Reserve Force:

DOD Guidance Needed on Assigning Roles to Reserves Under the Total Force Policy

NSIAD-90-26: Published: Dec 7, 1989. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) and the military services' policies and procedures for assigning missions to reserve forces.

GAO found that: (1) all the military services' force mix decisions were by-products of general force structuring and budgeting determinations; (2) the Army's increasing reliance on its reserves was influenced by its self-imposed limit on active-force growth; (3) the Air Force was responding to congressional concerns by increasing the role of its reserve force; (4) the Navy initiated efforts to balance active and reserve force growth; (5) the Marine Corps made relatively few changes to its force mix; (6) the military services' criteria for force mix decisionmaking were generally informal and undocumented; (7) the military services and officials within each service disagreed on force mix decision criteria; and (8) DOD lacked a periodic review process for evaluating the overall effect of force mix decisions on warfare capabilities.

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