Aside from all the active branches of the United States Armed Forces, there are reserve components of the armed forces. February 19th is the coast guard reserve's anniversary, so we're tipping our hats to all Armed Forces reserves, collectively called the National Guard and Reserve. Title 10 of the United States Code, a document that outlines the role of armed forces in the United States, reveals the purpose of reserve components.

The purpose of the reserves

According to the document, "the purpose of each reserve component is to provide trained units and qualified persons available for active duty in the armed forces, in time of war or national emergency, and at such other times as the national security may require, to fill the needs of the armed forces whenever, during and after the period needed to procure and train additional units and qualified persons to achieve the planned mobilization, more units and persons are needed than are in the regular components."

Basically, the reserves are a resource for active duty armed forces to use whenever there is a national emergency that requires additional support. They usually perform a minimum of 39 days of military duty per year in order to be prepared for when they're needed. Here's a list of the regular reserves in the U.S.:

  • Army Reserve.
  • Navy Reserve.
  • Marine Corps Reserve.
  • Air Force Reserve.
  • Coast Guard Reserve.

Joining the reserves

Joining the military reserves could be a better option for some than participating in the active-duty military. Not only are you still able to work to protect your country, but you are also able to do so in a more manageable way, which may suit some people better. This is because members can keep their civilian jobs and continue their education. The standards to join the reserves are still rigorous and draw reliable, qualified individuals. While there are some minor differences in each branch's reserves, the basic requirements are the same and the same state benefits are offered.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Eligibility status

According to MilitaryOneSource, here are the basic standards that must be met to qualify for the reserves:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
  • Generally, be between the ages of 17 and 42.
  • Make it through the armed forces physical exam.
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
  • Meet the minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) eligibility standard.

Before meeting these requirements, anyone interested in joining the reserves must contact a recruiter, who would be happy to help them get started. A good place to begin your journey is the recruiting website of your desired branch:

Despite the fact that being in the reserves is less of a time commitment than active duty, there are still important obligations that you'll need to fulfill. These include things like initial training, a monthly drill, annual training, possible activation and commitment time.

These obligations come with many different benefits for those who choose to devote a portion of their time to their country. For example, reserve members get part-time pay that depends on their level of commitment and service, as well as health care coverage from TRICARE Reserve Select.

The United States Armed Forces Reserves are an important part of the military, and the country has called on them in many different times of need.