Characteristics of Selected Reserve Accessions
FY 2000 Reserve Component recruiting results for NPS and prior service gains and assigned end-strengths are shown in Table 5.1. In FY 2000, the Reserve Component recruited 159,687 enlisted persons compared to the Active Component's almost 184,000. The ARNG has the largest Reserve Component recruiting program, followed by the Army Reserve (USAR). The ARNG recruited approximately 33,200 NPS enlistees, about 11,000 more than the USAR. Both the ARNG and USAR recruited about the same number of prior service recruits, more than 29,000. Recognizing the importance of experience provided by qualified prior service personnel to the Reserve Forces, Congress established additional prior service accessions for the ARNG as part of the Army Guard Combat Reform Initiative: "The Secretary of the Army shall increase the number of qualified prior active-duty enlisted members in the Army National Guard."[footnote 4] While the legislation applies only to the ARNG, the Secretary of the Army has required the Army Reserve to comply, which would explain the large number of prior service accessions to the USAR and the ARNG.
Selected Reserve recruiting achievements increased by more than 15,000 enlisted accessions from FY 1999 to FY 2000 (from almost 144,000 to nearly 160,000). The Naval Reserve experienced cuts while all other components increased.
Due to differences in mission and force structure, the size of recruit cohorts by component varied greatly. Therefore, comparisons between the Reserve Component percentages must be interpreted with care. The Army Componentsthe ARNG and USARhad the largest Selected Reserve recruit cohorts, recruiting 71 percent of total Reserve Component accessions (39 and 32 percent for the ARNG and USAR, respectively) in FY 2000. The Naval Reserve (USNR) and Air Force Reserve (USAFR) had the highest proportion of prior service recruits (82 percent and 77 percent of their total recruiting efforts, respectively). The Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) had the lowest proportion of recruits with past military experience (38 percent). Prior service accessions provide the Reserve Component with a more experienced personnel base, contributing to increased readiness to meet future missions.
The increase in availability of prior service recruits, a temporary phenomenon due to the larger number of active duty members leaving service during the drawdown, has ended. The result is fewer prior service individuals from which the Reserve Component can recruit. In fact, the more successful the Military Services are in retaining active duty members, the smaller the prior service pool becomes. Thus, the Reserve Component must recruit NPS individuals, in direct competition with the Active Component. The numerical effects of the drawdown, changes in the Reserve mission with increased combat risks due to an increased operating tempo (OpTempo), as well as quality of life and compensation issues have made Reserve recruiting difficult as we enter the 21st century. Potential recruits are likely to find combat risk, family hardships, and financial losses during a mobilization more important in the Reserve participation decision today and in the future."[footnote 5]
[footnote 4] Army National Guard Combat Readiness Reform Act of 1992, 10 U.S.C. 10105, as amended January 2000.[back to paragraph]
[footnote 5] Asch, B.J., Reserve Supply in the Post-Desert Storm Recruiting Environment (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1993), p. 5.[back to paragraph]