I received my honorable discharge from the Navy Reserves last week, making me a full civilian for the first time since 1992.
Too much uncertainty on recalls. Too much bureaucracy and paperwork rather than productive work (even after being made good, not being paid for 4 months annoys). Great people at every level. They need to change the catastrophic consequences of not being selected for O5 (=not able to retire which is effectively half of your reserve pay). Forcing senior officers to travel long distances for billets (and thus spend their paycheck on plane fare) does little to motivate junior officers. Once my chances at O5 began to diminish due to leaves of absence and IRR there was little incentive to try to regain the path.
It is clear that fundamental changes to the Navy Reserves are overdue. The nation is not getting its moneys worth.
Centralized, public job assignment is a good start. ZBR helped focus on key missions. The next key step is either automating musters, berthing, medical, orders, etc. in a reliable, authoritative system or having units drill together on the weekend. The administrative burden of trying to align drills with customers who work during the week and Reserve systems which assume that units are regularly assembled on weekends is incredibly frustrating.
The people are great and committed. They deserve a Reserve system that is worthy of their service and sacrifice.