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muscogeemike
03-29-2012, 02:33 PM
Just saw a TV bit about an joint US/ROK amphib ex. The officer giving the interview was a uniformed USMC Lt. Col. and Fox network ID’d him as a “US Army Reservist” - I would hate to be on the receiving end of his wrath.

Rising Sun*
03-30-2012, 09:29 AM
Just saw a TV bit about an joint US/ROK amphib ex. The officer giving the interview was a uniformed USMC Lt. Col. and Fox network ID’d him as a “US Army Reservist” - I would hate to be on the receiving end of his wrath.

Apart from the comment annoying Marines by lumping them in with the Army, and even worse the Army Reserve, am I correct in assuming that the USMC doesn't have reserve troops but only full time volunteers?

muscogeemike
03-30-2012, 10:16 AM
The USMC is very touchy about being lumped in with the Army.

Nickdfresh
03-30-2012, 11:30 AM
Apart from the comment annoying Marines by lumping them in with the Army, and even worse the Army Reserve, am I correct in assuming that the USMC doesn't have reserve troops but only full time volunteers?

The U.S. Marine Corp certainly does have a Reserve element, in fact, my neck of the woods has a Marine infantry unit that (at least at one time) was/is trained in winter warfare due to the proximity of very cold and windy Fort Drum, NY. During the Cold War, they were earmarked to be sent to Norway for REFORGER in the event of war. The Marine reservists tended to be trained to a very high standard as compared to a U.S. Army National Guard combat unit, and unlike the Nat'l Guard, they could be sent into a war-zone with relatively little notice or mission training...

P.S.: *The entire Marine 4th Division is a Reserve unit

JR*
04-05-2012, 10:49 AM
Hi, Nick. Would I be correct in saying that there is a pretty fundamental difference between the US Marine Reserve and the National Guard (without any disrespect to the latter) insofar as the latter is descended from local defence militias that (originally) could not be deployed other than in US territory; whereas anybody called a Marine (even of the Reserve) could, by definition, be deployed anywhere, home or abroad, without more than the minimum formalities? I have to admit that I am not very knowledgeable on this aspect of US military history and organisation. Perhaps you can enlighten me? Best regards, JR.

Nickdfresh
04-05-2012, 03:45 PM
Hello JR*. You would indeed be correct. The US Army also has a Reserve component separate (but related) to the US Army National Guard. I believe at one time, the US Army Reserve included combat forces such as infantry and special operations and direct support troops like military police personnel. But in the last 40 years or so, the Army worked hard to delineate these capabilities by purging them from the Reserve and transferring them to the Guard. The Reserve is mostly there to be quickly called up and provide direct logistical support for near immediate wartime deployment of active combat forces whereas the Army National Guard would retain the functions of infantrymen, armor, special operations, aviation, etc., as based on the traditions stemming from individual state militias. This is to allow states to have some capabilities to retain order in natural disasters and civil emergencies as well as give the states some autonomy to use the Guard to support local law enforcement and to conduct search and rescue.

The basic idea I believe was that the National Guard would be "federalized" in time of war (as units are under the command of their individual states' governors in peacetime) and that its combat units would have time to train up and meet some sort of minimum standard. Unfortunately, the Guard doesn't have the best of reputations in this respect due often to uneven standards that vary from standard US "regular" Army norms, regulations, and protocols, and there were some noted deficiencies during the First Gulf War where I believe a Nat'l Guard (infantry) Division out of Louisiana spent many more months of training than allocated for to meet some minimum standard of combat readiness, with deficiencies in leadership--especially at the mid-officer and senior NCO levels--leading to poor performances in the field. That is not to say that members of the US Army National Guard that have been activated have not performed very well in the last ten years or so of America's conflicts. The Marine Reserve units differ from the US Army Reserve in that they contain combat units that rigorously train under a much more codified and supervised organization that is not beholden to individual state politics and one that does not as easily allow minimal or incompetent leaders to hide out in the ranks while doing the minimal weekend drill. From what I have heard, there seems to be a much greater focus on fitness, making the most of their limited training time, and preparedness based on having a focused mission that just leads to a higher esprit de corps...

muscogeemike
04-05-2012, 04:50 PM
I agree with most of what you say. I had the opportunity, several times during my career, to work with Army Reserve units and personnel and up until the first Gulf War they were notorious for their lack of training, discipline, physical fitness and general attitude. There were exceptions however, Reserve Special Ops units were very good and I‘m sure that applies to some other units as well. I can’t speak for the Nat’l Guard but I assume the same goes for them too.

I think since then (the first Gulf War) things have changed a lot - judging by their almost constant deployment in the last 20 years. I believe that now most Reserve’s are very much improved from my time.