What Types of Military Reserves Are There?


Men and women throughout the country may find military life to be exciting and a great opportunity to contribute to the defense of this nation. However, they may not be able to do it on a full-time basis due to other responsibilities, such as having a job, taking care of family or being enrolled in a university. For those wanting to experience military life, but on a part-time basis, the reserves are a good option. There are five types or branches of U.S. military reserves to choose from. Keep in mind that during wartime, reservists might become full-time active-duty personnel.

Army Reserve

  • The Army Reserve consists of professionals and college students who would like to experience Army life part-time while they work or go to school. They can train near their homes and be part of the local Army Reserve units in their communities. They can also work side-by-side with active-duty soldiers.

Navy Reserve

  • The Navy Reserve makes up 20 percent of the Navy’s total force, which means members play an important roles in the daily business of the Navy. Reservists provide strategic depth and deliver operational capabilities to the Navy during peacetime and wartime. Reservists work collectively with active-duty personnel, whether on-base or as part of the fleet. Navy reservists come from all walks of life and are treated like active-duty personnel.

Air Force Reserve

  • Air Force reservists are able to serve where they choose to live, which makes it easier for them to serve part-time. They usually serve one weekend per month and two weeks a year. Reservists are considered equal to active-duty personnel and are treated the same. Reservists who were formerly on active duty are allowed to serve for a longer period of time.

Marine Reserve

  • Marine reservists experience the same intense training that the active-duty Marines have to endure. They also do the same work as their counterparts. For example, the reservists could perform tasks such as reconnaissance, intelligence and serving as medical technicians.

Coast Guard Reserve

  • Coast Guard reservists are trained to maintain readiness for emergencies. They will be given opportunities to advance and to learn new skills. Reservists will be trained to work at sea, and they play a role in supporting the special missions and exercises being planned and executed by full-time personnel. They can also be trained in ship and port security as well as law enforcement.

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