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United States Army War College

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How to Make Army Force Generation Work for the Army's Reserve Components

Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E Whitlock. | August 2006

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ABSTRACT

The Army needs to implement Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) in addition to its ongoing transformation and move to a more modular force. To achieve a campaign quality Army with joint and expeditionary qualities fully, the Army must do so quickly, while also keeping its Reserve Components full partners throughout this process. Without ARFORGEN, the Army will continue to be challenged seriously or even be unable to fulfill its current global force requirements. Fully integrating the Army's RCs into ARFORGEN is essential and critical for the Army to succeed.

This paper describes ARFORGEN, discusses some of its critical assumptions related to RC units, and explains what changes are required at the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of the Army (DA), and the individual RC levels so that the Army can integrate its RC units fully into ARFORGEN. The paper details needed changes at both the institutional and operational levels at DA and DoD.

DA institutional change includes improving the structure, equipping, training, manning, and resourcing functions related to RC units. The institutional Army also must synchronize other well-established institutional processes with ARFORGEN. The operational Army must improve communication with the institutional Army, develop robust automation support for all aspects of ARFORGEN, and increase planning horizons to the maximum extent possible for RC units.

Needed DoD institutional change includes providing the Army better and more timely mobilization strategic guidance; focusing DoD implementation policy on the long-term requirements needed to fight a long war; focusing less on individual servicemember and RC unit management issues; and providing additional resources to the Army's RCs. DoD operational change includes communicating better with the institutional chain of command and working to establish a well-defined system to manage and execute its joint force provider responsibilities.

CONCLUSION

In the long war ahead, the Army has the most compelling need, and the most to gain, in both supporting the DoD effort to move its RCs from a strategic to an operational reserve. Of all the Army's initiatives, implementing ARFORGEN is the most critical. The Army will not be able to fulfill its worldwide force requirements by implementing ARFORGEN for AC units alone. To achieve a campaign quality Army fully with joint and expeditionary qualities, the Army must implement ARFORGEN quickly while also keeping its RCs full partners throughout this process. Fully integrating the Army's RCs into ARFORGEN is both essential and critical for ARFORGEN to succeed. The Army needs institutional and operational change within DA and also at the DoD level to make this happen. This paper detailed those changes required so that the Army can integrate its RC units fully into ARFORGEN.