These events provide a policy and historical context for subsequently assessing the current state of the operational reserve and for determining a future course for further development, including how conclusions and recommendations made by the CNGR can continue to assist DOD in implementing an operational National Guard and Reserve.
Let us now turn to the implications of the foregoing for the conclusions and recommendations made by the CNGR in its final report in January 2008.
In response to the report, DOD established a deliberative process for reviewing and assessing the final recommendations of the CNGR and developing responses and positions for the Secretary of Defense to endorse.
In general, however, the conclusions and most recommendations made in the CNGR final report appeared congruent with the developments in policy and practice described above.
The last QDR, and renewed attention now being paid to the recommendations of the CNGR, provides an opportunity to review progress and ascertain where further effort may be needed.
It may less useful now to "grade" DOD on how well it implemented CNGR recommendations but instead to revisit and recalibrate them.
CNGR recommendations calling for increased transparency of RC procurement funding and tracking of RC equipment, as well as the recommendation concerning the development of funding plans to support the operational portion of the RC in future defense budgets (reinforced by the GAO report), are vital.
For these reasons, CNGR recommendations regarding the promotion system and Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act/Defense Officer Personnel Management Act are key.
Remaining CNGR recommendations pertaining to the DOD role in the Homeland (Conclusion Two) and Support to Members, Families, and Employers (Conclusion Five) remain valid, while some of the initial CNGR recommendations pertaining to reform of organizations and institutions will not achieve their stated goal of promoting integration across components.
The program itself is only 6 weeks long, which largely eliminates, for this author at least, the argument that Reservists cannot attend because they cannot spare the time away from their civilian positions, though the Marine Corps argued to the contrary in its response to CNGR Recommendation 13.
In my opinion, based on a careful reading of the DOD and Service responses to the CNGR recommendations, as well as my 18 years as a war college faculty member, cultural prejudice still exists between Active Component and Reserve Component personnel, primarily because of misconceptions about, and misunderstanding of, the RC by the AC.