Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1972


Reserve Forces

The Army National Guard (ARNG) and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) are an integral part of the military forces required for national defense. Within the Army force structure they provide first line forces to augment the active forces and furnish the sustaining balance for the active Army. In a broader sense the Reserve Components are a very visible power potential. They are the indispensable foundation force in the event of prolonged conflict. Properly equipped, manned, and trained, they can add formidable strength to the nation's posture in international dealings and deliberations.

The fiscal year 1972 Reserve Components structure contained 8 combat divisions, 21 separate combat brigades, and the units required to round out the active Army's division forces and to provide balanced division forces in the Reserve Components. The structure also contains a number of special units, including on-site air defense units, and general support units to expand the Army's training and mobilization base. In this last category are 13 training divisions whose mission is to operate training centers upon mobilization. Conversion of the Reserve Components structure to the latest active Army tables of organization and equipment was essentially completed during the year.

The historic role of the Reserve Components to provide training units and qualified individuals for active duty in time of war or national emergency has not appreciably changed, despite the ambiguities of mobilization policy in the mid-1960s. However, subsequent events have underscored the need to improve their responsiveness and readiness to support the nation's military posture. As the active Army has phased down from its wartime configuration, missions and emphasis have been redirected to the ARNG and the USAR, and new demands have been placed upon their capabilities. Like the rest of the Army, the Reserve Components are accommodating to new circumstances, a process that will continue through the near future.


Maintaining the strength of the Reserve Components has become a major challenge in attaining the goal of an all-volunteer military force. Experience during the past year indicates that it will be increasingly difficult to meet draft requirements as draft calls continue to decline.


The longstanding waiting lists of draft-vulnerable applicants for enlistment in the reserve forces of recent years have disappeared. High losses occurred during the year due to the terminations of six-year enlistments during the early stages of the Vietnam War, while actual strengths have dropped below statutory minimums.

Paid drill strength of the Reserve Components at the end of fiscal year 1972 was as follows:

Authorized    400,000    260,000
Actual    387,539    235,192
Accomplishment    96.9 percent    90.5 percent

The effect of the decrease in the draft is reflected in the numbers of non-prior-service personnel enlisted in fiscal year 1972, as shown in the following table:

    ARNG    USAR
Objective    88,890    56,200
Recruited    46,853    15,529
Accomplishment    53 percent    28 percent

Faced with declining interest in membership, the Reserve Components initiated active and viable recruiting and retention programs during the past year. Training programs were developed for recruiters and personnel assigned recruiting duties on both a part-time basis and in full-time technician status. In addition, career counselors were assigned to major active Army installations as part of the Reserve Components/ Active Army In-Service Recruiting Program, which became operational at twenty-five military installations in the continental United States and in Hawaii and Germany on January 3, 1972. The Reserve Components portion of this program offered active duty soldiers the option of up to 179 days early release if they joined a Reserve Component unit. By March 29, 1972, some 25,000 active-duty soldiers had availed themselves of this option; but the program's success created serious shortfalls in active Army strength, particularly within the European Command, and it was terminated on that date. Reserve Component career counselors remained at active Army installations where they operated the basic full-time In-Service Recruiting Program. This program includes a sixty-day early release for all active-duty enlisted personnel assigned in the Continental United States who are leaving the active Army. Between March 9 and June 29, 1972, 1,659 individuals volunteered and were accepted for unit assignments in the Ready Reserve under this program.

Due largely to the results obtained from the short-lived Reserve Components/Active Army In-Service Recruiting Program, recruitment of prior service personnel by the ARNG and the USAR exceeded pro-


gram objectives. Total prior service personnel recruited in fiscal year 1972 is reflected in the following table:

    ARNG    USAR
Objective    13,940    8,800
Recruited    37,779    17,896
Accomplishment    271 percent    203 percent

Efforts to increase representation of minority groups in each of the Reserve Components in fiscal year 1972 resulted in an increase of 2,719 black personnel in the ARNG, for a total of 7,680; and 1,019 in the USAR, for a total of 6,869.

Several tangible incentive proposals to overcome strength shortfalls in the Reserve Components were under study or awaiting Congressional action at the end of the year. They are reduced retirement age enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses, full-time insurance coverage, increased retirement point credits, and modification of enlistment options. Also, a study has been initiated covering all aspects of the enlisted career programs of the Reserve Components for the purpose of determining ways to enhance career attractiveness. Improvement of advanced opportunities and professionalism within the enlisted grades are key objectives of the study.

The Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) of the USAR comprises officer and enlisted personnel who are either not required, do not desire, or are unable to join a Reserve Component unit. A comparison of the strength of the IRR at the end of fiscal years 1971 and 1972 is as follows

   30 June 1971    30 June 1972    Increase
Officers    70,922    82,257    +11,335
Enlisted    920,117    976,807    +56,690
Total    991,039    1,059,064    +68,025

The number of ARNG and .USAR technicians employed on a fulltime basis to perform administrative, supply, and maintenance functions which unit personnel are not able to accomplish during normal drill periods increased during the year. Authorization of a larger technician force reflects changes in functions and increased equipment inventories. The following table reflects the status of assigned technicians

   Fiscal Year 1971    Fiscal Year    1972 Increase
ARNG    23,273    26,955    +3,682
USAR    6,496    6,936    + 440
Total    29,769    33,891    +4,122

The active Army supports the Reserve Components with officer and enlisted advisers to assist units to achieve and maintain prescribed


mobilization readiness objectives. Advisers have no command authority, but provide advice and assistance to the units to which they are accredited to help those units accomplish their missions. Status of advisers at the end of fiscal years 1971 and 1972 is shown below:

Fiscal Year1971     Fiscal Year1972     Fiscal Year 1971    Fiscal Year 1972
Authorized    859    880    755    803
Assigned    655    767    702    704
Authorized    1,186    1,233    1,230    1,288
Assigned    1,100    1,086    1,140    1,162

Training and Readiness

Following a review of Reserve Component missions, programs and manpower levels in 1971, the Office of the Secretary of Defense recommended that the military services evaluate ideas to improve readiness and deployment times. The Army responded by initiating a number of evaluations and training tests in fiscal year 1972 that will continue into the new fiscal year and beyond. These tests and other studies currently under way are aimed at improving unity, mutual support, advisory efforts, force structure, and deployment times. Hopefully, they will generate better training and mobilization concepts so that Reserve Component capabilities will be in better balance with Army requirements.

The premobilization training objective of Reserve Component units has been raised to "the highest levels of individual and unit proficiency that are achievable in a pre-mobilization status." Previously, the objective was company-level proficiency, which has now become the minimum acceptable standard. Also, a decentralized training policy has been adopted that eliminates specific, repetitive training requirements, thus freeing unit commanders to conduct the training they deem necessary to improve the readiness and deployability of their units.

The Board for Dynamic Training and its successor, the Combat Arms Training Board, on which four ARNG and four USAR officers serve full-time, studied the training problems of the Reserve Components. Several promising initiatives were under way, including unit training extension courses and advances in the area of training aids and devices.

Army training programs, Army training tests, and Army subject schedules were also under revision. The unique training environment of the Reserve Components is a matter of specific consideration in the development of these revisions.

Army service schools have responded to special Reserve Component training requirements in an outstanding manner during fiscal year 1972. On very short notice the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia


prepared and put into operation a new course to meet the air mobility training needs of both aviation and nonaviation units that resulted from the transfer of a large portion of the Army's aviation capability to the Reserve Components. New resident and nonresident courses have been established at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to provide increased opportunities for Reserve Component officers to meet more stringent educational prerequisites for promotion. The new promotion standards, which became effective on July 1, 1972, are designed to improve professionalism and leadership and bring the Reserve Component officer promotion system more closely into line with that of the Regular Army. Also, U.S. Continental Army Command has set up procedures permitting brigade commanders to request that Army service schools provide training programs to meet specific problems or deficiencies.

A total of 22 Army Reserve Component units participated in Logistics Exercise 1972 (LOGEX 72), and 56 units took part in Logistics Exercise/Reserve Components 1972 (LOGEX/RC 72). These were the first full-scale logistical command post exercises since 1969 and were held at Camp Pickett, Virginia, during the spring of 1972. Several innovations were employed in the 1972 version of LOGEX, including the incorporation of existing contingency plans and logistics offensive concepts in the exercise plans, the introduction of the latest logistical task organizations, and the utilization of automatic data processing systems.

Materiel, Supply, and Maintenance

The over-all logistics capability of the Reserve Components to provide trained units and qualified personnel in any future emergency requiring a rapid and substantial expansion of the active forces continued to improve during 1972. Equipment valued at $1.05 billion was issued to Reserve Component units, as compared to issues of $727 million in 1971 and $300 million in 1970. Approximately three-fourths of the dollar value of the equipment turned over to the Reserve Components was for modernization items, including aircraft, tracked combat vehicles, medium tanks, wheeled vehicles, self-propelled artillery, rifles, and communications equipment.

The ARNG and the USAR received 319 tanks and 677 armored personnel carriers during the year, as well as 129,000 M16 rifles and over 5,000 tactical radios. The full utilization of the radios was hampered, however, by shortages of mounts, harnesses, and other installation kit items. The Reserve Components received their first allocation of second generation multichannel equipment. Initial deliveries are scheduled for fiscal year 1973. The addition of 1,287 aircraft to the Reserve


Components inventory and the phasing out of a large number of second line aircraft brought the total number of aircraft on hand to 2,005, of which 65 percent were first line types. The USAR received their first issue of CH-47 cargo helicopters during the fiscal year. Negotiations were completed to transfer 63 U-3 twin-engine aircraft from the U.S. Air Force to the Reserve Components as a preferred substitute for the U-21.

The influx of large quantities of equipment and the modernization of the Reserve Components inventory have had a positive effect on the morale of the reserve forces and have improved considerably the potential for realistic training. However, additional equipment is still required to bring all units to levels which will permit training without constraints and the replacement of old, outmoded equipment. The Reserve Components currently have 65-70 percent of authorized training equipment on hand.

The Reserve Components registered significant improvements in equipment maintenance during the year. Data indicates that their maintenance of combat vehicles and support equipment compares favorably with the active Army and that their maintenance of tactical vehicles surpasses the active Army record.

During fiscal year 1972 the Army National Guard established a fourth transportation aircraft repair shop in Gulfport, Mississippi, to provide required support maintenance services to aviation units in the southeastern United States. The program for improved maintenance productivity initiated during fiscal year 1971 whereby the ARNG repairs inoperable equipment with parts supplied by the active Army was expanded to cover the eventual repair of 1,800 armored personnel carriers, 85 M-60 tanks, and 12 command post carriers.

A number of important management tools for identifying and isolating problems and applying corrective actions in the logistics area were initiated during the year. A new logistics intensive management program provided improved visibility throughout the chain of command for the on-hand equipment readiness level of Reserve Component units scheduled for early deployment. This program also permitted a more meaningful distribution of excess assets to accommodate readiness and training requirements. Additional management visibility was achieved through the Selected Items Management Program. Items receiving special treatment under this program included tanks, rifles, armored personnel carriers, tactical radios, army area communication systems, and aircraft. A Maintenance Improvement Program was established to evaluate and improve the effectiveness achieved in the use and support of equipment provided to the Reserve Components. Organization and facilities adjustments were initiated, including the provision of mission-


oriented training for area maintenance support activities, increased authorizations for maintenance technicians, and additional maintenance support facilities. A program oriented primarily to improving policy and procedures in selected areas of logistics operations and to increasing efficiency and readiness was initiated under Operation Streamline. Areas examined for improvement included asset data reporting accuracy, repair parts stockage procedures, requisitioning of equipment, redistribution procedures, and costs data and storage requirements for packing and crating materiel to be used by selected Reserve Component units in the event of modernization.

Facilities and Installations

Fiscal year 1972 was the second in a ten-year construction program that provides essential facilities to improve unit training, promote unit readiness, and enhance esprit de corps and morale in the Reserve Components. The fiscal year 1972 military construction budget plan of $62.5 million reflected an increase of $37.5 million over the fiscal year 1971 figure and covered 149 projects in 48 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Included were 89 ARNG armories and USAR centers, 52 administrative and logistical activities, and 9 training facility projects. A total of 224 projects included in the ten-year construction program are now under way. Upon completion they will satisfy approximately 14 percent of the over-all construction requirements of the Reserve Components.

The shortage of adequate training sites for weekend training, a serious problem in recent years, has been alleviated to a great degree through increased use of active Army military installations and state-controlled camps, as well as the acquisition of land areas declared excess by the military departments. Presently, 86 federal installations and 59 state-owned or controlled camps are in use. In addition, small parcels of privately owned lands are used throughout the United States for small unit training. Most of these private holdings are available on a local use agreement at no cost to the Army.

Expansion of the Reserve Components aircraft inventory has created a need for additional airfields for ARNG and USAR aviation units. The ARNG has identified aviation requirements at 54 locations, of which 26 were immediately available. Most of the remaining requirements were met on a temporary basis through civilian airport leases and interservice support agreements with military bases. During fiscal year 1972, acquisition action was completed for 26 permanent facilities; action on the remaining 2 should be completed during the early part of fiscal year 1973.


Military Support to Civil Authorities

The Reserve Components are available throughout the country to assist civil authorities in times of domestic emergency and natural disaster.

National Guardsmen answered the call to quell civil disturbances on 20 occasions during fiscal year 1972, a sharp decline from the previous fiscal year. A total of 7,352 Guardsmen from 12 states participated.

Over 19,000 National Guardsmen and 2,000, Army Reservists served in relief operations which included flood disasters in West Virginia, South Dakota, and along the eastern seaboard in the wake of Hurricane Agnes. Their performance was noteworthy and professional and did much to enhance the public image of the citizen soldier.



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Last updated 27 August 2004