reserves at a glance

The Bundeswehr Reserve

The Bundeswehr Reserve

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The Mission of the Bundeswehr Reserve

Reservists support the Bundeswehr throughout the entire spectrum of tasks. Since compulsory military service has been suspended, Bundeswehr reservists have become more important than ever for the operational readiness of the Bundeswehr. They reinforce units at home and abroad. They bring to bear their special knowledge gained during their civilian professional life and contribute their experience as „citizens in uniform” to our society. In other words, reserve forces unite the Bundeswehr with the people in Germany.

Spread copies of the Reserve Strategy

The new Reserve Strategy replaces the Reserve Concept

Bundeswehr/Detlef Schachel

Reserve Strategy – Reserve of the Future

2019 Annual Meeting of the Reserve

Former Federal Minister of Defence Kramp-Karrenbauer introduces the new Reserve Strategy at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Reserve in Berlin

Bundeswehr/Jonas Weber

The international order is moving. The changed security environment in Europe has brought Germany to return to national and collective defence. With a view to the constantly increasing significance of reserve forces for both the Bundeswehr and society, the issue of the Reserve Strategy by the Former Federal Minister of Defence, Kramp-Karrenbauer, in October 2019 constitutes an important step.

Reserve forces ensure the buildup of armed forces, enhance operational readiness and increase sustainability throughout the entire spectrum of tasks of the Bundeswehr, especially for the mission relating to national and collective defence. Furthermore, reserve forces act as mediators and multipliers for the Bundeswehr in Society.

Download SdRStrategie der Reserve englisch (PDF, 979,1 KB)

Gradual Implementtation

The objectives and the specifications of the Reserve Strategy are implemented gradually and in compliance with the development of the capability profile of the Bundeswehr focusing on the year 2032+.

Soldiers during training at the turret of the Marder infantry combat vehicle

Reserve Strategy in practice. Training on major equipment

Bundeswehr/Detlef Schachel

General Designation for Assignment and Voluntariness

Immediately after completing their term of active military service, soldiers will in the future be assigned to reserve posts for a period of six years as part of a general designation for assignment – corresponding to the qualifications they have acquired during their term of active military service. In this way, it is made sure that well-trained military personnel will be available in the event of a conflict. The principle of voluntariness for reserve duty in peacetime will remain in existence.

Reliable Availability

The aim is to have reliably available as many reservists as possible for training and exercises during peacetime. This will require sustained efforts and a great variety of differentiated and specific factors of attractiveness to create incentives. By entering into dialogue with employers, it is aimed to foster the latter’s willingness to allow employed reservists to take leave for reserve duties.

Several soldiers at the sand table

The Reserve Strategy ensures a prompt buildup of forces

Bundeswehr/Detlef Schachel

Equipment and Training

The forces of the Territorial Reserve and the roundup units and field replacement units are equipped in line with their assigned mission. Material and infrastructure equipment are to enable reserve forces to successfully accomplish assigned missions. Regular exercises and training make a lasting contribution to achieve the operational readiness necessary. In this way, it is also possible to achieve the training levels required for crisis training.

Organisation of the Reserve

Organisation of the Bundeswehr Reserve is a complex field. It involves a large number of actors working together to shape and develop the reserve.

The Bundeswehr Concept and the Reserve Strategy form the basis for planning and organisation of the Bundeswehr Reserve. The Reserve Strategy constitute the framework for the dialogue between

  • Bundeswehr,
  • reservists,
  • employers, and
  • reservist associations.

Reservist affairs are a command and control responsibility. Personnel development, training and commitment of reservists to the Bundeswehr are a responsibility of superiors in all areas of the Bundeswehr. To this end, all agency heads down to the level of battalion will appoint a commissioner for reservist work. The function of Commissioner for Reservist Affairs of the Bundeswehr is held by the Vice Chief of Staff, Bundeswehr, Lieutenant General Laubenthal, making him the top-level point of contact for reservists.

Portrait of Lieutenant General Laubenthal in service uniform

Vice Chief of Staff, Bundeswehr and Bundeswehr Commissioner for Reservist Affairs – Lieutenant General Laubenthal

Bundeswehr/Sebastian Wilke

At the age of 65, the term of active military service will end for Bundeswehr reservists.

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