Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Defense -> Reserves

The Promise: "Obama's plan will be to reverse the trend of "cross-leveling," the cannibalizing of soldiers and machines from units back home for missions abroad."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Document "A 21st Century Military for America" dated 11/26/07.
Status:The purpose of cross-leveling of personnel and equipment is to improve an individual unit's readiness. Cross-leveling of one state's equipment to fulfill another state's shortage is the most common type of cross-leveling action. Distribution of personnel and non-excess equipment between states is done for mobilizations or other high priority events based on the Pentagon's requirements.

There was no 'plus-up' in President Obama's FY2010-FY2017 budget proposals to mitigate the "cross-leveling" of troops and equipment situation.

Nonetheless, when this promise was a serious issue during President Obama's first term in office (and less so during his second), nothing substantive was accomplished to satisfy promise fulfillment goals.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "Obama cosponsored legislation to elevate the Chief of the National Guard to the rank of four-star general and make the chief a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisory panel to the president. As president, Obama will sign this legislation into law."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Document "A 21st Century Military for America" dated 11/26/07.
Status:On 05/19/11, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT)Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the "National Guard Empowerment and State-National Defense Integration Act of 2011 (S. 1025) with 50 senators signing on as co-sponsors and which was supported by 65 senators for inclusion in the defense authorization for FY2012. This proposed bill included a provision to give the National Guard's senior officer, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (CNGB), a seat at the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) table.

As submitted by Congress to the President for signature, Section 512 of the NDAA for FY2012 (H.R. 1540) granted membership of the CNGB on the Joint Staff. President Obama signed H.R. 1540 into law on 12/31/11.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "Restore the deployment policies under which the reserve and guard enlisted...An Obama administration will...limit lengthy deployments to one year for every six years...restore the 24-month limit on cumulative deployment time."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Document "A 21st Century Military for America" dated 11/26/07.
Status:Prior to 01/07, Guard/Reserve members' cumulative time in active duty to support war efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan could not exceed 24 months. In 01/07, Secretary of Defense Gates announced that this cumulative limit was lifted. Since 01/09, any single mobilization cannot exceed 12 months. The 24-month limitation was not restored during subsequent years.

Under the CY2011 Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model, the objective was for active component (AC) units to have a deploy-to-dwell ratio of 1:2 meaning one year deployed to two years at home station. The U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) and Army National Guard (ARNG), referred to as Reserve Components (RC), were both reorganized to fill the role of an operational reserve, with an expected activation-to-dwell ratio of 1:5.

In reality the percentage of RC personnel who exceeded Activation-to-Dwell Ratios as of end-CY2016 was as follows:

USAR:.... 18.4%...16.4%...15.1%...6.0%
ARNG:... 17.7%...15.4%...13.9%...5.9%

Under a new CY2014 program known as "Associated Units," 14 ARNG and two USAR units were to be paired with AC units so they could train together and deploy together. Consequently, if an AC unit had a deploy-to-dwell ratio of 1:2, the reserve components would also be subjected to the same deploy-to-dwell ratio of 1:2.

This promise was not fulfilled.