President Joe Biden has ordered certain members of the Selected Reserve to active duty, prompting concerns on social media about just what the news might mean. At Post Apocalyptic Media, we try to keep an eye on world events that could lead to dystopian consequences, including major wars and military buildup. Here’s what we know about what has happened.
The Order Was Made Shortly After the NATO Summit Ended & Applies to 3,000 Members
The White House quietly published an order activating some members of the Selected Reserve on July 13, 2023. The order was published online with little fanfare. You can read it here or below.
The order reads:
“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 121 and 12304 of title 10, United States Code, I hereby determine that it is necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve in and around the United States European Command’s area of responsibility. In furtherance of this operation, under the stated authority, I hereby authorize the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, under their respective jurisdictions, to order to active duty any units, and any individual members not assigned to a unit organized to serve as a unit of the Selected Reserve, or any member in the Individual Ready Reserve mobilization category and designated as essential under regulations prescribed by the Secretary concerned, not to exceed 3,000 total members at any one time, of whom not more than 450 may be members of the Individual Ready Reserve, as they deem necessary, and to terminate the service of those units and members ordered to active duty.”
“This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.”
A message to Congress about the order was also posted, which you can read here or below. It reads similarly:
“In accordance with section 12304(f) of title 10, United States Code, I am providing notice that I have authorized the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Department of the Navy, to order to active duty members and units of the Selected Reserve and appropriately designated Individual Ready Reserve members, without the consent of the member concerned, pursuant to 12304(a) of title 10, United States Code. Reserve mobilizations under this authorization are not to exceed 3,000 total members at any one time, of whom not more than 450 may be members of the Individual Ready Reserve. These Reserve Component forces are to augment the active forces for Operation Atlantic Resolve to enhance the United States’ ability to sustain its heightened level of presence and operations in support of United States European Command.”
The order was made shortly after a two-day NATO summit ended on July 12. It’s not a large-scale utilization, however. The order calls for no more than 3,000 members to be mobilized, with no more than 450 of those being members of the Individual Ready Reserve.
The order notes that it’s being made to augment “Operation Atlantic Resolve.” Operation Atlantic Resolve refers to “military activities in response to Russian operations in Ukraine,” according to Wikipedia. It began in 2014.
GlobalSecurity.org describes Operation Atlantic Resolve this way:
“The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region, in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine. Operation Atlantic Resolve began in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as part of unscheduled Land Forces Assurance Exercises to demonstrate commitment to NATO obligations and sustain interoperability with allied forces.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had been pushing to have Ukraine join NATO, but Biden has said that Russia’s war with Ukraine must end before Ukraine could join, CNN reported. He also said that the U.S. and its allies would continue to support Ukraine.
“I think it’s premature to say, to call for a vote, you know, in now, because there’s other qualifications that need to be met, including democratization and some of those issues,” Biden told CNN.
After the NATO summit ended, Biden reiterated that “our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken,” ABC News reported.
This Isn’t the First Time Biden Has Activated Reserves This Year
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Biden has activated reserves this year, so it’s not clear how dire the new executive order should be viewed.
On April 28, Biden authorized activating reserves for the U.S.-Mexico border. His proclamation noted, in part: “The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, are authorized to order to active duty such units and individual members of the Ready Reserve under the jurisdiction of the Secretary concerned as the Secretary concerned considers necessary, consistent with the terms of section 12302 of title 10, United States Code.”
According to the Military Times, the Ready Reserve is composed of reservists who are most commonly called to active duty, consisting of three groups: Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, and Inactive National Guard. The Selected Reserve is the subcategory that is typically the first to be activated.
Some people are tweeting and asking if the draft is next. There has been absolutely no indication that the White House is considering reinstating the draft in any form.