sustainment Program (Rsp) Cadre
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CW3 (Join to see) - wow, you must be AC
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SFC James Barnes
SFC James Barnes
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no he is New York ARNG
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CW3 Property Book Officer (Pbo)
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That's why I know I'm in the National Guard and while doing air assault missions like in the commercials would be awesome a lot of our units don't have the funding to plan hardcore training for the MDay guys. My response was soley based on my own experience being in the Reserve for 3 years, active duty for 8 and now in the National Guard for 2. When I was active duty I never treated reservists with any disrespect but I did notice that ANG and RC units are run more like a family then the AC thats why when I got off active duty I joined the Guard.
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SGT Bryon Sergent
SGT Bryon Sergent
7 y
CW3 (Join to see) - I was active duty for 3 years. We sat around and waited more often then not. We did however have training time. We spent 9 out of 12 months in the field. 2 days here, week there, 30 days on the occasion, always on the firing range for something, M-16, m249, m-60, m-203 and dragon training. We stayed busy as an Infantry unit. Adimin was done during the the day at times when ever needed. You could just run up to S-1 and do what ever, then the birth month review and bam done.

Now as national Guard, we get a weekend to do Weapons qual, then might get the the 249, 240 or the 50 on occasion, maybe a 203. Admin is usually done for the whole company in a weekend drill plus what we have to train on. Instead of just running up to S-1 shop and completing it, We train all day till chow time, then up til 0100 or 0200 to get all the BS paper work that needs to be done, then back up at 0500 to start training again.

I do not think that one component is better than the other, but with that being said, when we go to set up our AO and need some one to fix the generator, someone on the civilian side is a small engine repair and gets it running, or if we are out and the HMMWV has something go wrong, and maintenance is now where to be found, we get it running and then get it to them. Need power ran to something guarantee we have at least 1 contractor in the unit that is an electrician and we get it done. In my last unit I think we actually had an attorney in the unit! So we had all of our POA's and things done before we deployed! I know when I deployed right after 9/11 i had a soldier that had his landlord put a padlock on his apartment. His wife couldn't get in to there home to get their new born stuff. I happened to work at a jail. Guess who I knew, the District judge for the country, who was also our JAG officer. Called him and he had a court order faster than you can blink an eye. Had 3 country sheriff deputies there. When the landlord refused the court order not only was the door kicked in and her allowed in but the landlord went to jail and they got out of there lease (legally) and the landlord got a huge fine!
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MAJ Nurse Anesthetist
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I got to pull that one on a LTC. He told me he didn't want me providing anesthesia to him. I told him, "Sir, I can go get someone who doesn't do this often however, I do my army job 60-80 hours a week. I am a reservist that practices in my profession daily. I am pretty sure you want me to do it for you and not someone who does paperwork all day, every day."

He was convinced.
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