By Staff Sgt. Alyn-Michael Macleod, 99th Regional Support Command Public Affairs OfficeApril 26, 2010
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. April 25, 2010 - About 90 Individual Ready Reserve Soldiers attended the IRR muster April 26 at the Newtown Square Army Reserve Center just northwest of Philadelphia.
The Soldiers started the day by listening to a number of short presentations, beginning with a videotaped greeting from Maj. Gen. Sean Bryrne, commanding general, Army Human Resources Command , who is also the commanding general for the IRR Soldiers.
Aca,!A"You have served and you continue to serve honorably when called upon as an individual warrior. The training and skills that you have acquired over your military career are truly invaluable to our Army,Aca,!A? explained Byrne. Aca,!A"My goal is to provide you with the right tools, training and services to achieve success in both your military and civilian lives.Aca,!A?
Soldiers are not mobilized at muster, HRC officials explained. A muster is a one-day event for which each Soldier is paid about $200. IRR Soldiers are required to keep their contact information and their records up to date, and they accomplish this requirement at annual musters.
A muster is also a chance for the Soldiers to hear about benefits, entitlements and civilian job opportunities.
Hosting the muster in Newtown was the 99th Regional Support Command Soldier Readiness Processing Team out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
According to HRC officials, every Soldier has an initial Military Service Obligation of 6 to 8 years depending on the contract the Soldier has signed. A Soldier typically becomes a member of the IRR after successfully completing a tour of duty as an Active, National Guard or Selected Reserve Soldier.
There are two types of musters that IRR Soldiers can encounter - - Personnel Accountability Musters where a Soldier will schedule a one-on-one appointment at his local Army Reserve Center, and Readiness Musters, where a group of Soldiers report to a Veterans Affairs facility or an Army Reserve Center.
The first-year muster focuses on resetting, orientation and education. The second-year muster will focus on readiness, validating medical and personal status. The following musters will focus on availability for continued service and re-enlistment.
Ensuring that the SoldiersAca,!a,,c training and skills are still in a state of readiness, each Soldier processed through 22 stations which included Medical, Individual Warrior Virtual Screening Portal, HRC Career Manager, Veterans Affairs, Career Counselor, Personnel Station, ID Card/Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, Security Station, Reserve OfficersAca,!a,,c Training Crops, Family Assistance Program, Civilian Personnel, Employer Partnership Initiative, Employer support Guard/Reserve, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Defense Commissary, Military One Source, American Legion, Tri-Care, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post Deployment Health Reassessment, Army One Source and YTI Institute.
The personnel station can be considered one of the most important parts of this process because it directly impacts the Soldiers` minimum requirements.
Aca,!A"We assist the Soldiers to update their emergency contact information and with any other personnel needs that they inquire about,Aca,!A? said Sgt. Mark Schulz Sr. from the 99th Regional Support Command Soldier Readiness Processing Team. Aca,!A"We also assist them with any pay issues and point them in the right direction on which why to go.Aca,!A?
Nicolas Saknit received notification about this muster through the mail. Aca,!A"I was a little apprehensive about coming here today,Aca,!A? said Saknit, who is currently pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
Aca,!A"I definitely learned a lot about the Army Reserve and retirement points today and I feel that I can keep my options open,Aca,!A? Saknit said. Aca,!A"This was a nice experience.Aca,!A?
Since it is essential to have a Aca,!A"good yearAca,!A? in the IRR, one of the another important stations in the muster is the HRC Career Manager.
Aca,!A"To have a good year in the IRR, a Soldier must have fifty points,Aca,!A? said Maj. Hollis Cantrell, HRC career manager. Aca,!A"It is important that we get a chance to talk face to face with the Soldiers and go through their retirement points and tell them about some of the Individual Mobilization Augmentation and Troop Program Units opportunities.Aca,!A?
Soldiers in the IRR still have the same opportunities as their active-duty counterparts in regard to promotions, military schools, correspondence courses and the ability to volunteer for special assignments.
Lesley Long was a sergeant when she transferred to the IRR and is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.
Aca,!A"After talking to the retention NCO, I am currently rethinking about transferring to an Army Reserve unit,Aca,!A? said Long.
While other Soldiers may have thought about it, 12 Soldiers at the muster decided to officially transfer to Army Reserve units.
Aca,!A"We are here for the Soldiers if they want to take their experience and knowledge into the Reserve,Aca,!A? said Sgt 1st Class Ronald Lilly, Army Reserve career counselor, Region 2.
Aca,!A"If we have qualified, knowledgeable, experienced Soldiers in the Army Reserve Aca,!A| itAca,!a,,cs just a plus for everyone around,Aca,!A? added Lilly.
This is the first of four IRR musters scheduled within the 99th RSC 13-state area of responsibility.
Aca,!A"Today was successful for the Soldiers... It was a win-win,Aca,!A? concluded Sgt. 1st Class Melody Ricks, 99th RSC SRP NCOIC.