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Armed Forces Reserve Act (1952)

Armed Forces Reserve Act (1952). The Armed Forces Reserve Act of 1952 was a response to the severe weaknesses in the U.S. reserve forces and inequities for veterans revealed by the partial mobilization during the Korean War. Pressured by reserve and veterans' organizations, Congress sought to improve reserve organization and most immediately to restrict the vulnerability of Korean War veterans to future service. The act established three categories of reserve forces—ready, standby, and retired—subject to different liabilities for mobilization. The most important of those categories, the ready reserve, was authorized a strength of 1.5 million personnel, including the entire National Guard. The ready reserve could be mobilized in a national emergency declared by the president. The act allowed individual reservists and Guardsmen to volunteer for active duty. That enabled the armed forces to use them in routine peacetime operations and contingencies without incurring the political and diplomatic risks associated with mobilizations. The act strengthened the influence of reserve and Guard officers in the military planning process.

Bibliography

Eileen Galloway , History of U.S. Military Policy on Reserve Forces, 1775–1957, 1957.
Charles J. Gross , Prelude to the Total Force: The Air National Guard, 1943–1969, 1985.

Charles J. Gross

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