The flu shot was quick and painless…the swipe of an alcohol pad, then the poke of a needle. But after a few minutes the soreness from that flu shot set in as Soldiers walked away from the table.
This was a much-repeated scene at the Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) conducted by the 3200 Strategic Intelligence Group (SIG) at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Md. Almost 300 Soldiers from multiple units under the Combat Support Agency Support Command, Military Intelligence Readiness Command, from the National Capitol Region participated in the 2-day SRP.
This was the second SRP hosted by the 3200 SIG, according to the commander Col. Kim Knur.
"The first year we were tasked," said Knur. "This year I volunteered because I wanted to use our expertise on how to do this and make it a good event," she said.
Conducting the SRP for so many Soldiers and units at one time is more cost effective for the Army Reserve, said Knur.
One of the basic ways for Soldiers to monitor their medical readiness is to complete an individual Periodic Health Assessment (PHA), often resulting in vouchers for medical appointments for blood tests, vision, and dental exams, as well as any necessary follow-up appointments. However, during an SRP, instead of individual (and costly) appointments, everything is taken care of in one place, in one day. The providers come to the Soldiers, not the other way around.
"I prefer this type of SRP over a PHA…I don't have to take off from work," said Cpt. Shane Snelling, a Military Intelligence officer with Detachment 4, 2100 Military Intelligence Group.
"This SRP is organized and efficient," said Snelling, who spent time in Iraq as a civilian contractor. "It gets the National Capitol Region Soldiers' boxes checked all at once," he said.
Army Reserve Soldiers know how important it is to keep their records up-to-date with the most current information as well as stay at a high level of medical readiness.
"This SRP is of high value to Soldiers," said Staff Sgt. Christopher O'Conner, a crypto linguist with the Army Technical Control Analysis Element Augmentee Detachment.
"Soldiers don't always know of issues," he said.
A seasoned veteran of Afghanistan and Desert Storm, O'Conner remembers the need to be ready in a moment's notice while deploying to the Gulf the first time.
"There were units [in Desert Storm] that were mobilized but weren't ready and never made it to war because they didn't have the proper records," he said.
The largest portion of this SRP was various medical readiness stations, including a vision screening, dental exam (including X-ray if necessary), immunizations, and a chance to complete the PHA. Stations were also set up for birth month audits, records checks, and retirement points corrections.
One of the busiest tables at the SRP was the immunization station. Since the flu shot is an annual requirement for all military personnel, almost every Soldier present walked away with a sore arm.
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