THE EMPTY BENCH: FUTURE LEADERS OF THE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
Colonel William HallUSAWC Class of 2009
US Army National Guard
The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army National Guard, the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
Post September 11, 2001, the United States began the largest mobilization of National Guard Soldiers since World War II. The
Army drawdown of the early 1990s and corresponding reduction in commissioning of lieutenants set the stage for 65%
manning of the mid-grade officer ranks within National Guard formations. The transformation from a legacy heavy formation to
a lighter modular force, a growth in MTOE field grade officer requirements, and attrition of midgrade officers have combined to
create unfavorable conditions for high quality mid-grade officers (captains and majors).
This AY-09 USAWC USAWC Resident Student author explores the current challenges faced by
leadership to expand the mid-grade officer corps while simultaneously improving the quality and professionalism of those
officers. He argues that even though the Texas Army National Guard has met 95% or better of its mobilizing unit officer requirements, it has not positioned itself to meet the
future mid-grade officer requirements. He concludes that absent a shift in emphasis and adjustment of systems to reinforce the change, the quality of the field grade officer
corps will continue to suffer, and unit effectiveness, morale, trust, retention, and commitment will continue to be significantly
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