– I like the Reserves. My Father was a Reservist in the UK Territorial Army for 21 years. I also like Reservists because Reservists win wars. Small Regular Armies need reinforcements and regeneration.
With these words, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), General Sir James Everard (KCB; CBE, UK Army) opened the CIOR Summer Congress Symposium, which focused on “The Millennial Reserve Officer”. For the 2nd in command of all NATO military operations, Reservists will provide an indispensable and valuable contribution in the efforts to win any 21st century military conflict.
By Roy Thorvaldsen, Lieutenant Colonel (R) Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs
But it goes a long way back:
– Small armies are often decimated in the early stages of a conflict, with Reservists then used to create the experienced spine of a new, replacement Joint Force, with conscripts providing the mass. It works: 21 of the first 30 Divisions established by the British in 1939 as we raced to build a proper Army were created in this way, General Everard said.
– Reservists important to compete with Russian hybrid warfare
– I like Reservists because in Russian thinking, the ratio of non-military and military measures in Hybrid Warfare is 4:1 – with non-military strategic competition coming under the aegis of the military, Everard said.
– It falls to Nations to combat these threats – and this takes engagement with, and the involvement of civil society. This is your world – and my experience is that you are often best placed to explain the threat and the necessity of our response to Government and the Civilian community, he continued.
– Much to learn from Reservists – importance is increasing
– I like Reservists because amongst you are Masters of the dark arts, associated with Emerging & Disruptive Technologies that are now coming of age. Today (21.2 – the second decade of the 21st Century) these capabilities support the rest of the Joint Force. Come 21.4, it will increasingly be the other way around – and we have much to learn from you, the general stressed.
– CIOR plays an important role advocationg and promoting
– I like the Confederation of Reserve Officers, and your role advocating for, and promoting, capabilities and skills of Reserve Officers, not only with strategic events like this – and your Winter Seminar – but also through the Young Reserve Officer Workshops, your Military Skills Competitions, CIMEX and the Language Courses. And all with a focus on that Millennial Generation who directly contribute to our preparedness to compete across the spectrum of conflict.
Praised cooperation with NRFC
DSACEUR also praised the recent revitalisation of the relationship between the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers and NATO’s committee on Reserves:
– I must stress the importance of the [cooperation between the] NATO Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) and this Confederation. Following the 2019 MOU [Memorandum of Understanding], you are well placed to provide united policy advice on Reserve issues to the Military Committee.
– [This advice will be] on – for example – Cyber Defence, Reserve Component Recruiting & Retention, Employer Support and the Future Young Reserve Officer. [This work will] provide the Military Committee, NRFC and our stakeholder nations with a valuable insight into both the Millennial Generation and what comes next, including how we might better engage, recruit and retain Reservists, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe concluded.