Evolution of the Military's Current Active-Reserve Force Mix

August, 2017
IDA document: D-4968
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents , Human Capital
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
David R. Graham, John R. Brinkerhoff, William R. Burns, Robert B. Magruder, Drew Miller, Michael F. Niles See more authors
This report describes the current and programmed mix of Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RC) units and personnel in the Military Services and traces its evolution from the end of the Cold War to the present time. Information on the current AC-RC mix provides a baseline from which to consider alternative AC-RC mixes when planning future force structures. The historical review starts at the end of World War II and describes in general terms the AC-RC mixes at that time and the changes that occurred through the Cold War. The modern history of the AC-RC mix starts with the introduction of the Total Force Policy in the 1970s and the role of the RC during the Cold War. Finally, the major focus of the paper is on the evolution of the AC-RC mix in each Service from the end of the Cold War in 1989 to the present day. The report illustrates the different natures of the AC-RC relationships that exist because of the unique nature of each Services domain, role, and culture.