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NEWS | March 19, 2024

Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions: What Every SELRES Sailor Needs to Know

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Scott Wichmann

“We are focused unambiguously on warfighting readiness. It is our number one and only priority – period. We will generate the combat power and critical strategic depth that the Navy requires to prevail in an era of Global Power Competition. That is our job, and why the Navy Reserve exists. All else is secondary.” 

                                                                 ~Vice Admiral John Mustin,
                                                                   Chief of Navy Reserve
                                                                   Commander, Navy Reserve Force


It has been four years since Vice Admiral John Mustin, Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force, first released the Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions. NRFI 2020 was an action plan for transforming the Reserve Force. NRFI 2022 challenged the force to adapt with urgency. In 2024, that mission continues with an even greater sense of importance as world events and a dynamic global security environment puts a greater demand on Reserve Sailor readiness than ever before.

Here is what every SELRES Sailor needs to know about the Navy Reserve Fighting Instruction through the Four Lines of Effort to Design, Train, Mobilize and Develop a lethal, agile fighting force — one that is “Ready Now, Building Enduring Warfighting Advantage for Tomorrow.”


1.      The Chief of Navy Reserve’s Number One Priority is Warfighting Readiness.

2.      We are in an era of long-term Strategic Competition, one in which our Navy's ability to project power from the sea will play a vital role.

3.      Our generational transformation to achieve Warfighting Readiness – to be “Ready on Day One” – directly supports this effort. The end is achieved through the implementation of Four Lines of Effort: DESIGN, TRAIN, MOBILIZE and DEVELOP the Reserve Force.


DESIGN: In line with Navy requirements, the Navy Reserve maintains warfighting capabilities best suited for the Reserve Force. This ensures all Reserve Force capabilities and capacity provide a net benefit to the Navy.

The "Design the Force” Line of Effort aligns the Navy Reserve force structure to Navy requirements to deliver strategic depth at reduced cost, and within acceptable risk, relative to the Active Component.

  • Readiness and training requirements tailored to each mobilization billet.

  • Centers of Excellence aligning warfighting communities for training and employment.

  • We are laser-focused on identifying… and delivering Navy warfighting capabilities that are both vital for our Fleet leaders AND best suited for the Reserve Force.

  • We must align the career paths of our Sailors more intentionally to mission and mobilization readiness.

  • To be clear, this is not about doing more with less… it is, however, about employing a threat-informed approach to prioritizing resources and tailoring Reserve capacity and capability to high-end warfighting – we need every unit and every billet to be optimized for the fight.

TRAIN: Training and all time spent in uniform will prepare Sailors for their mobilization billets. Ensuring all Selected Reserve personnel are trained and ready now.

The “Train the Force” Line of Effort focuses our training resources on providing Reserve Sailors the “reps and sets” they need to excel, on day one, in their wartime roles in a maritime fight.

  • We have replaced ad-hoc training and readiness assessments with a deliberate approach matching billet requirements to warfighting readiness. We are also applying greater analytical rigor to defining, evaluating and applying readiness metrics.

  • This year, we released the inaugural Force Generation Guidance which provides detailed direction to the Navy Reserve on the critical steps to define and document training requirements for our Sailors to be ready for war.

  • This line of effort will enable Sailors to achieve and maintain advanced technical, intellectual and physical capability to operate – confidently - in the increasingly complex and multi-domain warfighting realities of the future.

MOBILIZE: Our legacy approach to mobilization, wherein individual Reserve Sailors process through a single, centralized facility to receive specialized training over the course of several months, simply no longer meets the demands of our complex and rapidly evolving security environment. 

The “Mobilize the Force” Line of Effort is responsible for developing the policies, procedures, and capability to mobilize the entire Selected Reserve population of approximately 50,000 in 30 days when called to do so.

  • Over the last two years, we have improved mobilization readiness and implemented enhancements enabling us to mass mobilize the force within 30 days.

  • We can’t use cookie cutter approaches for every scenario because not every mobilization is the same. As a result, we instituted Adaptive Mobilization pathways tailored to the mission requirements of the billet itself.

  • By distributing MOB capability and increasing the number of sites where Sailors can mobilize, we will increase throughput and efficiency … and make the process easier for our Sailors.

DEVELOP: Inculcate a culture of excellence and harness the diverse talent resident in our Reserve Sailors and civilians to deliver warfighting readiness.

The “Develop the Force” Line of Effort is a bottom-up effort; we have listened to our deck plate Sailors and are moving out with urgency to drive consequential improvements. We are committed, at every level, to enhancing the care and support for Selected Reserve (SELRES) and Training and Administration of Reserves (TAR) Sailors - and their families - to maintain health, welfare and readiness, with particular emphasis on mental health, resiliency, and suicide awareness.

Now that you have read and understood the objectives of the NRFI, your job as an individual Navy Reserve Sailor is to remain diligently focused on sharpening your skills, learning your job and keeping yourself and the Sailors in your unit mission ready: physically ready, medically ready, administratively ready, but most of all — mentally ready — to stand up and meet the challenge when the nation calls.

“The Navy Reserve has transitioned from a land-based, IA-focused Force of the last two decades… to one that provides strategic depth to the Navy, Marine Corps and joint force in an era of Great Power Competition. As a result, we have changed the way we design, train, and mobilize and develop the Force. This allows us to sustain our world-class status as an elite warfighting organization while unleashing our diverse, skilled, lethal and ready force to the fight with velocity.”

                                                                                                      ~VADM John B. Mustin