April 27, 2015
Final Rough Draft Weekend Warrior
A person who is active duty is in the military full time. They work for the military full time, may live on a military base, and can be deployed at any time. Persons in the Reserve or National Guard are not full-time active duty military personnel, although they can be deployed at any time should the need arise. Each branch of the military has a Reserve component and the Reserve are under the command of their respective military branch.
The purpose of the Reserve is to provide and maintain trained units and qualified persons to be available for active duty in the armed forces when needed. This may be in times of war, in a national emergency, or as the need occurs based on threats to national security. The primary job of the Reserve is to fill the gaps in stateside service positions when the active duty forces ship overseas. Members of the Reserve are required to participate in training drills one weekend a month and two weeks per year.
While federally funded, the National Guard is organized and controlled by state. In times of war, the National Guard can become federalized and deployed. The National Guard engages in a number of activities. During local emergencies, National Guard units assist communities endangered by storms, floods, fires, and other disasters. National Guard companies deployed overseas may see combat, but are more often building schools and hospitals, training local peacekeepers, or teaching local farmers more efficient farming techniques and better ways to use of their land.
Members of the Reserve and National Guard may be deployed. When scheduled to deploy, they may have extended drill in preparation, causing in a greater time obligation on behalf of the Soldier. The current conflicts have an all-volunteer force, which could result in multiple deployments. OIF/OEF/OND have been the largest and longest lasting mobilization of the Reserve and National Guard since the Korean War.
Telling the boss what he or she wants to hear is easy. But what are service members to do when asked to provide professional advice or a recommendation, knowing it runs contrary to what the senior leader wants or expects? Military members have a responsibility to remain apolitical even when reporting to political figures. It’s important to realize that your oath as a soldier is to protect and defend the Constitution It is not to a political party. It is not to an administration. It is not to a person…We owe our allegiance and loyalty to the country and its Constitution.
While there are clear signs that readiness is a problem for the U.S. military, the U.S. armed forces stand far above any other military force. The United States, as the most powerful nation in the world, has responsibilities and national security concerns far beyond those of any other nation. U.S. military readiness cannot be gauged by comparing America's armed forces with other nations' militaries. Instead, the capability of U.S. forces to support America's national security requirements should be the measure of U.S. military readiness. Such a standard is necessary because America may confront threats from many different nations at once.
America's national security requirements dictate that the armed forces must be prepared to defeat groups of adversaries in a given war. America, as the sole remaining superpower, has many enemies. Because attacking America or its interests alone would surely end in defeat for a single nation, these enemies are likely to form alliances. Basing readiness on American military superiority over any single nation has little saliency.
Military readiness is vital because declines in America's military readiness signal to the rest of the world that the United States is not prepared to defend its interests. Potentially hostile nations will be more likely to lash out against American allies and interests, inevitably leading to U.S. involvement in combat.