What is it? The ARNG Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) is similar to the Army and USAR Delayed Entry Program (DEP) as the formal process for indoctrinating and preparing ARNG Soldiers for the successful completion of their Initial Active Duty Training (IADT). Army and USAR DEP Soldiers initially contract at the MEPS and remain in the DEP until they return for their actual enlistment and IADT ship processing. ARNG Soldiers are accessed during the initial MEPS processing and are on active, paid drilling status while awaiting their IADT ship date. They drill with their State’s RSP until they depart for Basic Combat Training (BCT), and then join their actual unit of assignment when they are MOS qualified.
The intent of the Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) is to reduce training pipeline losses by introducing newly enlisted ARNG Soldiers to the military environment and to ease their adjustment to BCT and Advanced Individual Training (AIT).
The mission is to prepare non-prior service enlistees, hereafter referred to as “Warriors," for the physical and mental rigors of initial active duty for training (IADT); instill the seven Army values in each Warrior; verify that Warriors are administratively, mentally, and physically prepared to meet shipping requirements, and reduce training pipeline losses.
The Recruit Sustainment Program incorporates instruction in; Academic, Physical Readiness, and Common Task Training. Each Warrior will be screened for administrative problems as well as height, weight, and physical fitness. New Warriors will progress through four phases of Soldier Empowerment and Readiness (SEAR) training while attending the RSP Course:
What has the ARNG done? Since instituting the RSP, the ARNG has experienced almost two years of consecutive at-training loss improvement and has the lowest loss rate of the three Army Components. The ARNG Training Pipeline Loss (TPL) rate has been reduced by over 10% since the RSP’s implementation with an average improvement of .5% per month for FY07 and a current BCT graduation rate exceeding 95%. The ARNG also experienced a significant increase in the retention rate of Non‑Prior Service (NPS) accessions measured at the one-year mark of their accession date; currently, the ARNG loses only 12% of those Soldiers during their first term of service following MOSQ.
What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future? The national ARNG Recruit Sustainment Program is exhibiting signs of success based upon the low training pipeline loss rate of Soldiers enlisted in the current fiscal year. In the long-term, it will reduce training pipeline losses significantly and will result in more qualified and deployable MOSQ Soldiers returning to the units. The ARNG is exploring options for full-time manning of the RSP as well as concepts that would integrate Army and USAR Soldiers into a Future Soldier – RSP program to prepare them for BCT alongside ARNG Warriors.
Why is this important to the Army? At the half-way mark for fiscal year 2008 (as of 31 March 2007), the Guard exceeded its 350,000-soldier limit with an end-strength of 350,421 (351,400 as of end-of-month May 2007). The RSP (along with G-RAP and ESAR) has helped the ARNG exceed end‑strength goals.