By Jenny Swigoda
ROA, Content Manager
In a letter today to General Raymond Odierno and General Frank Grass, Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Tim Walz, D-MN, sharply warned against denigrating the unique service of members in the Reserve Component.
The letter proceeded egregious statements by General Raymond Odierno, chief of staff for the Army, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., regarding the capabilities of the Reserve Components compared to their Active-Duty counterparts.
“The capabilities are not interchangeable,” Defense News reported Gen. Odierno saying. “there’s a reason why the Active Component is more expensive. It brings you a higher level of readiness, because they’re full time. They are trained and ready to do things at a higher level because they spend every day focused on that. Our National Guard, [which has] done an incredible job in the last 10 years, trains 39 days a year.”
The letter blasted this statement, calling it “disingenuous” to state that the Reserves only train 39 days out of the year, when that is the minimum. The two former service members (Hunter is a Marine Reservist; Walz is the highest ranking enlisted soldier to serve in Congress) spoke from experience, saying that there are other “training activities that put the total number of training days upwards of 90 to 100 days.”
The letter further pointed to false statements that the Active Duty force somehow provides cost-saving measures in maintaining readiness. The Representatives pointed out that “the total cost to maintain one Active Component infantry brigade combat team is about twice that of the Reserve Component.”