Moving out on the majority of recommendations made by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves means that the “transition from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve [is a] mission almost complete,” said Thomas Hall, Pentagon reserve affairs chief. As we reported last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates released a memo directing implementation of 64 of 95 commission recommendations—another 18 are already in the works. Hall told American Forces Press Service that the senior working group Gates formed to review the commission’s work “took everybody’s view and produced a document [the implementation memo] that is remarkable for its consensus.” For instance, the working group felt that the commission recommendation to trim the 29 different duty status codes of the reserve components to just two could have introduced a pay reduction issue. Hall said that the likely outcome is a reduction from 29 codes to perhaps eight, which he told AFPS would not affect reserve pay or benefits. (AFPS report by Fred Baker III with Jim Garamone)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.