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What is the Army Reserve?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated Feb 28, 2024
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The army reserve is a branch of the military in many countries which is used as a back-up to the regular forces. Army reserve members train with regular army personnel and complete the same physical training as the regular army forces. Upon completion of basic training and individual job training, the army reserve troops are sent home rather than to a permanent duty station. After completion of basic training, the United States Army Reserve units train monthly as well as bi-yearly in order to maintain the readiness of the units. In a matter of national emergency, the U.S. Army Reserve troops may be mobilized into action and deployed within the unit's home state or anywhere around the world.

Many individuals who are not certain that they would enjoy the lifestyle of the regular military choose to join the reserves. This allows the individual to complete the training cycle as well as the initial schooling required by the military and provides the option of returning home afterward. This is also a very good option for those who wish to stand up and defend their nation, but have responsibilities to family and employment that prevent a full-on deployment. The army reserve is also a great option for students who wish to serve while in college.

In some instances, reserve troops are considered better prepared to enter into a deployment than regular army troops. Concentrated training as well as training in the civilian sector offers unmatched knowledge in some specialized areas of training. Medical and law enforcement personnel are two such examples. These professions often have more real-world experience in certain areas than full-time military personnel are exposed to.

Many reserve troops also have much more time in the military than units consisting of full-time troops. This is taken into consideration when an army reserve unit is activated to full time status and is deployed into a combat situation. The reserve unit has much more experience than a similarly trained unit consisting of new recruits and soldiers fresh out of basic training. By sending the better trained reserve units into battle, the fresh recruits can have some time to gain valuable experience which might keep them alive and better suit the mission.

Activating reserve units also ensures that a large number of troops will arrive who are familiar with each other as well as understand each other. This makes for a much closer-knit unit that will defend each other like family. Moreover, it ensures a unit of professionals that depend on each other as well as trusts and understands each other. The army reserve is made up of the finest quality of highly trained soldiers possible who are more than capable of seeing a mission through to the finish.

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