WASHINGTON -- Over the next few years, the Army will reduce its end strength and shape the force for future requirements. Through a deliberate process, the Army aims to retain those Soldiers determined to be the best and brightest.

"To maintain an All-Volunteer Force of the highest quality Soldiers and achieve directed end-strength, the Army must responsibly balance force shaping across accessions, retention, promotions, and voluntary separations," said Brigadier General Richard P. Mustion, Director of Military Personnel Management, Deputy Chief of Staff of Personnel, Army G-1.

To help the Army get to the desired end strength, it will fundamentally change the Active Component retention program. This will enable and empower brigade-level commanders with the flexibility and agility needed to retain those who meet the needs of the Army.

In March 2012 the reenlistment window opens for Soldiers whose enlistments end in fiscal year 2013. Army Command, Army Service Component Commands and Direct Reporting Units will establish brigade-level reenlistment objectives and as in the past, commanders will be directed to retain a percentage of the eligible population. However, unlike the past, commanders will not exceed this objective.

Commanders will receive specific implementation guidance from the Army G1, addressing Soldiers in over-strength, balanced and shortage Military Occupational Skills specialties. In addition, guidance will instruct commanders to use the "Whole Soldier" concept when determining their best. This determination includes attributes, competencies, leadership potential, adherence to standards, duty performance, and evaluations that demonstrate ability to serve in any MOS.

Under this guidance, some Soldiers will be required to reclassify from over-strength career fields to under-strength, or balanced ones, to meet Army requirements. It is imperative that commanders and command sergeants majors ensure Soldiers receive performance counseling, as this will be one of the key tools of determining retention.

Tough decisions are ahead, said Mustion. Commanders must carefully assess their Soldiers and ensure their best Soldiers are retained to meet the needs of our Army. To be successful, leaders at all levels must be personally involved in the retention program.

For more information on Army retention policies and procedures, Soldiers should contact their unit Career Counselor for policy and processing guidance.

Page last updated Fri February 10th, 2012 at 12:20