Friday, January 21, 2011

Reservists Link American Public to Military

WASHINGTON — The Reserve Officers Association of the United States representing the 1.5 million reservists serving today released the following joint statement by retired Rear Adm. Paul Kayye, ROA President, and retired Maj. Gen. David Bockel, ROA Executive Director:
CJCS at National Defense University - U.S. Navy
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff addresses audience members at the National
Defense University Conference on Military Profes-
sionalism in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 10, 2011.
(DoD photo by Mass Communciation Specialist
1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

“Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told audiences at the National Defense University that the U.S. military was out of touch with the American public Jan 10. [Click here for speech transcript]

“As representatives of the reserve components, we feel this statement is not reflective of the total force. Admiral Mullen’s statements may reflect his opinion of the active component, but should not include the Reservists and National Guardsmen who have mobilized, fought overseas, and carry the burdens of their dual military and civilian lives.

 “The concept of America going to war with its military was founded years ago and is called the Abrams doctrine. This doctrine establishes the military construct forcing a reliance on the reserve components when surging to operational capacities so no war is fought without the heart and soul of America behind it. It is used to gauge the public’s support of our presence in a conflict.

“Reservists and Guardsmen span the country. They are our neighbors, on our local police force, working in our hospitals and in every segment of American society throughout every state. No other group connects the military with grass roots America better. No community goes unaffected when these people are mobilized to fight our wars.

"The American public sees all our servicemen and women in uniform on airplanes, airports, shopping centers, and other public places. But the Guard and Reserve are seen right out in the communities where they live. Citizens in these communities are very aware when their neighbors and friends in the Guard and Reserve are mobilized to go into combat. It would be a real stretch to say that Americans are out of touch with the military when so many of those serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places around the world and here in the U. S. are people that live and work right next door.
“We note that the active component, given the seamless integration of the Reserve components into total force operations, often do not realize the extent of their reliance on Citizen Warriors. Most active component service members and organizations take for granted their presence and do not fully appreciate the sacrifice Citizen Warriors give by temporarily leaving their families, communities and jobs to serve. Such an observation is a great testament to the professionalism, readiness and quality of our Reservists and Guardsmen today.

“However, such an observation perhaps does validate Admiral Mullen’s comment that the U.S. military is out of touch with the American public. That relationship, however, is not reciprocal because the American public is in his ranks through the service of its Citizen Warriors.”

The Reserve Officers Association is the 60,000-member professional association for all uniformed services of the United States. Chartered by Congress and in existence since 1922, ROA advises and educates the Congress, the President, and the American people on national security, with unique expertise on issues that affect the 1.5 million men and women now serving in America’s Reserve Components.

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