Army Reserve: Army Reserve Employer Relations

What is it? Army Reserve Employer Relations is a Department of Defense-mandated commanders program which is managed at the Army Reserve Command level. The basic tenet of the Employer Relations Program is to build positive and enduring relationships with civilian employers of Army Reserve Soldiers in order to enhance Soldier readiness and positively impact retention. Advocating good employer relations promotes a continuum of viable economic support that sustains a vital facet of the Soldier's well-being during periods of continuous military service.

What has the Army Reserve done? The Army Reserve established the Employer Relations Program in command policy in August 2005 and embedded it in the Well-Being Directorate of the Army Reserve G-1 (Personnel). Specific Army Reserve employer relations vision and mission statements were developed in concert with the Department of Defense and Department of the Army's mission objectives. Army Reserve's mission statement and established goals and objectives help ensure that all Department of Defense directives and instructions have been satisfied.

What efforts does the Army Reserve plan to continue in the future? The Army Reserve Employer Relations Program was codified in the command's strategic plan and identified by the Chief, Army Reserve as a Soldier priority for 2006. The Army Reserve will focus on enhancing employer support through a systemic blending of four major objectives. These objectives, which include mitigation, mediation, employer outreach and awareness, and Soldier-employer relations, will further solidify the employer as a vital link in the national defense strategy and the important part each employer has in establishing a strong homeland defense in support of the Warrior-Citizen. In addition, a series of major training events are being planned to focus attention on this important Soldier well-being initiative. All employer relations military liaisons and major subordinate command points of contact will participate in these events in order to participate in the inculcation of the program at the grassroots level and share in the development of a comprehensive command-wide strategy.

Why is this important to the Army Reserve? In the current Global War on Terrorism, civilian employers of Army Reserve Soldiers play a critical role in the defense of the nation by complying with existing employment laws protecting the rights of Army Reserve Soldiers while they serve in defense of the nation. It is imperative and vitally important that the Army Reserve and the local community work together to build on the talents and skills of the Citizen-Soldier. Forging enduring and lasting relationships with civilian employers is an important link in the success of the Army Reserve's mission. Without civilian employer support it would be difficult at best to sustain a creditable force. For the Army Reserve to meet is statutory edicts we must leverage the civilian business community as we optimize a shared workforce.