TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii - Chief of Army Reserve Lieutenant Gen. Jeffrey Talley, engaged 311th Signal Command (Theater) Soldiers with a townhall here April 4. The commander of the Army Reserve discussed current and future plans for Reserve Component and multi-component units as well as employment opportunities for warfighters of all components.
Talley visited Hawaii as part of a Pacific engagement tour, which also included a visit with commanders and Soldiers of the U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Army Pacific, 9th Mission Support Command, and Warrior Transition Battalion.
"It's a good time to be a part of our Army, and it's a great time to be a part of our Army Reserve," said Talley." You're very unique in that you're part of a multi-compo unit."
A multi-component unit is one that, like the 311th SC (T), integrates Active Component Soldiers, Reserve Component Soldiers, Active Guard Reserve Soldiers and Department of Defense Civilians.
"Gen. [Raymond] Odierno [Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army] thinks multi-compo units are the way to go as the way of the future, and I definitely think you will be seeing more multi-compo units," said Talley. "There were some issues in the past because the processes of how we pay people and track people weren't integrated. Now that has changed, and with this guidance from Gen. Odierno we are relooking at the multi-compo unit."
"The Army is talking about a number of ways of doing this, for example, having cyber cells at the Army senior service commands, that would be multi-compo," he continued. "What we are trying to do is figure out where we can grow the capability and where it would be most rewarding for all…. how it would best fit."
As the Chief of the Army Reserve, Talley is principal staff adviser to Odierno on all Army Reserve Affairs. Talley develops Army Reserve budgets, training programs and policy decisions; manages the Army Reserve troop program units, individual mobilization augmentees, and the Active Guard/Reserve program and serves as the appropriation director of all Army Reserve funds. As the Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Talley commands all Army Reserve troops in the Continental U.S. and has administrative control over the Army Reserve troops overseas, with a total current end strength of 205,000 Soldiers and over 12,600 civilians.
"One of the challenges for the Active Duty coming to a multi-compo unit, many come with the mindset of what they thought the Army Reserve was about," said Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. James Lambert, who joined Talley during the townhall. "My initial recommendation for active components working with Reserve, be open-minded. Learn the difference between the languages of the cultures. But remember, for the most part, our processes are the same."
Talley referred the audience a number of employment programs for Soldiers, particularly the Employers Partnership Program. This program is a partnership with 150 major industries that hires National Guard, Reservist and Veterans specifically. For more information about the Employers' Partnership Program, visit www.employerpartnership.org.
At the end of the question and answer session, Talley personally thanked some Soldiers for their outstanding efforts and presented them with his coin. He also recognized the 311th Family Readiness Group Leaders Erika Lester, wife of 311th Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander Capt. Stephen Lester, and Melanie Jenkins, wife of 1st Sgt. Martin Jenkins, for their outstanding efforts with the 311th .
"It was a great accomplishment to be recognized by the Chief of the Army Reserve, it motivated me to keep striving to achieve excellence," said Spc. Tyson Mendiola, one of the Soldiers recognized by the general.
Talley parted with the same mantra he started with.
"For those of you getting out, thinking about leaving the Army, don't leave the Army, join the Army Reserve," said Talley. "Remember, you're a Soldier for Life."