Gates: Active force, reserves must integrate


William H. McMichael
Military Times
November 27, 2008

Editor’s note: For Obama’s new (same old) Defense Secretary, Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution is a “cultural prejudice.”

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates took a giant step Monday toward more tightly blending the active-duty military and reserve components into an “integrated total force,” calling for wide-ranging personnel policy changes, codifying the reserves’ homeland defense role and adequately funding oft-overlooked reserve equipment requirements.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

In a Monday memo sent to every senior uniformed and civilian Pentagon leader and copied to three other cabinet secretaries, Gates directed the development of a new Total Force Integration Policy that recognizes the “cultural divide that exists” between the active and reserve components. “All vestiges of the cultural prejudice” that remain in law “should be removed” by Congress, he wrote.

Gates also called upon Congress to “mandate that the National Guard and Reserves have the lead role in and form the backbone of DoD operations in the homeland.”

Congress, the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves it chartered and the Pentagon, Gates wrote in his 41-page memo, “all recognize that the National Guard and the Reserves are integral to the Total Force and have assumed a greater operational role in today’s force.”

The commission distributed the memo Monday evening in advance of the Pentagon’s planned Tuesday release.

Gates endorsed 82 of the 95 recommendations issued by the commission in its final report in January — some of the 82, he noted, have already been completed or are currently being implemented.

Twenty of the 82 recommendations will require the support of Congress; one asks the president to direct all federal agencies to issue guidance emphasizing the importance of reserve service and to prescribe sanctions for civilian supervisors who fail to comply with guidelines regarding treatment of reservists.

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