Military Personnel: Preliminary Observations Related to Income, Benefits, and Employer Support for Reservists During Mobilizations Page: 4 of 22
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retirement system in the future. While we have not conducted a detailed
review of this issue, I would like to offer some observations.
Before discussing these issues in more detail, I would like to note that one
of the Department of Defense's (DOD) guiding principles for military
compensation is that servicemembers-both reservists and active
component members-be treated fairly. Military compensation for
reservists is affected by the type of military duty they perform. In
peacetime-when a reservist is on active duty for training or on military
duty not related to a contingency operation-certain thresholds are
imposed at particular points in service before a reservist is eligible to
receive the same compensation as a member serving full-time. For
contingency operations, these same thresholds generally do not apply.
Reservists activated for contingency operations such as Noble Eagle and
Enduring Freedom are generally eligible to receive the same compensation
and benefits as active component personnel. I should also note here that in
a recent report comparing the benefits offered by the military with those
offered in the private sector, we found no significant gaps in the benefits
available to military personnel.4
To date, we have met with and gathered information from DOD officials in
the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, the
Office of Military Compensation, the Office of Family Policy, the National
Guard Bureau, the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Army
Reserve, the Air Force Reserve, the Naval Reserve, the Marine Corps
Reserve, the TRICARE Management Activity, the National Committee for
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and other organizations. We
obtained the results and DOD's preliminary analysis of the 2000 Survey of
Reserve Component Personnel.5 We reviewed DOD proposals concerning
income loss. We also reviewed DOD's progress in implementing
recommendations that we made in prior reports.
Let me turn now to the specific issues.
4 U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Personnel: Active Duty Benefits Reflect
Changing Demographics, but Opportunities Exist to Improve, GAO-02-935 (Washington,
D.C.: Sept. 18, 2002).
5 The population of interest targeted by the survey consisted of all Selected Reserve
members of the reserve components below flag or general officer rank, with at least
6 months of service when the surveys were first mailed in August 2000. The sample
consisted of 74,487 members. Eligible respondents returned 35,223 completed surveys.
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United States. General Accounting Office. Military Personnel: Preliminary Observations Related to Income, Benefits, and Employer Support for Reservists During Mobilizations, text, March 19, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289412/m1/4/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.