A Modern Army Reserve For A Multi-domain World

A Modern Army Reserve For A Multi-domain World
A Modern Army Reserve for a Multi-domain World: Structural Realities and Untapped Potential
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This monograph identifies challenges and opportunities in today’s US Army Reserve. Since its inception in 1908, the Army Reserve has made important, diverse, and cost-effective contributions to the Army and the Joint Force and has shown the ability to adapt in profound ways to meet emerging requirements. In the context of emerging requirements driven by the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the Army is developing its thinking on multi-domain operations and evolving complex threats in the strategic and operational environments. To meet these emerging, complex challenges, the Army Reserve must adapt again.

Accordingly, the monograph offers an honest and direct assessment of the modern Army Reserve’s structural realities, institutional limitations, and untapped potential, while proposing a series of “quick wins,” “heavy lifts,” and “deep” reforms aimed at adapting the institution to meet our nation’s twenty-first century needs.

Table of Contents

 A Modern Army Reserve for a Multi-Domain World: Structural Realities and Untapped Potential  v

Preface  vii

About the Author  ix

Introduction  1

Part I: The Historical and Strategic Context  5 

An Adaptable, Malleable, and Scalable Institution  7 

Emerging Complex Threats and Accelerating Change  15 

The Army Reserve’s Five “Structural” Realities 29 

Implications of the Realities and Other Challenges  43 

Compounding Effects from the Social and Fiscal Context  65

Part III: Reforms to Realize the Army Reserve’s Full Potential  75 

“Quick Wins”: Near-Term Reforms to Build Readiness  77


“Heavy Lifts”: Aligning Institution and Modern Realities  93 

“Going Deep”: Unconventional Roles for a Daunting Future  117

Closing Thoughts: Citizenship in a Free Republic 131


Military and foreign affairs specialists and leadership should find this monograph essential reading to appreciate the dynamically changing and increasingly important role of the Army Reserve. Anyone associated within this arena beyond those within the Army establishment such as military contractors as well as university-level instructors and political science students should also consider obtaining this forward thinking resource

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Department of Defense, Department of Army, Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College
  • Irwin, Lewis G.
Key Phrases:
  • U.S. Army Reserve
  • Army War College
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