FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The inspector general, or IG, is in serious need of top-quality candidates to fill its ranks across the Army Reserve.

"We are looking for the top 20 percent, which is a challenge because commanders are looking for that top 20 percent as well to be their staffs," said Sgt. Maj. Trevor Sellers, the top noncommissioned officer of the Army Reserve inspector general during a recent interview about the function and scope of the IG program.

As of now, IG offices across the Army Reserve have been significantly understaffed, making it a challenge to meet their mission requirements.

Finding such Soldiers can be difficult due to a perception problem. Soldiers often think IG representatives show up on the scene when things don't go right. While that's sometimes correct, investigations are only one of the many functions of the Army Reserve IG program.

The duties of the IG are spelled out through their four functions: inspections, assistance, investigations and teaching, and training. These functions allow the IG to provide objective and unbiased advice to leadership in a way that is rooted in Army history and has stood the test of time.

"Ultimately, at the end of the day, we are here to help," said Sellers.

Since the Revolutionary War, the inspector general has been helping to set the standards and enforce the regulations of the Army. The first IG in 1777, Brig. Gen. Thomas Conway, was found to be an abject failure.

"He was considered a self-serving and pompous braggart," said Sellers.

Gen. George Washington quickly replaced him as soon as Congress let him with Gen. Frederick William Augustus Von Steuben (who's also the father of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps). Von Steuben then set the standard with his tact and character, which became the template for all future inspector generals. His efforts in training, creating and enforcing standards helped transform a group of rag-tag farmer revolutionaries into a fighting force that could defeat the most powerful empire in the world.

Today, the IG is still that critical cog that helps keep the Army Reserve on course.

"This is much of what we do today. (We) assist commanders in maintaining readiness through our four major functions," said Sellers.

However, to meet this mission, the IG needs high-character and top-quality candidates across their positions. They need Soldiers who are recommended above their peers for challenging positions and demonstrate the highest level of integrity and commitment to duty.

"We are looking for the cream of the crop in our Army Reserve to act as inspector generals," said Sellers.

Such high-standards are necessary to maintain the integrity of the IG, which holds positions considered career broadening assignments that reflect well upon Soldiers.

For those who are interested, the IG is looking for a diversified and experienced group of Soldiers with ranks ranging from promotable staff sergeants to master sergeants, and captains to lieutenant colonels. Right now, there are vacancies for part-time, Reserve Soldiers at 45 commands across 15 states and locations, including Puerto Rico and Germany, which need to be filled as soon as possible.

For more information on the nomination process, visit https://www.usar.army.mil/USAR-IG