This military press release of Jan. 13, 1998, indicates that the military has a new priority: the integration of National Guard forces and reserve forces into the regular military.
The importance of this change became more apparent in the St. Patrick's Day speech of Defense Secretary William Cohen on the rapid domestic deployment force against
weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
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WASHINGTON -- Reserve and National Guard forces soon will have a greater voice in military policy, planning and operations.
Defense Secretary William Cohen and Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, have established two high-level posts on the joint staff to provide advice on issues affecting National Guard and Reserve forces. . . .
Creation of the positions is in response to the increasingly important role reserve component forces have been playing in the post-Cold War world. As active duty troop strength declined, reserve forces have filled in the gaps during deployments throughout the world. Additionally, under Cohen's 1997 Defense Reform Initiative, the Office of the Director of Military Support is restructuring and shifting more day-to-day responsibilities to the National Guard. The office is responsible for responding to domestic emergencies.
With the increased responsibilities of Guard and Reserve forces in recent years, both political and military leaders believe the new assistant positions are needed to ensure integration of reserve component forces occurs effectively and efficiently.