The status quo is not sustainable

I am encouraged that we are starting to have a long overdue discussion of this important subject.

I would like to add two points to LCdr. Carroll's and Cmdre. Lehre's posts.

1) The traditional definition of “Reserve” implies a mobilizable force of personnel available to fill unmanned or extra units. Since the MCDV's are fully manned with a stable work force (about 10% turnover per year), why is the naval reserve designed to man ships that are already manned? Furthermore, depending on the month, from a low of 55 % (in January) to a high of 85 % (in August), most of the naval reserve is on full time service. The reality is the naval reserve has already been mobilized.

2) The principal problem for the part-time reservist is the operational bar has been dramatically raised from the old gate vessel [the type of vessel replaced by the Kingston-class ships] days. Therefore, it is now a practical impossibility to acquire the minimum acceptable level of skills as a part time sailor. For example, it now takes nine full summers of training for a naval reservist engineer to obtain his/her Engineering Officer of the Watch certification. Therefore, the part-time sailors cannot progress in their trade, don't get promoted, eventually get discouraged, and leave. This is why 70% of the Naval Reserve Divisions have full-time personnel in the executive appointments.

We need a fundamental discussion on why the navy has a naval reserve and establish what are its roles and missions. The status quo is not sustainable.