The endless pursuit of lethality combined with perverse incentives for commanders means the U.S. military’s reserve component risks being left in the lurch by the government’s broad response to COVID-19.
On its face, the Defense Department appears to have gone all in on preventing the spread of the virus, initially issuing a flexible guidance that included travel restrictions for service members to Level 3 locations and a five-step action plan to prevent transmission. On Friday, after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, the DoD issued new travel restrictions banning domestic travel for DoD military and civilian personnel and their families save for cases where travel is considered “mission-essential.”
However, decision-making for the RC has been delayed, inconsistent, and largely absent. Some units have performed admirably, utilizing proactive decision-making and outside-the-box thinking to find ways to mitigate health risk while still accomplishing parts of their mission. Unfortunately, others have left their soldiers in the dark with subpar communication, a rigid adherence to pre-planned events, and over-application of “mission essential” tasks.
Read the full article in Task & Purpose.
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