Reserve Associate Program Information The Reserve associate program is an important component of the Department of Defense Total Force structure. Reserve associate units utilize the tremendous experience and manpower of Reservists to augment active duty units. While active forces continue to draw down and streamline, the mission requirements are as diverse and challenging as they have ever been. The secretary of defense tasked the individual services to examine increased use of the Reserve components to help offset the increase in operational requirements. There are simply more operational requirements than there are manpower to fulfill them. The associate Reserve program is based on providing manpower to complement the Total Force. Utilization of associate Reserve units is cost effective and practical. The threats to the peace and security of the United States are increasingly global and diverse. These threats will continue to demand focused preparation of our nation's military forces. The Active force will not be able to do the job alone. The Reserve component will stand shoulder to shoulder with their active duty counterparts to meet the mission requirements. The Reserve associate program is a key component of this Total Force approach to meeting our nations military requirements.