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How the Military’s Tribalism Erodes Readiness — Count the Ways

Posted By ROA National Staff, Wednesday, December 19, 2018

ROA Executive Director Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jeff Phillips is published in The Hill as an opinion contributor.


In an article published here on Veterans Day, I examined the military’s “tribalism” that profoundly affects resourcing and support within its active component (AC) and reserve component (RC), the Reserve and National Guard. The effects often create inequalities that, in turn, unintentionally erode readiness.


Today’s RC is on the front line to an unprecedented extent, relied upon for virtually every military capability. The “part-time” RC is cheaper than the “full-time” AC, an argument made by retired Marine Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro, a former Senate Armed Services staff director, who wrote in his 2016 book, “On War and Politics,” that “the fully burdened costs of the active military was 70 percent more than that of the Guard and Reserve on an individual basis.”  



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