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This research brief describes work documented in Prior Service Personnel: A Potential Constraint on Increasing Reliance on Reserve Forces (MR-362-OSD).

Excerpt: Operation Desert Storm highlighted the importance of reserve forces to the U.S. military capability. That importance will be increased by the current drawdown of military forces because the active components are being reduced more than the reserves. But the size of the active force directly influences the readiness of the reserves: People leaving the active force provide an important source of experience for the reserves. Congress, recognizing this connection, has passed legislation that directs sharply increased levels of prior-service personnel in the Army National Guard (ARNG).[1] 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.

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