Jan. 1, 2016
Building Joint Capacity Within the Reserve Component
We should expect increased dependency on the Reserve Component (RC) due to post-sequestration, post–Operation Enduring Freedom force reductions within the Active Component (AC), and simultaneous plans to increase regional alignment throughout the RC.1 RC contribution to all echelons of combatant command planning and execution will expand to allow “military department apportionment of larger Reserve Component formations . . . to Combatant Commander OPLANs [operation plans].”2 Joint force presentation, planning, and administration will, by necessity, be a Total Force endeavor. This prompts inquiry into the current state and future sufficiency of joint competencies within the RC.3 After reviewing the constellation of laws, policies, and practices designed to produce joint qualified officers (JQOs), I believe the current system is serving the AC well but has unintentionally limited the joint potential resident in the RC officer corps to the detriment of the Department of Defense (DOD). In this article, I argue that “joint,” as defined by law and implemented within DOD, has become largely an AC competency and that national security would be better served by developing a new vision for joint competencies as component-neutral.