In addition, this was a great follow on to the blog we posted in August: Are You Ready for the Army Reserve? Or, Is Your Soldier Ready for the Army Reserve?
|Army Reserve Capabilities - See Below for Photo Credits|
First off the start line: What does the Army Reserve bring to the fight?
Twenty percent of the Total Force and only six percent of the budget according to Talley. He said the Army Reserve role of complementing the active role with critical skills such as engineers, medical units, civil affairs units, psychological operations, biological/chemical warfare detection units and other technical skills means there is little chance his budget of $8 Billion will see major cuts. In fact he said the new proposals in the Pentagon might increase Army Reserve manpower during active Army force cuts.
He was very careful to differentiate between the Army Reserve and Army National Guard organizations and commented that they had different roles with the Guard having both state and federal missions. While not speaking for the Guard, he did say they had units that mirrored active units and by inference might have budget issues during the budget cuts expected in the next cycle. A big takeaway from the discussion: Army Reserve “families should not worry” about budget or personnel cuts resulting in the loss of their soldier’s reserve position.
He seemed ready to rule out long term budget issues for his organization and his direct involvement in drawing up Rally Point 32 (he is the 32nd Chief), the Army Reserve mission on one page, is easily recognized. A citizen soldier, he agreed to serve as Chief and put his print on the organization as an entrepreneur and business person.
The health of the force was a concern for the general.
The issue that kept him awake at night: The alarming number of suicides within the service. He said that “suck it up” was not the right way to work through mental health issues and had not been the Army way for many years. It has become “a sign of maturity” to ask for help. He said investigation showed five common themes for those who had committed suicide:
1) relationship failures
2) financial problems
3) alcohol/drug problems
4) soldiers’ had not been deployed
5) soldiers’ had not seen combat
Talley said we must teach resilience and coping skills – Army Reserve soldier priorities, according to the General, should be: #1 Family, #2 Employment #3 Reserves
How does the nation's problem with obesity affect the Reserves?
First, only 1/3 of our citizens are qualified to serve due to weight, physical fitness, criminal backgrounds, etc! But specifically for the Reserves: Our weight management numbers are “a bit higher” than active. 20-25% of Army Reserve NCOs/Os are on WMP according to the general and they have to try a little harder due to civilian employment, family times, etc. The Department of Defense is spending $1B a year on weight management programs and the reserves face different issues without regular unit physical fitness time. A “Talley Opinion” is that weight management was 60% diet, 20% exercise and 20% a good night’s rest. Weight management and health issues are being pushed through (and for) families as well. Comprehensive soldier fitness program allows family members to join and uses social media such as YouTube videos to make it available. We must “try a little harder”.
|LTG Jeffrey Talley|
He closed the more than hour discussion with the best part of his job! “I get to right some wrongs”. He was referring to personnel actions and caring for the troops! Did I not say “refreshing” at the beginning? Thank you Lt Gen Talley and best wishes for the next four years as your tenure as Chief of the Army Reserves: “Twice The Citizen”
If you would like to learn about the US Army Reserve please go to their website at www.usar.army.mil where you can also find their other social media resources.
Image/Photo Credits: US Army Reserve