Posted on Jan 13, 2014
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The CSA has recently came under fire for insinuating that the NG and RA are not interchangeable. Thoughts?
Posted in these groups: United_states_army_logo ArmyReserves_logo Reserves
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Responses: 32
SFC Joe Ping
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Having served in the Marines and the National Guard and Active Army, the active army needs to pull its collective head out of its ass and see that the National Guard and Reserve are an asset not a hindrance to their mission.
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SFC Graig Yarbrough
SFC Graig Yarbrough
>1 y
Can't agree more, Joe.
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SFC Agr Recruiter
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5 y
Complete agree with you SFC.
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1SG(P) First Sergeant
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I'm in the Guard and I've been Regular Army. I agree that Reserve Components frequently aren't interchangeable with our active forces. We're a tremendous augmentation for them. But we can't replace them in total without a quality train-up. To say that we can is a case of ego, denial, or both. We're very good at a lot of stuff. But we are part timers. This is the only job I know of in which part timers angrily state that they're "just as capable". Just because you aren't "just as capable" doesn't mean that you're not of value. If we were just as capable, the USGOV would save a lot of money by making the whole DoD a reserve force. To get pissed at the CSA over this begs the question "don't you have something more important to worry about?". We have strengths and limitations. Everybody has limitations. Especially when you don't do this stuff constantly.
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SGT Plumber
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>1 y
Perfectly stated. Recently there was a similar topic here on RP, and I made the observation that there's no way anyone could convince me that that a reservist infantry platoon with only two days to train out of a month could equal the skill and proficiency of an active duty infantry platoon that trains non stop all month long.

You hit the nail on the head when you said that just because they are not as capable doesn't mean they have no value. Reservist and National Guard soldiers have a crucial role to play, but it's madness to expect my above mentioned reservist infantry platoon to be at the same level as an active duty platoon that trains all week long every week of the month.
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MAJ Ronnie Reams
MAJ Ronnie Reams
6 y
I t depends on how many have a CIB. I saw NG Inf Platoons for about 10 years from 1973 to 1983 or so that had more combat experience in one squad than a USA platoon had. Think that will happen again as the Active contracts and their combat experience moves to the Guard.
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SGT Avenger Crew Member
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6 y
I'm in the guard as well, and it can be difficult trying to stay on top of military readiness as well as civilian readiness at your job. As a cop, I have training there as well that requires a lot of attention, not to mention court, supervisor meetings and so on. The active component does the job 24/7 and are key in getting us trained up and ready to do our part. One big team as I say.
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COL Jean (John) F. B.
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Edited 6 y ago
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I was an active duty officer for almost 30 years and have very strong opinion about the Reserve Components and their value to the Army.

My feelings about the Reserve Components (RC) took a dramatic change of course during Operation Desert Storm. Prior to that, the only experience I had with the RC was as a young captain/company commander at Ft Benning, Georgia, in the mid-70’s, and that experience was anything but good. However, my experience with the RC during Desert Storm and thereafter has been nothing but positive and I have become a big supporter of the RC.

At Ft. Benning in the mid-70’s, I was tasked with evaluating several Army National Guard MP companies during their Annual Training (AT). Almost without exception, the companies did not want to go to the field for tactical training and were only interested in performing garrison MP law enforcement duties and partying. I insisted they follow their training plan, which was mostly tactical training, and they openly resisted me. What they did accomplish in the field was unacceptable and that is how I evaluated them. I “failed” three of the four companies I evaluated and gave the other one a barely passing evaluation. That rankled a few feathers with the folks at the Reserve Components Training Division and I was asked to change the ratings, which I refused to do. It went all the way to the CG, USAIC & Ft Benning and I stuck to my guns. Needless to say, I had a bad taste in my mouth about the RC for years thereafter.

Flash forward to Desert Shield/Desert Storm. As a battalion commander, I had four active component companies and six National Guard companies (one each from Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia and Georgia and two from Puerto Rico). From the very beginning I saw how much the RC units had improved from my last experience with them. The soldiers were well trained, well equipped, professional and had outstanding NCO and officer leadership (with the exception of one company, which I quickly rectified). Although some of my sister battalion commanders did not do so, I assigned my RC companies the same missions and areas of responsibility as I did my active duty companies. They never let me down (OK.. one did, once … hence the leadership change mentioned above).

Another distinct advantage I found with having RC units assigned, which is a real plus when you are deployed, is that, besides being good soldiers, NCOs and officers, most of them had another profession that they brought with them. I had lawyers and judges, barbers and beauticians, heavy equipment operators, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, brick masons, social workers, corrections specialists, policemen, accountants, etc., etc…. What a great asset!!! There was nothing that I had to do that I did not have a ready-made cadre of people who could accomplish it; regardless of what it was. I became a big believer in and supporter of the Reserve Components and have told folks over the years that I hoped to always have them available if I had to deploy units again.

Following Desert Storm, I told my brother, who, at the time, was the two-star commander of a US Army Reserve Regional Support Command (RSC), about my change of heart. He asked me to write an article about it, which I did, and it was published in the Army Reserve magazine. I also gave several briefings about my experience, as I had an opportunity.

When I retired and became an executive in a large corporation, I continued my support of the RC by becoming involved in the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and was very vocal about the change I had seen over the years and the value of such a dedicated and selfless cadre of people who make up the RC.

The Reserve Components are critical to the success of our military. We need to ensure they get the funding, the equipment, and the training they need to stay at an acceptable level and not revert back to what I saw in the early to mid-70’s.
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SSG Military Police
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6 y
I wish I could vote you up more then once Sir,, The RC is a great asset given the additional skill set that most RC Units have within their ranks.. If some Commanders would just loose that old stereo type of the RC. In 2003 GEN Schoomaker said he wanted a number of all troops in theater that needed proper body armor.. the reserve soldiers where wearing old flak vest from the 1970's ..the number was given and then the USARC Commander, LTG Talley spoke up and said Sir.. that number does not include the 130,000 RC and NG..GEN Schoomaker then said.. I told you I wanted the numbers for ALL the service members in need of the proper gear.. It was good to know that the highest Leader in the Chain still thought of the RC and NG as real soldiers..It is amazing what a door guard can hear if he just acts like he isn't listening..
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COL Jean (John) F. B.
COL Jean (John) F. B.
6 y
GEN Pete Schoomaker was my first company commander, when I was a brand-new 2LT in Germany. Super officer. I saw him in 1999, 27 years later, when he was the CINC, SOCOM and I was at CENTCOM. As I walked up to him, he recognized me after all those years (I had on Mess Blues/no nametag).
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