Issues & Advocacy

Important Guard-Related Studies

In a world overflowing with information of uncertain quality, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. NGAUS relies on the research of independent, unbiased think-tanks, academic institutions and advisory boards to provide scholarly analysis and strategic research on policy issues affecting the National Guard. The following studies are important to improving policy and decisionmaking related to the National Guard in the Department of Defense and Congress.

National Commission on the Future of the Army

National Commission on the Future of the Army, January 2016
Final report of the congressionally mandated commission. The Commission was tasked with investigating how the Army should be structured to meet the national security threats of the future. Congress directed the Commission to examine the structure of the Army and policy assumptions related to the size and force mixture of the Army; to make recommendations on modifications (if any) to the structure of the Army related based on current and anticipated mission requirements and; to examine the transfer of Army National Guard AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the Army National Guard to the Regular Army. The Commission spent nearly a year listening to soldiers of various ranks, from private to general, and all components, governors, members of Congress, academics, and think-tank members. 

Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission

Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, January 2015
Final report of the MCRMC, established by the National Defense Authorization Act in FY2013. Each year, the Commission reviews current compensation and retirement systems and makes recommendations to modernize those systems already in place. The Commission is important in ensuring the long-term viability and human resources of this all-volunteer force, enabling the quality of life for service members and their families, and modernizing compensation and retirement systems of the armed services.

Readiness Center Transformation Master Plan

Army National Guard Installation Division, December 2014
Final report of a congressional directed study. Senate directed the Secretary of the Army to complete a study and report on Army National Guard Readiness Centers. The Senate directed six tasks to be reviewed and analyzed while the seventh task directed a presentation of a capital investment strategy. The study finds that the Army National Guard’s Readiness Centers are “not currently as efficient and effective as they could be in supporting the ARNG as an operational force.”

Citizen-Soldiers in a Time of Transition: The Future of the U.S. Army National Guard

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program, Stephanie Sanok Kostro, 2014
A report which examines on a variety of strategic issues and heated debates over the National Guard's appropriate role and missions, as well as the integration of the Army National Guard forces in the Active Component forces. The report highlights different perpectives on the long-standing and evolving relationship between the Active and Reserve Components and explores the ARNG's role in distict mission areas from the homeland, to building partnerships to cybersecurity. 

The National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account Report (NGREAR) for Fiscal Year 2015

A statutorily required report that identifies major items of equipment in the reserve component inventories that are important to the Services, the Department of Defense and Congress, and also outlines how that equipment is being acquired and disposed of by the Reserves for the budget year and the two succeeding years.

Reserve Component Use, Balance, Cost and Savings: A Response to Questions from the Secretary of Defense

Reserve Forces Policy Board, February 2014
A report, commissioned by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to determine the best ways to use the reserve components in support of the Defense Strategic Guidance, the right balance or mix of active and reserve component forces, the cost to maintain a strong reserve, and how the DoD could achieve cost savings through use of the reserve components. The RFPB report concludes that using the reserve component as an operational force is cost-effective and promotes a healthy force structure mix.

National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force Final Report

National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, January 2014
Final report of the congressionally mandated commission. The comprehensive study of the structure of the U.S. Air Force makes recommendations on how the structure should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the U.S. Air Force. The Commission makes several recommendations to increase reliance on Air Force Reserve and National Guard capabilities.

Unit Cost and Readiness for Active and Reserve Component of the Armed Forces

Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE)
A study, based two years of research conducted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, that details how reserve-component (RC) troops are cheaper to the taxpayers than their active-component (AC) counterparts, even when mobilized. 

Eliminating Major Gaps in DoD Data on the Fully-Burdened and Life-Cycle Cost of Military Personnel: Cost Elements Should be Mandated by Policy

Reserve Forces Policy Board, January 2013
A study by an independent advisory board to the Secretary of Defense on Active Component and Reserve Component life-cycle costs that concluded that a National Guard member costs about 1/3 of his Active Duty counterpart.

Total Force Optimization

Harvard, Lt. Col. Luke Ahmann and Lt. Col Liesl Carter, 2012
A scholarly analysis that looks at the optimum balance of forces within the Total Air Force and asserts that expanding the more cost effective reserve components would allow for more capability and capacity with limited future funding.

An Indispensable Force: Investing in America’s National Guard and Reserves

Center for New American Security, John Nagl and Travis Sharp, 2010 
Contends that allowing the Guard and Reserves to regress back to a Cold War-style strategic force meant only to be used as a last resort in the event of major war would be a tremendous mistake that would damage U.S. national security.

National Defense in a Time of Change

Brookings, Hamilton Project, Adm. Gary Roughead, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and Kori Schake, February 2013
Proposes reducing the active duty Army by 200,000 soldiers from the 490,000 planned in the FY2013 budget, and increasing the National Guard and Reserves by 100,000, including putting more of the responsibilities for ground combat into the combat-proven Reserve component, which they assert is both consistent with the new demands of the evolving international order and justified by the superb performance of National Guard and Reserve units in our recent wars.

Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC)

June 2012
Examines whether compensation levels are sufficient to sustain recruitment and retention of the high caliber men and women in uniform who serve our nation, and proposes both positive changes - reducing from 30 to six the authorities for calling members of the Guard and Reserve to duty and allowing our members to receive their retired pay upon their 30th anniversary of service after having attained 20 qualifying years of service - and negative changes - cutting drill pay in half  in order to equate a drill day with one day of “regular military compensation”.