For countries that have conscription is there a term for the requirement to be ready for service in the event of a war?

  • Yeah, in the US the generic term is "reserves" (noun). There is also a special case of the "National Guard" which functions as a reserve force but is run by the individual states.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 12:25
  • 1
    @Hot Licks The UK's reserve force is also now called The Army Reserve. It was previously, until recently, known as the Territorial Army - The TA for short. But neither the UK nor the USA, in normal times, have conscription.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 12:29
  • @WS2 - The US terminology has not changed since before the Vietnam war when conscription was being actively used. (Though there is the point that the reserve concept is being somewhat abused to supply the manpower needed for the Mideast conflicts of the past 20-odd years.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


Conscription aside, most countries have a concept of military reserves

A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizens of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when a nation mobilizes for total war or to defend against invasion.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_reserve_force

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