At National Press Club American Legion meeting ROA head warns of U.S. military unreadiness
ROA, the only national military organization that exclusively supports the Reserve and National Guard, fights for the 1 million members of the Reserve forces.
“Within the U.S. military, 40% of the force is in the Reserve and National Guard; in the Army that percentage is over half, yet few Americans realize the essential nature of these reserve components.”— Jeffrey E. Phillips
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, January 12, 2023/ EINPresswire.com / -- Recounting his memory of overhearing one general in the Pentagon telling another “We’re breaking the Army” during the height of the fighting in Iraq, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey E. Phillips, executive director of the congressionally chartered Reserve Organization of America, addressed national security challenges at the American Legion Post 20’s monthly luncheon in the National Press Club today. Read the speech on ROA’s website.
“Units were coming home from deployments, some of them more than a year. No sooner were they home than they were preparing for redeployment. Soldiers and families, units and civilian employers were being ground down,” Phillips told the group.
“Concern mounted as the realization deepened: I overheard one general say to another, ‘We’re breaking the Army’. And that was not what we might call a major war.”
In recognizing the likelihood of war and the necessity of readiness, Phillips echoed warnings sounded a century ago by ROA’s founders, including General of the Armies John “Black Jack” Pershing, who led American forces in World War One.
Within the U.S. military, 40 percent of the total force is in the Reserve and National Guard, Phillips said; and in the Army that percentage is over half, yet few Americans realize the essential nature of these “reserve components.”
Phillips cited senior Pentagon officials and defense experts in identifying current weaknesses, growing threats, challenges to the nation’s military readiness, and the urgent need of reform within the defense establishment, including the conclusions of a Brookings senior fellow who has given U.S. readiness a 3 out of 10 were war to break out.
Phillips concluded by calling on fellow veterans to make their voices heard in support of funding and reforms that will enhance readiness, as those before them have done in acts of true patriotism: “This is now your service to country.”