As Army units deploy less frequently, reserve soldiers will continue to play a key role in the military, the commander of Army Reserve Command said.
Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey leads more than 200,000 soldiers and civilians in the command, which is based at Fort Bragg. A significant portion of the Army’s capabilities come from Reserve units, he said.
Nearly all civil affairs and psychological operations units are made up of Reserve troops, Luckey said. Reserve units also provide a large part of the theater-wide ability to distribute petroleum and water, he said.
Luckey said many active duty units need Reserve components when they go to the field for major training exercises.
“There’s no other place to get it, even for training,” he said.
Some Reserve units have to be able to deploy within three days. Many have to be ready to leave for an assignment within 90 days, Luckey said.
“We don’t talk about fighting tonight,” he said. “We talk about fighting fast.”
Luckey said the command’s units have been focused on readiness for more than three years.
Army Reserve units must be sure their soldiers train enough so they are ready to serve if needed, but not so much that they can’t keep their civilian jobs, Luckey said. He said he tells employers that he appreciates their willingness to share their talented employees with the Army.
Luckey said he also appreciates the sacrifices that soldiers’ families make.
Reserve troops have to be educated, proficient and trained in their skill set, in addition to being physically and medically able to deploy, he said. The command has seen a significant decrease in the number of soldiers who are not able to deploy, he said.
Luckey said soldiers in the command are serving across 20 time zones. They are proud of their service, he said.
Reserve forces have played an important role in the fight against terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Luckey said.
“Much of what has been accomplished over the last 20 years is directly attributable to the capabilities of the Army Reserve,” he said.
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