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Biden approves 3,000 reserve troops for deployment amid recruiting woes

A photo of military boots during the deployment ceremony for the Alabama Army National Guard 128th Military Police Company leaving for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Bob Gathany/HVT/TNS)
July 14, 2023

President Joe Biden authorized the Pentagon Thursday to deploy up to 3,000 members of the Selected Reserve and the Individual Ready Reserve to active duty in Europe in an effort to strengthen U.S. troops as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.  

The president’s official order stated, “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 121 and 12304 of title 10, United States Code, I hereby determine that it is necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve in and around the United States European Command’s area of responsibility.”

Biden’s authorization allows the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to deploy Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve members to active duty in Europe as the United States seeks to increase its military presence in the region in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to the New York Post, Operation Atlantic Resolve was first initiated after the Russian invasion of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. The operation was intended to strengthen U.S. deterrence of Russian aggression on the eastern flank of NATO allies.

READ MORE: Biden says war must end before Ukraine can join NATO

U.S. European Command lists all U.S. efforts to support NATO allies and partners in Europe as falling “under the umbrella” of the overarching Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Biden’s authorization for the Pentagon to deploy up to 3,000 Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve members as active duty troops in Europe follows his recent five-day trip to Europe, which included visits to the United Kingdom, Lithuania, and Finland. According to Fox News, the president’s trip was intended to emphasized the international commitment against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The potential activation of U.S. reserve troops for active duty service in Europe comes amid an ongoing recruitment shortfall in the military. After the Army failed to reach its recruitment goal last year, the U.S. military has struggled to meet its recruitment goals for 2023.

Current projections indicate a 27,000 recruits deficit for the Air Force, while the Air National Guard is expecting a 4,000 personnel shortfall. The Army is also expected to miss its recruitment goal of the second year in a row.

To counter decreasing enlistment rates, multiple branches of the U.S. military have started offering financial incentives.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.