U.S. Domestic and National Security Agendas: Into the Twenty-First Century

By Sam C. Sarkesian; John Mead Flanagin et al. | Go to book overview

10
Total Force Policy

Charles E. Heller

As the nation and the U.S. Army approach the twenty-first century, opportunities exist to build an unprecedented effective peacetime force. Such a prospect might realize the dreams of Army reformers in the ranks and in Congress whose intellectual roots stretch back to the beginning of the century. The key to the future rests in how the Total Force Policy is implemented over the decade of the 1990s. How the U.S. Army will proceed in refining this policy is stated in its Fiscal Year 1993 posture statement. In this document, Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan refers to "enabling Strategies to meet the challenge of the future." And he states that the Army's policy will be

to Strengthen the Total Force by fully integrating our active and reserve components, keeping early-deploying units fully "mission ready," establishing strong training relationships and by fully integrating Total Army readiness standards and operating systems. 1

This enabling strategy may be best defined by the U.S. Army's Reserve Forces Policy Board. According to the board, Total Force

means the integration of planning, programming and budgeting for the manning, equipping, maintaining and training of a mix of active and reserve forces essential for meeting initial contingency demands for forces. The Total Force Policy implies an increased interdependence of active and reserve forces. It absolutely requires that the availability and readiness of reserve forces must be as certain as the availability of active forces. 2

The roots of the policy stretch to an earlier period of Army reform focusing on creating a modern American Army. These roots began to grow after the Civil War, when Emory Upton reported to General of the Army William

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