The Reserve Forces Act of 1955
A compromise to the Legion’s long Universal Military Training push, law ramps up Reserve component.
President Eisenhower signs into law the Reserve Forces Act of 1955, essentially the outcome of nearly 40 years of American Legion lobbying for compulsory Universal Military Training (UMT). The measure authorizes the president to call 1 million reservists up for active duty in a time of emergency and for a massive increase in personnel: nearly 3 million in the Ready Reserve and another 2 million in a Standby Reserve to go along with a nearly 2.9 million active-duty force. Seeing the law as a step in the right direction but by no means UMT, American Legion posts nationwide meet with their schools to help recruit volunteers to join the Reserves and the mandatory six-month military training program that comes with it.