Army Reserve Employer Relations: “Optimizing A Shared Workforce”
What is it?
The Army Reserve shares the workforce with the civilian business community. Forging partnerships with civilian employers is fundamentally important to the success of the AR's mission of training Soldiers and growing leaders. Employers are inextricable linked to the readiness of the Army Reserve. Without the support of the nearly 44,000 civilian employers it would be difficult, if not impossible, to sustain a creditable force of Warrior Citizens. In an effort to build positive and enduring partnerships with civilian employers, the ARER Program was established in June 2005 as a link between the Command, the Soldier, and his or her employer at the strategic level.
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 Strategic Communication Division 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 and posture statement. 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?
In FY 2007, the ARER Program focused its efforts on enhancing employer support through a systemic blending of four major objectives: mitigation, mediation, employer outreach and awareness, and Soldier-employer relations. In FY 2008, the ARER Program is implementing three major initiatives to further build on the successes to date. Beginning early in 2008, Program Support Mangers (PSM) are being assigned to 27 Major Subordinate Commands throughout the AR. These full-time, contracted PSMs will provide commanders with the expertise and support required to carry out the employer relations initiatives established by the leadership of the Army Reserve. The Army Reserve proposes to increase the PSMs to 99 in the out years. A “Partnering With Industry” strategic plan is currently being developed in conjunction with the Employer Outreach and Benefit General Officer Steering Committee (EOB GOSC), which will serve as the “blue print” for building enduring partnerships with industry and will help focus the Army Reserve’s efforts on “Optimizing a Shared Workforce” with and between the Army Reserve and Employers. This will provide the Army Reserve additional tools to improve retention thereby its readiness.
Why is this important to the Army Reserve?
As part of its mission the Army Reserve “grows leaders.” Soldiers gain valuable experience while serving their country in uniform and when Warrior-Citizens return to their respective work environments, employers get better employees; who have renewed energy and broader perspectives, a desire for more responsibility, and creative problem solvers. Everyone benefits from the partnership between the AR and its civilian employers. Future AR recruiting and retention initiatives depend on the involvement and inclusion of the employers of America.