Navy Reserve makes efforts to recruit new sailors, emphasizing benefits Seafarers News

Chief of Navy Reserves, Commander Navy Reserve Force Vice Adm. John Mustin delivers remarks during a Naval Reserve call at the headquarters of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa and the U.S. Sixth Fleet (NAVEUR/NAVAF/SIXHFLT), February 9, 2023 U.S. Navy photo

This story has been updated to reflect viceadm. John Mustin to clarify.

The Navy Reserve is emphasizing the benefits of medical coverage for portability of educational benefits to commissioners and exchange privileges to attract outgoing active-duty seafarers to enlist, Vice Adm. John Mustin said Wednesday.

The Navy Reserve has recruiting problems, its boss said. This is consistent with all other services and reserve component reports of shortcomings they have had in attracting qualified recruits over the past year and 2023 did not look very promising.

Speaking at a Navy Memorial online forum, Mustin said, “I want 80 percent[of reserve enlistments]to be prior service.” He added, “We want to make it clear to them” that choosing to serve in the reserve is a good career choice , enabling them to spend more time with their families, pursue their own education with Selective Reserve tuition support, or start a business. It also offers them an opportunity to continue to serve. Mustin said the Navy Reserve’s current mix is ​​60 percent ex-service and 40 percent new recruits.

“We have to be clever” to lure sailors and officers from the previous service on board.

As he said Proceedings in a recent interview: “We love getting active-duty officers who are already carrying war implements. It is difficult for the reserve to send a prospective junior officer to flight school or BUD/S or Surface Warfare Officers School.”


The Navy Reserve recently created a recruitment squad to address these issues head-on and to meet the need for another reserve force going forward, Mustin said. The Navy Reserve has approx 45,000 selective reservistss and 10,000 in training and management of the reserve.

The Navy Reserve is undergoing a “tectonic shift” from one that involuntarily sent individual Augmentees to land-based combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, where their specialized skills may not be needed, to an era of naval great-power competition, Mustin said.

This change was reflected in his “Navy Battle Orders Plan 2032.” He described the message as a “wake-up call” to the changed security environment. The instructions laid out how the Navy Reserve was to be drafted, trained, and mobilized.

“You must be willing to leave when we ask you to,” Mustin said.

It also reiterated the Navy Reserve’s role in providing “strategic depth” to the fleet, as well as operational support, he added.

The naval reserve could have 50,000 sailors available for duty in 30 days by decentralizing where sailors have to report, Mustin said as an example of the benefits of changes in mobilization. Before they should all go to Norfolk to enlist, be processed and changed into wage systems.

“Activation/mobilization training has been standardized and command and control of the mobilization agency has been centralized under the Navy Reserve,” the latest statement said. “The new mass activation processes were tested during main exercises in the financial years 2021 and 2022.”

During his tenure as chief, Mustin wanted to focus on training warfare, which required the Navy Reserve to establish a strategic reference point so he could take stock of where he was today.

“We have to realize that it’s 2023” and “use the technology that we have” to aggregate the data on what’s actually going on at each training center, Mustin said.

He then bought 15,000 desktop computers to provide a base that could be updated with new software and apps.

Metrics could now be produced, allowing the Navy Reserve to answer for what purpose the activity was being conducted.

The Navy Reserve 2022 Fighting Instructions explain “why we do what we do,” he said. The latest document “ties up a lot of loose ends” by adding the word “develop” and forecasting a decade instead of 30 years.

One way to look ahead is to reduce the “burden of individual augmentees,” he said. “Instead of IA’ing them (to an order), we’ll PCS them” when the request for a particular ticket comes up repeatedly at a particular point.

Mustin said demand for IAs has dropped to between 2,500 and 3,000 since the US pulled out of Afghanistan and moved the mission to Iraq.

More than 80 percent of these assignments are voluntary.

Mustin said his biggest hardware need is to replace the Navy Reserve’s 19 C-130T and 11 KC-130T with J-models. The Navy Reserve is the only component still flying “the three-decade-old C-130T,” he said.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Don't miss new updates on your email