Posted on Aug 9, 2015
SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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I read this, but I have a hard time understanding why. Is it laziness, irresponsibility, bad record keeping, or all three? It mentions, even some convicts, are listed as ready to fight. It's things like this that gives our enemies a better edge and makes us look like idiots when we can't keep up with who can fight and who can't. Do you think our enemies don't keep up with their military strength, and ours?

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The Army Reserve and Army National Guard can’t properly determine how many of their soldiers are fit to fight, sometimes listing jailed soldiers as available to conduct missions, the Government Accountability Office says in a recent report.

http://www.stripes.com/news/army/gao-army-reserve-guard-don-t-know-how-many-soldiers-are-fit-to-fight-1.361929


KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The Army Reserve and Army National Guard can’t properly determine how many of their soldiers are fit to fight, sometimes listing jailed soldiers as available to conduct missions, the Government Accountability Office says in a recent report.
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Responses: 18
LTC John Shaw
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It is not laziness or irresponsibility, it is bad systems planning and processes not designed to integrate because they were not designed for an operational Guard/Reserve program and need serious upgrades.
I can tell you that the Guard and Reserve has challenges when it comes to accurate reporting of all soldier statuses. This is not like active duty where you have daily accountability for soldiers. You meet once a month and 12-29 days per year for Annual Training. During your AT is when you have the most positive accountability and provide the most accurate reporting at the unit level.
There is very limited full-time staffing in a reserve or guard unit. For a company level unit you will have one full-time staff, at a BN maybe 2 or 3. All the reservist will do their best with 2 paid days out of the month and most senior NCO and Officers put in 'God and Country time' where you just work a couple nights a week and additional weekends for no pay because you are a professional and want to do a good job in the role you hold in the Reserve/Guard.
If a soldier has a serious accident, is incarcerated, commits suicide, gets divorced, etc. the Reserve Commander will not know until the event has been reported, which may or may not be the next monthly Battle Assembly. Let's assume all events are reported in the same month. When you roll up from company to BN, BDE, then geographic commands, add a funding overlay for what are the legitimate/funded structures, add all medical categories, dental, training, MOS Qual, Pay records, etc. These systems all have differences in the batch cycles and reporting periods.
Remember medical and dental for reservist are not covered, only the assessment of the soldier, so unless the soldier has medical insurance or joins the reserve system out of pocket then some medical conditions don't get fixed until mobilization.
You also have soldiers mobilized and sent with a unit overseas, but they must also have the data for this same reservist in the unit they originated from. The active, guard and reserve systems don't interface transfer data among the systems.
As a reservist that has been responsible for this reporting and provided briefing to GO level on readiness, we spend many weeks pushing to get data input into the outdated systems from our down trace units. Much of the reporting depends on critical system interfaces and I have had to explain the differences between my numbers and the reported numbers and why.
I could do it to the number most of the time, but it took weeks worth of time and effort to ensure accurate and meaningful soldier readiness stats.
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SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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I guess I don't need to write anymore. It's a Charlie Foxtrot way to run an Army, is all I can write.
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LTC John Shaw
LTC John Shaw
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SGT (Join to see) - Agreed, the system needs more Full-time staff to be successful or we continue to do what we have been doing. Ramp up the number of full-time staff as the unit is coming up on mobilization period and break other units to get the unit going into the box fit for mobilization.
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SPC Douglas Hemmingway
SPC Douglas Hemmingway
4 y
As far as the Physical Fitness readiness goes doing PT is left up to the individual soldier outside of AT and the monthly drills. Most of the time the only PT done on military time is the APFT or whatever the Air Guard calls their semiannual test. I had to take the initiative to get my PT in during my civilian time. Most of the time I couldn't afford a gym membership so I did the best I could running trails in parks or around the blocks of the neighborhoods I lived in. It was easy when I had public high school or middle school with an outdoor track I could run on. One neighborhood I lived in the major streets were a half-mile apart so one lap around was two miles and the same for the last university I attended. I ran, jogged and walked as many laps as I could three to four times a week. As far as push ups and sit ups I did as many as I could each time before I did my walk-run.
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SGT Randal Groover
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I don't understand how any CO could not know the readiness of his company. I f you have men that are not fit for duty or in jail then some slots need to be filled and the first slot should be the CO's. This isn't the 50's, 60's and 70's good-ole-boy yacht club anymore. These units are now playing a big part of the whole picture in our readiness for war.
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SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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SGT Randal Groover, Randy, I'm with you buddy. This what's called fuzzy math. It's ridiculous.
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SPC Douglas Hemmingway
SPC Douglas Hemmingway
4 y
I served in two Firing Batteries and two Tank Companies and one Engineer Company and our Unit Administrators kept our Battery or Company Commanders appraised of who was in jail or the hospital as long as the soldier reported it. In the Engineer Company one of our dump truck drivers was involved with the gang scene in Wichita, Kansas and though his crime occurred when he was not on military time he was eventually released from military service. As far as the physical fitness and the wellness of our soldiers we knew pretty much who was fit to serve and who wasn't. Even I did my best given civilian job and such to get time in for PT. I still fought to keep my weight in specs according to height and weight and I usually passed the PT test. The last one I did I only blew it by two seconds on the run in May of 2001 and had couldn't get the make up test done in time to reenlist due to medical issues and being on a profile as my medical situation occurred while on Annual Training.
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SSG Environmental Specialist
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Well I hate to say this but usually the CO has no control over some of the numbers, I was a UA in the Reserves, getting an UNSAT off your books takes alot of time and paper work but higher commands will purposely keep them on your books for the numbers. Plus as far as those who always show up for drill, something as simple as a dental xray can on paper make that soldier unavailabe on your books, until you do a QTR report you will never understand the paper work and accounting for soldiers when it comes to readiness.
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SGT Aircraft Mechanic
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There are a lot of factors involved I think. In smaller states it's probably a lot easier for a company commander to keep track of all his people and know what's going on with them because they're all pretty much right there where as in a larger state, his soldiers are spread out over hundreds of miles so it's not quite as easy to keep track of them.

You've also got to remember that you really only have one or two guys full-time at a unit trying to keep up with EVERYTHING that's going on in that unit. Unless there's a deployment coming soon, a 1SG and CO aren't there full-time. You have a person somewhere between E-5 and E-7 trying to keep track of 200 people plus whatever the unit has going on.

The system itself is flawed too. A lot of things take forever to make their way up, if they ever get there at all. I've got things missing from iPERMS that should have been in there 2 years ago. (Yes I've brought it up numerous times.) Another personal example, when I was promoted I was overseas. The slot I was promoted into was in a unit still back in the States. When my leave ended, I was supposed to be transferred to the other unit. Someone somewhere dropped the ball and it didn't happen for 5 months.

In the Reserves I imagine it's even worse. You have commands that are spread out over entire regions and people travelling from all over hell and creation for drill.

It's not nearly as bad as it used to be, but the system still needs a lot of work.
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SFC MLRS/HIMARS Crewmember
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I am one of those people. Staying on top of the state UMR, Soldiers in RSP, OCS, ROTC, jail, up on charges, etc. is a full time job by itself.
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SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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5 y
I didn't realize they could live so far away. When I think of NG or Reserves, I think about them being in the same area. Times have really changed and I'm sorry to say I'm not up on the changes. Now, I feel sorry for the troops not knowing what's next until notified, if they are notified. The entire thing sounds like it's the norm, and you guys just deal with it as best you can. Good luck, and God Bless is all I can offer now. BTW, I just jumped off my soapbox. Lol
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SGT Randal Groover
SGT Randal Groover
5 y
SGT (Join to see) SGT (Join to see) When I was in the ANG I drove about 60 miles to Dobbins AFB and caught a C-130 to fly to Savannah, Ga to do my drill week-ends. It was so cool sitting up in the cockpit in the navigators seat and listening to all that was going on.
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SGT Aircraft Mechanic
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When I was in the MA Guard, my unit was never more than 15 miles away. We did have some folks that were outside of 50 miles.

I'm with AL now and my unit is almost 200 miles away. We have a few guys that have a 4-6 hour ride.

You've gotta go where they've got room for you.
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