The Changing Nature of Reserve Cohesion: A Study of Future Reserves 2020 and British Army Reserve Logistic Units

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Abstract

For too long military cohesion scholars have focused on regular infantry forces. This article examines the impact of the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) policy on cohesion, professionalism, and discipline among British reserve logisticians. In doing so, it makes three significant contributions to the cohesion literature. Firstly, addressing scholars’ almost exclusive focus on regular infantry, it presents the first academic study on cohesion in British reserve logistics forces. Secondly, in detailing how cohesion in these forces is based on interpersonal rather than professional bonds, it argues that the locus of cohesion and discipline in these forces is different to that recently identified in the regular professional infantry. Thirdly, the article argues that while FR20 is gradually changing many of British reserve norms, the organizational realities of reserve service continue to limit the policy's impact. The evidence presented may be theoretically applicable to other reserve and noncombat forces in future cohesion research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-332
Number of pages23
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Volume45
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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