Total Force Integration: The Role Of The National Guard And Reserve

Date of Graduation

Fall 2001


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


No longer faced with the imminent threat of Soviet and Warsaw Pact soldiers invading Western Europe, the nature of the United States military has changed dramatically in the last decade. New roles and missions, shrinking numbers, force unreadiness, and declining defense budgets are just some of the problems the military is facing in this post-Cold War era. In an effort to gain maximum effectiveness from minimal resources, the Pentagon has been relying increasingly on part-time soldiers of the National Guard and Reserve to help meet its many obligations throughout the world. Reservists now comprise more than half of all U.S. military personnel. This thesis analyzes the role the National Guard and Reserve in the Pentagon's Total Force structure. An examination of the National Guard and Reserve from colonial times through the Persian Gulf War leads into the major part of the thesis : a discussion, analysis, and assessment of the roles and missions for which National Guard and Reserve units are best suited, their current and planned use by the Pentagon, and the extent to which defense of the United States and U.S. interests abroad can be entrusted to part-time soldiers.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Jeffery Johnson