ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command recently added its newest Soldier to the ranks, Maj. Carlos Melendez, an Army Reservist from Sustainment Command Detachment 7.

Melendez joined the CECOM G2/Intelligence and Security Office as an intelligence officer Jan. 20.

Detachment 7 is designated to support CECOM's various functions through supplying trained and ready Reserve Soldiers who are integrated into the Command, according to Maj. Adam Hackel, Detachment 7 Public Affairs Officer who is also assigned to CECOM as a Reserve PAO.

Melendez is one of 47 total authorized Soldiers from the detachment who are available to support CECOM when requested. Currently, Detachment 7 has 39 Reservists assigned to CECOM ranging in rank from of Army specialist to colonel, all with varying levels of expertise, said Hackel.

The Department of Defense released the latest priorities for the 21st Century defense strategies in January. It explained how and why military leaders are reshaping America's military to function as a Joint Force for the future that will be smaller and leaner, but agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced.

"As the Army prepares to become smaller, more agile and more cost-efficient to meet the needs of the Future Force of the 21st Century, CECOM must respond and adjust to the new operating environment of limited resources and personnel. Detachment 7 gives us another option to acquire the skill sets needed in a timely manner." said Col. William Montgomery, CECOM Chief of Staff.

Detachment 7 Reserve Soldiers are also afforded advantages as a result of this mutually beneficial relat/ionship it has with CECOM, according to Col. Mark D. Davis, Officer in Charge, ARSC Detachment 7.

"When a Reserve Soldier is given the opportunity to work within an active command at this echelon they are able to better understand the unique and diverse value that the reserve force brings to the fight, and the magnitude of impact of our collective fighting force on the world around us," said Davis.

Detachment 7 Reservists are assigned to CECOM, at no cost to the command, at the request of the supervisor in need, said George Morales, acting chief, CECOM Military Personnel Division and point of contact to request Detachment 7 support. Morales said the process is relatively simple. Supervisors should first identify the organizational need and what job specialty and skill sets are required to meet mission requirements. Supervisors are expected to submit a timeline and provide all the resources needed for the Soldier to perform the mission upon arrival.

Once the supervisor submits their skillsets requirements to Morales, the outlined requirements are forwarded to the Detachment 7 who matches the requirements with a Soldier possessing those desired skillsets. The Soldier's resume is then submitted to the CECOM G1/Personnel who forwards resumes to the supervisor selecting official, according to Jim Lint, CECOM G2 Director who recently navigated through this process.

"This is a good deal for us and the Soldier," said Lint. "This will expand our intelligence focus for C4ISR and help push the intelligence community to recognize CECOM as a consumer of C4ISR intelligence."

The timeline to bring on a Reservist via these channels could take as little as a week depending on the requirements. Matt Croke, director of the CECOM G3/5 Operations Center, testifies to the strength in having Reservists in the office, as he too was a Reservist who served at another command during his 30-year military career.

"In my experience, Reserve Soldiers can provide continuity in an office and provide the supervisor flexibility in managing their personnel assets," said Croke. "Reservists bring not only their military skill set, but the experience gained in their civilian careers."

For example, Croke once employed a Reserve Soldier who was a nurse in their civilian careers during the Influenza Pandemic exercises. "Her expertise in the medical field served us well in our planning process during this particular pandemic exercise. As a supervisor, you have to be willing to think outside the box and explore other options."

Croke encourages supervisors to have a plan before requesting a Reservist and to be creative when integrating them into the office mission. Depending on the Soldier's personal situation, he or she may be able to serve during the week for two days or for two weeks to supply support for a special event that causes the OPTEMPO to increase, Croke explained. In some cases, he's been able to grant telework agreements based on mission requirements for his Reserve staff when needed.

Croke found great use in one Reserve Soldier who lives outside the local commuting area as an advanced party member in exercises that occur in long-distant locations.

"Lt. Col. George Fest, who has an operations planning background, has been with CECOM as a Reservist for a number of years, which is a big help because he knows all the players and can jump right in to our operations and add value to our mission each month, at APG or elsewhere when needed," said Croke.

"Get to know your Reserve Soldier and keep the lines of communications open," said Croke. "It's a win-win for everyone involved."

Page last updated Tue January 31st, 2012 at 00:00