WASHINGTON -- We need to invest in ourselves, said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, Chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general of United States Army Reserve Command.

"Whether it's exercise or going to graduate school," said Talley, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Team Red, White and Blue (RWB), a nationwide nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of service members, their Families, and veterans by connecting them to the community through physical activities and social events, Aug. 21.

"What I like about your organization, it allows a person to invest in themselves, which makes for a more effective employee in the private sector and definitely a more effective Soldier for the Army Reserve," Talley told the men and women sporting the recognizable "RWB Eagle" shirts gathered in his office at the Pentagon.

Through this partnership, Team RWB and the Army Reserve Private Public Partnership (P3) will work together to enhance the readiness of Army Reserve Soldiers, their Families, and veterans by connecting them to organizations that support physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual resilience.

"Partnerships with organizations such as Team RWB is a win-win," agreed Erin Thede, director P3. "They fit nicely with our physical fitness effort, and they are a close-knit organization within the communities."

Brennan Mullaney, mid-Atlantic Regional Director and Washington, D.C. chapter captain for Team RWB, agreed the partnership was mutually beneficial.

Mullaney said success can be measured by the team's enrichment equation: Health + People + Purpose = Enrichment.

"The reality is that everyone who joins the organization is going to get one of the three, and maybe all of the three, or some combination," said Mullaney, an OIF veteran and 2005 graduate of the United States Military Academy. "Someone might get involved because they are looking to improve their PT test score, need some accountability, hoping to drop a couple pounds or run a little faster; however, what many of them find is they are getting more out of it -- they are connecting to people, building relationships, and are finding a purpose."

And the formula seems to be working.

"There are over 82,000 members and it's still growing. Our mission is resonating, and it's fun," Mullaney added. "P3 is going to help us grow and develop leaders, while giving us access to veterans who we haven't been able to reach out and touch yet."
Through the partnership, Army Reserve Soldiers have access to a nationwide network of more than 175 local Team RWB chapters with staff and volunteers, who plan and organize both social and support events to help people connect, build relationships, and serve the local community.

"We want to be in the community where the veteran, the service member, the Army Reserve Soldier resides and works. You can't have that impact, that meaningful impact on an individual if you're taking them out of their natural environment, providing a service over the course of a weekend or something that might be episodic and then bring them back home, so we're passionate about being local," Mullaney said.

To date, Team Red, White and Blue has more than 82,000 members and chapters in more than 175 locations. For more information on Team RWB and how to find a chapter or community near you, visit www.teamrwb.org.

Since 2008 the Army Reserve has built partnerships with private and public organizations in order to maximize success at home and abroad while advancing individual, leader, and unit readiness. For more information about partnering with the Private Public Partnership Office, visit www.usar.army.mil/PrivatePublicPartnership.