This report investigates the connection between the size of the active components and the readiness of the reserve components. Personnel who leave the active force provide an important source of experience for the reserves. Congress has passed legislation that directs sharply increased levels of prior service personnel for the Army National Guard. However, under current policies, it will be difficult-if not impossible-to increase the prior service content in the reserves while reducing the size of the active component. The report analyzes the ratio between active and reserve components, describes the current mix of prior- and non-prior service personnel in the reserves, projects how the prior-service content would change with different force structures, and presents a menu of policy options designed to boost the prior-service content of the reserves.
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