I am sure by now everyone saw last weeks Army Times had hit on a pilot program being tested at Ft Hood to help promote the transition of Active Duty members into the United States Army Reserve. They discussed bonuses, possible early separation, retraining, and other career progression possibilities.
I had the luxury of being in a brief today with CSM Luther Thomas, the Command Sergeant Major of the Army Reserve and was left with a couple of take a ways that have made me think and question what we can do better to achieve our mission of filling the ranks of the USAR.
As an Army Reserve Recruiter, one of my missions is to help find qualified prior service personnel to fill skill level 20, level 30, and level 40 vacancies in units. This is where the USAR is hurting the most in our prior service mission and when we hear from our Reserve Units they seem to express the same issue.
In your opinions, what can we do to target these mid-level Soldiers who are separating for various reasons (moral and most medical not included). We are looking to give them an opportunity to continue to serve while doing what they want to do when they separate. This could be joining the work force or going back to school. There are many benefits to the USAR that I feel are not being expressed to transitioning Soldiers that can continue to assist them now and in the future all while helping them work their way toward a military pension.
Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.
Posted 10 y ago
The option for Soldiers leaving the Active Component and joining the Reserves is a great opportunity. Now with the QSP some very qualified and exceptional NCOs will be asked to leave the active service. The Reserve and National Guard have exceptional opportunities for them to continue to serve. The Army Reserves have many Training Support Battalions TSBns that are Observer, Coach, Trainer OC/T positions. These positions are nearly all SSG, SFC, and MSG opportunities for NCOs leaving the service. The National Guard and Army Reserves also have Active Guard/ Reserve position that are equal to being active Army. The Reserves also have many opportunities to sign up for 29 day or 365 day orders for anyone who has the flexibility to sign up for additional training days. As a CSM for a multi-component training BDE, we have Active, National Guard, and Reserve positions and based on the positions being mostly Mid to SR NCOs we have a difficult time filling the number of NCOs needed to do the OC/T mission within the Reserve BNs. I would highly recommend anyone who leaves the service to look hard at joining the National Guard or Army Reserves as a change to continue to serve.
I recommend the reserves or the National Guard for anyone who is getting out of active duty. It offers a steady part-time paycheck, medical/dental benefits, education benefits, a decent retirement plan and so much more. I served long enough in the reserves to retire with a pension starting at age 60 which is comparable to or better than most civilian pension plans. Furthermore, there are opportunities serve on active duty there. Some of these are voluntary and some are involuntary. I ended up being involuntarily recalled out of retirement back to active duty status during the high-water mark of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan back in 2007. I've now served long enough to draw full active duty retirement effective 01 July 2014. I have no regrets about my decision to continue my service in the reserves for it certainly paid off for me now.