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Reserve Officer Association 2012 National Security Symposium
During the Reserve Officer Association 2012 National Security Symposium, the seven Reserve and Guard chiefs of the Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force and Coast Guard addressed the future of the Reserve components, strategy and budget plans. From the left: Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punero, U.S. Marine Corps, (ret.), chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board and Maj. Gen. Andrew B. Davis, U.S. Marine Corps, (ret.), executive director of the Reserve Officers Association, moderated the panel discussion as Lt. Gen. Steven A. Hummer, commander, Marine Forces Reserve; Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., chief of the Air Force Reserve; and Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, deputy director, Army National Guard, enjoy a light moment with the audience. More than 400 attended the four-day event at the Wardman Marriott Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., Jan. 29 through Feb 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Col. Bob Thompson)
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Reserve forces vital to new DOD strategy say senior leaders

Posted 2/1/2012   Updated 2/1/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Col. Bob Thompson
Office of Air Force Reserve Public Affairs


2/1/2012 - WASHINGTON -- Developing the right balance of regular, Reserve and Guard forces is the key to fulfilling the president's new defense strategy and making budget decisions to shape the Air Force's future, said senior leaders during the Reserve Officer Association 2012 National Security Seminar, held Jan. 29 through Feb. 1.

More than 400 attended the conference at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., and included senior leaders from the Department of Defense and Reserve component leaders from all services.

"The size of the military is driven by our strategy," said Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, the seminar's keynote speaker. "As we look for savings, everything is on the table but we want to maintain the quality of the all-volunteer force and not break faith with our reservists, their families and their employers."

The president's new strategic guidance features "reversibility," according to Flournoy, which is the ability to change with changing circumstances.

"The Guard and Reserve play an extremely important role in 'reversibility' as they fulfill both operational and strategic roles," she said.

During a panel discussion, the seven Reserve and Guard chiefs of the Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force and Coast Guard addressed the future of the Reserve components and critical budgetary planning.

"To meet the new strategy, the Air Force is going to adjust and rebalance the force," said Chief of Air Force Reserve Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr. "And although this may initially take us all down to a lower level, I anticipate us growing in the future."

The general said that the Air Force Reserve should have reservists everywhere there is a new or enduring mission. He expects cyberspace, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as well as nuclear missions to be growth areas for the Reserve component.

"We want to catch Airmen that are coming off of active duty and making life-changing decisions," said Stenner. "We want to give them the opportunity to continue to serve, to be Airmen for life."

"We're going to look back on this as the golden age of the Reserve component," said Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punero, U.S. Marine Corps, (ret.), chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board and moderator for the panel discussion. "Today's reservists are the most battle-hardened and experienced reservists in history."

In addition, the panel included: Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of Army Reserve; Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, director, Air National Guard; Vice Adm. Dirk J. Debbink, chief, U.S. Navy Reserve Force; Lt. Gen. Steven A. Hummer, commander, Marine Forces Reserve; Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, deputy director, Army National Guard; and Rear Adm. David R. Callahan, director, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

Also, the conference featured presentations by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, (ret.) administrator of NASA; as well as defense experts from academia, industry, and Washington D.C. think tanks.

Senator Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Gen. David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army (ret.), director of the CIA, were both recognized by the Reserve Officer Association and inducted into the ROA Minuteman Hall of Fame.

"Today's Reserve component is not only a strategic reserve but a key part of our daily operations," said Petraeus, former commander of U.S. Central Command and leader of both Iraq and Afghanistan surges.

"I'm confident that our Reserve forces will be recognized for the unique skills that they bring to the fight," said Petraeus regarding DOD's new strategy and budget plans.

The Reserve Officers Association was formally established at a gathering of World War I veterans headed up by Gen. John J. Pershing, General of the Armies, Oct. 2, 1922. These founders believed America was vulnerable to return to its pre-war unpreparedness. Today's ROA has two priorities: "advocacy for a strong Reserve force for a strong national defense, and the promotion of support for reservists' personal welfare, their health, their families, and their employers."



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