The Department of Defense (DOD) and Congress have expressed concern with the frequency and length of time that volunteer reservists serve on active duty. In fiscal year 2006, DOD nearly doubled its fiscal year 2005 estimate for the total maximum levels of reservists volunteering to be on active duty for operational support. Congress required GAO to review the reasons behind the increases and expressed an interest in understanding which reservists were being included or excluded from these numbers. In this report, GAO (1) identified the factors that led to the increase in DOD's requests for the maximum number of volunteer reserve personnel authorized to be on active duty for operational support since DOD's initial request in fiscal year 2005 and (2) assessed the extent to which the reserve components have consistently reported the number of reservists serving in an operational support capacity since 2005. In conducting this review, GAO analyzed agency documents and interviewed DOD officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||To ensure that the components can report accurate and consistent information about the number of reservists serving in an operational support capacity, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the reserve components to develop guidance to clarify and consistently define the categories of operational support that should be included in the reported numbers.|