Army National Guard; Operational Reserve or Homeland Security Force?   [open pdf - 1004KB]

From the thesis abstract: "One of the most profound evolutions of the National Guard [NG] occurred following the release of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. It redefined the role of the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve. This leadership decision dramatically increased the responsibility of the NG. NG personnel and equipment have rapidly become exhausted and unserviceable. Units are forced to cross level equipment and personnel to fill shortages in support of deployed units. The net effect of this increased responsibility may have a deleterious effect on the overall national security of the United States. An organization constitutionally established as the primary homeland security force must have the operational reserve role clearly defined. Conversely, what military organization executes the role of strategic reserve in the Guard's absence? The question is not if the NG can support an operational role, but what are the sacrifices to homeland security? The military and political leadership must be willing to consider reduced deployment times, enforcement of the ARFORGEN [Army Force Generation] process, continued aggressive recruiting, retention campaigns, and focusing federal and state authorities toward increased civic involvement for homeland security. This is an enormous financial undertaking especially in times of economic crisis. It is however, a critical issue requiring the focused attention of the military, the political leadership and citizenry of the United States in order to provide the best alternative for securing the borders of our nation and our way of life from the potential threats in the 21st Century."

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