FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.— The Army Reserve is Ready Now. Soldiers are adapting to challenging environments, training and excelling at missions across the globe. At battle assemblies and sometimes in between, leaders are diligently working through checklist after checklist – personnel, equipment, supply – the list goes on … all in the name of readiness.
While those metrics tell part of the story, the Chief of Army Reserve, Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, wants Soldiers and leaders to know that today’s readiness, and Shaping Tomorrow comes down to people – and every Soldier in America’s Army Reserve plays a crucial role.
“We have a fantastic force, but we need more Soldiers like those who currently serve,” said Daniels.
The Army Reserve is getting after growing the force by leveraging Operation Shaping Tomorrow, Daniels’ recently published guidance which outlines what Soldiers and leaders need to do to help ensure a high-quality ‘All-Volunteer Operational Army Reserve’ capable of supporting missions around the world.
To get the word out, and highlight the more than 120 available jobs, the Army Reserve is leveraging U.S. Army Recruiting Command, U.S. Army Cadet Command, Reserve Component Career Counselors, and the Army Enterprise Marketing Office. But when it comes down to potential recruits or someone looking to make the switch from active duty or other reserve components, Daniels is convinced that the best messenger to inform others on the incredible opportunities available to them is Army Reserve Soldiers themselves.
Daniels is asking Soldiers to start by being just a little less humble.
“I need Soldiers to share their experiences with their coworkers, classmates, community leaders, friends and families,” she said. “Tell them what you do and what the Army Reserve is all about.”
That momentum is what Daniels needs to achieve her Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG. Outlined in the operations order, the BHAG is achieving an Army Reserve that is overstrength by 3,000 sergeants by the summer of 2024. The goal focuses on junior enlisted and officers as essential to the health of units and key for the growth of the Army Reserve’s future force.
Why 2024? “Because that’s when my tenure ends, so I want to be able to build that pool and fill that pipeline for NCOs and warrant officers by the time I depart,” Daniels said. “The same thing for our officers. I want to be overstrength 500 captains to fill that pipeline for my successor.”
The operation order outlines specific tasks that are key to creating positive, meaningful experiences that will attract new recruits, and retain quality personnel. Some of those initiatives include prioritizing an effective sponsorship program – emphasizing the need for a welcoming environment; guiding Soldiers through the promotion process; and creating an environment that encourages Soldiers to reenlist.
Daniels is assisting leaders with the tasks outlined in Shaping Tomorrow by taking a hard look at administrative requirements that can be reduced at top levels in order for units to have the time needed to plan and conduct meaningful training that Soldiers won’t want to skip out on.
To reduce non-participation rates and increase retention throughout the Army Reserve, Daniels calls on leaders to do their part by knowing their people and creating quality experiences that challenge and motivate Soldiers.
“I need leaders to lead the way by creating a positive command climate and building cohesive teams,” said Daniels, “The experiences Soldiers have in their units directly impacts the stories they are sharing with others and their decision to remain in the organization.”
For more about serving in the Army Reserve and current incentives available, visit https://www.usar.army.mil/HowtoJoin/
There are many incentives available to those considering serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. Individuals can receive military training focused on science, technology, engineering, cyber, journalism and many other areas that can put analytical and technical abilities to work and also look good on a resume. The Army Reserve also offers educational opportunities, tuition assistance and medical benefits.