Analysis of Alternative Mixes of Full-Time Support in the Reserve Components
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requests a report on the “feasibility and advisability” of converting military technicians (MTs) to Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) personnel. The language specifies an “analysis of the fully-burdened costs of the conversion” and “an assessment of the ratio of members of the Armed Forces performing Active Guard and Reserve duty and civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DoD) under title 5, United States Code, required to best contribute to the readiness of the National Guard and the Reserves.” The report’s objective is to analyze the cost of alternative mixes of full-time support (FTS), including AGRs and MTs, with an accompanying discussion of management and readiness. The Institute for Defense Analyses’ (IDA’s) team developed a manpower cost estimating tool to compare costs and other factors of alternative FTS mixes. Results indicate for the FTS workforce of each Reserve Component (RC) that both the annual DoD program cost and fully-burdened cost are approximately equivalent or higher when AGRs replace MTs on a 1:1 basis. Army Components present relatively larger cost increases than Air Force Components. Through IDA research and collaborative discussions with subject matter experts representing the RCs, it became clear the RCs manage and administer FTS differently, with each RC adapting its FTS program to RC-specific requirements.