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integration with the Air Force that had already started in the late 1950s and continued on

through the Vietnam years.

However, decades of conscription and the Vietnam War had created a chasm

between the Army and the Army National Guard (ARNG) that needed closing. Under

the leadership of Army Chief of Staff General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr., a great

proponent of the Total Force Policy, the Army began to return to a more traditional

relationship with the National Guard. General Abrams believed the lack of a reserve

component callup for the Vietnam War had been a tragic mistake and was determined

that the Army should never again be committed to an unpopular, foreign venture without

full public support. In his mind, the direct link between the Regular Army and the

American people ran through the ARNG and the Army Reserve.

During the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, a number of important initiatives

increased integration between the Army and the ARNG and improved Army Guard

readiness levels. Perhaps the most important of these was the Roundout Brigade Program

that saw ARNG combat brigades permanently assigned as an integral part of the force

structure of selected Army divisions. Roundout brigades were to deploy and fight as the

division’s third combat maneuver brigade. The ARNG also received more modern

weapons, vehicles, and equipment. The most visible sign of better intra-service

integration was in increase in overseas deployments for training. In large numbers, Army

Guard members deployed to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to participate in rigorous

training exercises. A smaller number of high priority ARNG units trained at the Army’s

new National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. Starting in 1983, the ARNG

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