By Ben Gonzales (AMC)December 7, 2016
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Completing the worldwide Army Materiel Command mission of providing readiness to the Army through sustainment takes a total-force effort.
Delivering materiel, logistics and sustainment support, AMC ensures Soldiers around the globe have everything they need to be ready in a moment's notice. When AMC officials need critical specialties to complete a short-notice mission, they turn to Army Reserve and Army National Guard members.
"Guard and Reserve Soldiers are supporting the Army's number one mission: readiness," said Maj. Gen. Elizabeth Austin, AMC assistant deputy commanding general-Army National Guard. "Soldiers from the Guard and Reserve are crucial to the AMC mission while ensuring the Army has what it needs, where it needs it and when it needs it to keep the U.S. Army the most dominant land force in the world."
As of November, more than 20,000 Reserve and Guard members were serving around the globe augmenting the regular Army. Reserve and Guard members are fully integrated in the AMC enterprise with more than 400 Reservists and Guardsmen augmenting the command's 64,000-strong workforce, across its major subordinate commands and Organic Industrial Base sites.
Support from the Reserve and Guard also stretches to AMC locations worldwide. Reserve forces serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, and help NATO allies in Europe, assisting with the European Activity Set repositioning of equipment.
Soldiers like Staff Sgt. Danielle Milke step up when the call goes out for Guard and Reserve Soldiers to supplement AMC missions where specific skills are required to accomplish vital missions. Milke volunteered to be the NCOIC for Army Prepositioned Stocks-Romania, and was responsible for the turn in and maintenance of the equipment used in Exercise Anakonda 2016, a U.S. Army Europe multinational event.
"Utilizing Soldiers from the Guard and Reserve brings a fresh set of skills to the AMC mission," Milke said. "Soldiers from the Reserve sector are excited and willing to do good things for the Army and need to be utilized more often. They can bring support to AMC and their missions when Soldiers are needed on a temporary basis."
Following her six-month deployment that ended in October, Milke returned to her position as a maintenance NCO for the Army Sustainment Command-Army Reserve Element, Detachment 12, from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
AMC is able to rely on trained Reserve forces like Milke because the command is strategically aligned with the Army Reserve Sustainment Command. ARSC has more than 800 Reserve Soldiers who are highly skilled and available to support AMC units when the need arises. The ARSC provides Reserve units to support the AMC mission, but filling the need for individual Soldiers for AMC missions requires Army officials to seek out Guard and Reserve Soldiers.
Individual Reserve component Soldiers have proven to be invaluable assets in sustainable readiness throughout the AMC enterprise, said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Darren Cook, AMC command chief warrant officer.
"We cannot do what we do without the total-force concept," he said.
The Reserve and Guard sustainment capacity has been integrated from a unit perspective to a total-force concept to include individual billets to support global readiness for the Army. Now all Reserve and Guard members have the opportunity to apply for individual assignments outside of their units.
Darion Boone, Reserve affairs program manager for AMC, promotes available slots for Guardsmen and Reservists. Available positions are listed on the Tour of Duty website, the system of record to bring a Guard or Reserve member on active duty. AMC officials want to advertise all military positions available for Reserve and Guard members as well as for active-duty Soldiers, he said.
"If there is a vacancy anywhere in AMC, the position is advertised on Tour of Duty," said Boone. "If an immediate project arises and the Army cannot hire civilians to come in and do the job, the Army uses the Personnel Force Innovation portion of Tour of Duty to bring Reserve or Guard members to supplement that immediate work. The Army can bring in Reserve forces faster because the workload would not be constant or long term."
AMC officials used PFI to augment the workforce who assisted with the European Activity Set initiative. As U.S. Army Europe officials pre-positioned equipment throughout Europe in response to increasing threats to NATO countries, short-notice requirements developed to have specialized logisticians and maintainers in place to assist in the placement of Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and other equipment from deactivating Army units and AMC units stateside.
The augmentation of Guard and Reserve individual Soldiers provides valuable manpower and offsets gaps and shortages when sudden and drastically increased workloads occur. For example, reservists answered the call from AMC when an immediate need for two positions to provide command and control of a workforce responsible for the issue, maintenance and receipt of equipment in Bulgaria as part of the European Activity Set arose.
Lt. Col. Randy Coble and Master Sgt. Tom Anderson were both contacted and then volunteered for the AMC requirement to support the Army Prepositioned Stocks effort in Bulgaria. Coble is an operations officer for the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command at Redstone Arsenal, and Anderson is an operations NCO with the Army Sustainment Command-Army Reserve Element at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Coble and Anderson now lead the Army Prepositioned Stocks 2-Bulgaria workforce of Army civilians and contractors managing the equipment for about two combined arms companies.
"Our job has been to bring critical thinking and reasoning skills to the table and provide a different point of view on how best to accomplish any tasks given to us," Coble said. "The Reserve and Guard are critical components of the Army Prepositioned Stocks effort. Without us, the ASC's 405th Army Field Support Brigade would not have been able to do its mission."
Even though Guardsmen and Reservists fill individual billets for AMC around the world, Soldiers are not judged as members of Reserve components, but by their skills and abilities.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tracy Duncan, executive officer for the AMC command chief warrant officer, said that Reserve and Guard Soldiers who join active-duty Soldiers are equally valued and respected. As a human resources technician at ARSC, Duncan submitted a packet to AMC and was recently selected to work side-by-side with active Soldiers at AMC headquarters.
"The uniform does not say Reserve or Guard; all uniforms say U.S. Army," Duncan said. "I feel that I am accepted as a member of the total force and am not singled out as being a Reserve member. The Guard and Reserve are important to the Army and AMC mission by providing additional highly skilled personnel to be utilized where there may be shortfalls."
AMC wants to spread the word about opportunities that exist for individual augmentees, said Cook.
"We need to reach the individual Soldiers in Guard and Reserve units who may desire to volunteer for an AMC developmental assignment," he said.
Reservists and Guardsmen can apply for these individual positions, and all applications meet an AMC selection board, led by Maj. Gen. Allan Elliott, AMC deputy chief of staff and assistant deputy commanding general for the U.S. Army Reserve.
In addition, if members picked up a skill set as a tradesman in the civilian world and put licenses and certifications in their personnel records, they can fill vacancies outside their Military Occupational Specialty. Guard and Reserve Soldiers who are interested in volunteering for AMC positions can visit Tour of Duty located at https://mobcop.army.mil/ or call AMC Human Resources at 256-450-7969.