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Weekend Warriors No More and Why It Hurts the Nation

Essay by   •  May 6, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,345 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,369 Views

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I. Thesis

1. Group Thesis. Committing U.S. forces into a multitude of contingency operations and countries creates a considerable strain on national resources.

2. Individual Thesis. Using the National Guard (NG) and Reserve forces as a primary combat force creates a considerable strain on the national resources of the United States.

II. Abstract

III. Introduction

1. Traditional program for "Weekend Warriors".

2. Change to combat missions with Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3. Statistics of AR and NG in current conflicts.

IV. Body

1. Main Point 1. Reserve and NG force utilization goes against their intended roles.

a. Traditional use is for combat support not combat missions.

b. NG intended to assist states in emergency and to protect the homeland.

c. Army Reserve intended for use overseas in time of war.

d. AR for federal use and NG for state.

e. 1908 policy designated NG as first line reserve for Federal force.

2. Main Point 2. Utilization in combat missions depletes available auxiliary force.

a. 1973 policy changes Reserves from last resort force.

b. 2005, NG constitutes 45% of forces fighting in Iraq.

c. AR/NG suffering from serious equipment shortfalls.

3. Main Point 3. Activations cause a decreased response to homeland security.

a. Shortage of first responders due to Reserve and NG activations.

b. California Air NG now guarding the entire West Coast not just their state.

c. Terrorists may take advantage of our weakness on the home front.

V. Conclusion.

1. The U.S. needs to limit the amount of Reserve and NG forces deployed.

2. The U.S. must maintain a sizeable auxiliary force for contingency operations.

3. The U.S. must stay prepared for threats on the home front.


With the United States currently fighting two Wars and in over 130 countries, its Reserve and Guard forces are "Weekend Warriors" no more, but a primary combat force. Their traditional roles as a last resort force, combat support and homeland protectors changed into actually performing combat missions overseas. Using so many of these forces abroad leaves the country vulnerable as to available auxiliary forces and ability to react to threats within its borders, draining the nation of these precious resources. The purpose of this paper is to recommend revision of the current utilization of these forces focusing on maintaining enough of a contingency force to be able to respond to future threats and emergencies at home.

"Weekend Warriors" No More and Why It Hurts the Nation

Soldiers in the Army Reserve and National Guard, infectiously referred to as "Weekend Warriors" due to the fact that their work schedule has historically been to train mostly just one weekend a month, are "Weekend Warriors" no more. With fighting two wars simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan amongst the other 133 countries military members are currently serving in overseas, the United States is straining national resources by converting these "Weekend Warriors" into a primary combat force (Vance, 2004). Currently there are over 140,000 Reservists and Guardsmen mobilized on active duty just serving as part of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (Defense, 2010) and many in combat roles not just combat support. The current use of part time forces as a regular part of combat missions begs the question if there are enough forces left over in case of contingency operations or to protect the homeland.

Reserve and Guard Force Utilization Goes Against Their Intended Roles

With the United States military serving in theaters across the globe, and in two wars, it has resorted to using their Reserve and Guard forces in combat missions instead of in their traditional roles as combat support. The National Guard's



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