CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, Chief of the Army Reserve and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Schultz, Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Reserve, visited Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, to host a town hall meeting with Soldiers Dec. 28.
"I like to get all of the Reserve Soldiers together, so we can talk a little about the future of the Reserves," said Lt. Gen. Stultz. "I also like to give them a chance to ask some questions. This gives me a chance to hear their concerns and see what is on their mind."
Kicking off the town hall meeting, Lt. Gen. Stultz reenlisted nine Army Reserve Soldiers serving here at Camp Arifjan.
"Here it is the holiday season, and I have Soldiers who are away from their Families, jobs and making huge sacrifices, and here they are standing on stage raising their right hand to reenlist in the Army Reserve. It is awesome," Lt. Gen. Stultz said.
Lt. Gen. Stultz then talked with Soldiers about the changes in the Army Reserve as it has shifted from a strategic force to an operational force.
"When I came into the Army Reserve we did our one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Today we are part of the operational force," said Lt. Gen. Stultz. "We are currently providing medical support in El Salvador, Honduras, Columbia, Vietnam and many other places."
Lt. Gen. Stultz spoke about how the Army Reserve is engaging countries around the world through theater security cooperation events and stressed the importance of their roles in these missions.
"There are requirements from all around the globe for medical, engineer, logistical and foreign army capabilities that are needed. We want to get in their first, so we can win the hearts and minds of that country," said Lt. Gen. Stultz.
With the need for such an active Army Reserve force needed throughout the world, Lt. Gen. Stultz laid out his plan to a more stable five-year deployment cycle. The five-year deployment cycle would consist of one year of mobilization and four years back home.
"We are truly working toward making the five year cycle a reality. We are not there yet. We have certain capabilities that are spinning faster than that, but we are trying to build our structure so we can give that Soldier, his Family and his employer that predictability," said Lt. Gen. Stultz.
Once Lt. Gen. Stultz finished laying out the plans for the future of the Army Reserve, Command Sgt. Maj. Schultz took time to explain to the Soldiers changes in the promotion system and the importance of sergeants time training.
"The Army Reserve will begin to have its first semicentralized promotions in 2011," said Command Sgt. Maj. Schultz. "The Army Reserve will have our first brigade board in October. We are mirroring the Active Component."
After discussing the changes the Army Reserve will be going though in the future, Lt. Gen. Stultz and Command Sgt. Maj. Schultz took questions from the audience to give them a chance to express their concerns.
"It was great to have interaction with the leadership," said Sgt. Jonathan Hanson, who serves as the operation noncommissioned officer with the Joint Visitor Bureau, Third Army and a Portland, Ore. native. "I came here to get some inspiration and settle my mind about some of the things I have been hearing."
Lt. Gen Stultz answered all of the questions with grace and humility. He was really honest, he told what he was going to fix and what he wasn't, said Hanson.
Lt. Gen. Stultz commented on how these town hall meeting gives him confidence in his Soldiers ability to prepare for the future.
"The big thing I learn from these town hall meetings is we have a great group of Soldiers serving their country who want to keep serving their country," said Lt. Gen. Stultz. "Soldiers feel good about being part of this operational force and what they are doing here."
As the Army Reserve continues to play a more important part in the military, Lt. Gen. Stultz spoke about how he plans to ensure the Army Reserve is ready for the future.
"With our leadership changing, there is a lot of uncertainty for the future. So we have two choices here: we can sit back and wait to see what the future looks like, or we can try and drive the future," said Lt. Gen Stultz. "I want to shape the future of what the role of the Reserve is going to be, so that when the leadership gets in place we can help them understand what our roles and missions are by showing them what we have accomplished and what we can accomplish for the future."