President Trump on Friday issued an executive order authorizing the Pentagon to call up as many as 1 million armed forces reservists to active duty to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
The president’s order said the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland security are authorized to order to active duty, “not to exceed 24 consecutive months,” units and individual members of the Ready Reserve up to 1 million at one time as necessary.
“The Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security … will ensure appropriate consultation is undertaken with relevant state officials with respect to the utilization of National Guard Reserve Component units activated under this authority,” the order states.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard are authorized to order units and individual members of the Ready Reserve back to active duty for up to two years.
The Ready Reserve consists primarily of former active-duty service members who were discharged but have a contractual obligation for a recall during a national emergency.