Has the Army thought through the implications of this new policy shift? I don't think so. Is it going to eventually cause an impact on enlistments into the Army Reserve and Army National Guard? I think it will if changes aren't made.
With the Army's current ARFORGEN (Army Force Generation) plan a Reserve Component (Army Reserve or Army National Guard) unit will be called up for one year once every 5 years. If not handled correctly this plan will drive trained Soldiers to retire early or to stop re-enlisting in the Reserve Component.
When a Reservist gets activated he and his family's medical expenses are covered by Tricare. Switching medical coverage every 5 years can be painful - especially for the family that has to deal with it when the Soldier is deployed. What if the family lives in a rural location far from Tricare approved doctors?
What about National Guard Soldiers who are already called up more frequently then their Army Reserve counterparts? National Guard Soldiers in California are often called on for fire-fighting and other state related disasters. What employer would want to hire an employee who will be gone every fifth year, two weeks in the summer, and two weeks whenever the fire season happens?
The United States prematurely drew down its Army after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The constant demands on the US military in this era of persistent conflict and global concerns has strained our Active forces. The Army has done the wise thing by reaching into the Reserve Component often to give it a "deeper bench." A conversation must happen soon at the highest levels of our military to reduce the strain on our Reserve Soldiers before the quality of those forces begins to suffer.