Skip to main content

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.


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

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Armed Forces Reserve Act (1952)." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . 23 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Armed Forces Reserve Act (1952)." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . (February 23, 2019).

"Armed Forces Reserve Act (1952)." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved February 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.