National Guard Special Forces

National Guard Special Forces: Enhancing the Contributions of Reserve Component Army Special Operations Forces

John E. Peters
Brian Shannon
Matthew E. Boyer
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 86
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  • Book Info
    National Guard Special Forces
    Book Description:

    U.S. Army Special Operations Command sought options for enhancing the contributions of the Special Forces Groups of the U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG). The research was motivated by the sponsor’s belief that ARNG might occupy high-value capability niches that could be put to use in future deployments. This study analyzed ARNG Special Forces capabilities as well as the legal and policy guidance that governs ARNG’s functioning.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8319-7
    Subjects: Technology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Acronyms
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) contains two Special Forces Groups (SFGs): the 19th and the 20th. These two groups complement the active component (AC) groups: the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th SFGs. Mathematically, the two National Guard SFGs constitute 29 percent of the total and represent a valuable asset, especially after nine years of war—and one of increasing value if they can be more appropriately organized, trained, equipped, and employed. And years of war have honed the capabilities of both the AC and the National Guard. Nevertheless, according to both AC and ARNG officials, using the National...

  10. CHAPTER TWO ARNG Special Forces and USASOC
    (pp. 5-30)

    The relationship between the ARNG Special Forces and USASOC is a guarded one. The U.S. Army National Guard believes that the legal and policy environment contains requirements, obligations, and authorities that collectively entitle it to certain guarantees for force structure and equipment comparable to that of the AC, which USASOC ignores. USASOC staffers regularly note the difficulties in getting access to the ARNG and the cumbersomeness of their procedures. There is a tension between demand for Special Forces to sustain the current combat operations, and the ARNG’s ability to generate fully qualified teams. And there is mutual suspicion; the AC...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Strong Suits and Niches: Identifying and Playing to the Strengths of ARNG Special Forces
    (pp. 31-38)

    This chapter draws on policy-level interviews¹ and discussions during site visits with Special Forces personnel from both the AC and ARNG that the project team encountered in the course of the research. The policy-level interviews engaged subject matter experts at the assistant secretary of defense level, National Guard Bureau, state adjutants general, and uniformed officers down to the rank of colonel. Military officers interviewed came from both the ARNG and the AC. Interviews during site visits involved principally ARNG majors and captains, and senior NCOs in the ranks of sergeant first class through sergeant major. This chapter sifts through the...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR USASOC’s Menu of Options
    (pp. 39-48)

    The preceding two chapters were diagnostic and descriptive in nature. Chapter Two employed quantitative data provided by the National Guard Bureau, USASOC, and the 19th and 20th SFGs themselves to characterize their qualifications, readiness, and deployment history. The Special Forces survey provided additional data on respondents’ years of service, individual qualifications, deployment history, willingness to make future deployments, views on unit capabilities, and characterizations of the respondents’ civilian skills/careers.

    Chapter Three provided generally qualitative data based upon policy-level interviews and site visit discussions that added nuance and richness to Chapter Two’s conclusions. Chapter Three presents a consensus view of ARNG...

  13. APPENDIX A Brief History of Reserve Component Special Forces
    (pp. 49-50)
  14. APPENDIX B Annotated Bibliography of Collected Sources
    (pp. 51-56)
  15. APPENDIX C Tabular Survey Results
    (pp. 57-64)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 65-66)