Posted on Aug 29, 2014
CPO Jon Campbell
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I heard about a guy this week that I used to work with on Operation Neptune Shield. He has 18 years in the CG Reserve and just made E7. Along with E7 came 'PCS' orders to Long Island, NY. He lives in Charleston, SC. He now will have to travel at his own expense to NY 13 times a year. (20,000 miles per year) He will have to sign a waiver stating that he agrees to be transferred outside the reasonable commuting distance. If he doesn't sign the waiver, he will be transferred to the IRR and processed out - usually within 6 months. He either has to go in the hole for travel and expenses that will exceed his pay for the next two years or give up on making 20 years and any retirement benefits. He isn't alone. Reservists with close to 20 years and thousands of points from deployments are finding themselves in this situation more and more.
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SCPO Intelligence Specialist
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Brother, I have not heard of this happening to anyone in the DC Reserve region - I knew one Senior Chief that voluntarily transferred to the Atlanta area a number of years ago. Unless I'm mistaken, he did it because of an attractive position in that area that enhanced his chances of promotion. Maybe in the DC region we have so many units that there's always openings, but I think it is more a question of leadership in the region. This may be changing, but I haven't heard of it yet.
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CW3 Network Architect
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You're Navy, Senior Chief. In the Army Reserve it happens all the time. I'm going to have to start traveling two hours for battle assembly when I get back from my schooling at Fort Gordon GA.
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CW2 Building Mathematics Coach
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Three years ago I was mobilized for a possible deployment. The unit was a detachment from my group and it was 3.5 hours away. The mission was canceled and I was strongly encouraged to stick around for a detachment within the group and located in the same building. I did that for another 2 years. I recently was able to move to a position 10 minutes from my house, but I know it is only a matter of time before I get pulled again since we are severely under - strength in my rank/MOS. This occurrence is very common even with some E-1 through E-4's. That is why there is Lodging and Kind.
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CPO Jon Campbell
CPO Jon Campbell
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When the CG started this with enlisted personnel, one if the reasons was to give other people the opportunity to train and move seasoned people around so that everyone got more rounded. Some ratings benefit and it makes since - mostly at small boat stations. Stations are located within a hundred miles or so of each other all over the US. People who work in jobs that are based at Sectors get screwed though. Sectors are hundreds of miles apart. Once the game of musical chairs began, it just kept getting worse and worse. Additionally, the detailer a reservist had to deal with is typically not in his rating and is only looking at filling a billet by pay grade. The CG would probably benefit by adopting an MOS system instead of the horribly modified Navy rating system.
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COL Financial Advisor
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Edited 8 y ago
Short answer/BLUF: is "yes...kind of."

The Army Reserve can not force a Soldier to drill more than 50 miles from their Home of Record. However, they also do not guarantee a slot/billet.

For NCO Promotions, the NCO fills out a packet, which includes a mileage statement, indicating how far the NCO is willing to travel to get promoted. If the NCO is not selected for a slot within that radius, they are not selected for promotion. If they are, they are expected to travel to that location, voluntarily at their expense, and drill.

The other scenario for NCOs is to voluntarily apply for a position. Obviously, when doing so, the NCO also agrees to travel at their expense to drill.

Officers go through a similar process. When they apply for a position, they are signing up for the travel expenses. In the case of boarded positions, they have to sign a mileage statement as well. The only difference I know of is officers don't get promoted "into a slot" by a centralized board. They make the promotion list, and then have to find a position at the new rank. The exception to that is Field Grade Command Boards, which slot an officer into a unit. But the officer fills out a preference statement and a mileage statement for that board.

In the last year or so, the Army has started reimbursing up to $300 in travel expenses if the Reservist is traveling over 150 miles one way to drill. I haven't followed all the nuances of the program, but it started as command teams and critical MOSs, but I think was expanded to all Soldiers. This may be a local policy by GO-level command; I'm not sure.

The other program that has been around for a while to help is Lodging in Kind. There is the potential for a unit to house Soldiers who travel over 50 miles to drill on the economy. That could mean barracks or hotels, single occupancy or double, and the ranks that are covered is up to the unit policy. I have not seen the opportunity to use Lodging in Kind if being reimbursed the $300; you are expected to cover lodging costs out of the reimbursement.

This information is all based on my experience, primarily over the last 6 years, and I am not able to quote regulation chapter and verse. Please don't go to your command screaming about your entitlements without asking about local policy vs. regulatory requirements.

Good luck!

Good luck!
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CPO Jon Campbell
CPO Jon Campbell
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I have heard some talk about reimbursing for travel expenses, but I doubt it will happen in the CG. At least the Army is giving reservists a choice prior to advancement. In the CG, no one knows if there will be a billet until after they get promoted. I really think that the whole RCD concept was established to build a solid reserve force and by undermining it with waivers, it weakens the entire force (especially when the waivers are forced on a member).
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CW2 Building Mathematics Coach
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In my command, at least within the Group, soldiers can receive travel pay for critical MOS' s. There was a list and people were getting the pay.
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CPT Assistant Battalion Operations Officer (S3)
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In my Command, all Soldiers, either Officer or Enlisted, are eligible for lodging if they live far enough away. They are able to get the night before Battle Assembly or just Saturday night, depending on mileage. Also, command teams, certain MOS's, and units that are critically short are eligible for travel pay at a reduced rate if they travel over 150 miles one way.
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LTC Retired
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The Army Reserve has a lot of people who travel to units over 50 miles from their home but most of them make the decision before the promotion. My brother-in-law who is in the Air Force Reserve travels from DC to Pope, so he could get promoted.

I am sure there will be more situations like the one you mention in the future as more Reserve units are closed across the country. The fewer units, the more willing people need to be to travel for promotions.

At least in the Army Reserve IRR, one can stay for a long time and still earn points. One could retire from the IRR, if they continually earned enough points each year.

Take care.
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CPO Jon Campbell
CPO Jon Campbell
8 y
It used to be that way in the CG Reserve as well until the active duty side intergrated the reserve. The reserve operates more like a temp agency for active duty now. They have an up-or-out style system, but you don't know if there will be a billet until you get promoted. I don't think there is any going back either (declining a promotion). I have seen people go in the IRR and stay until a billet opens, but the detailers are telling people they can't do that. Many years ago, people would stay in and drill just for points - no pay because they loved it.
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