The chief of the Army Reserve and the acting director of the Army National Guard listed their priorities for the coming year, especially maintaining their forces as operational reserves, to several hundred attendees at the Guard/Reserve Breakfast on Oct. 10. The breakfast precedes the formal opening of the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2011.
Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve, said that “our Army and nation are dependent on the reserve component” to carry out the national security strategy.
He said he is also advocating “a continuum of service” for soldiers leaving active duty.
“We cannot afford to lose that experience,” Stultz said.
Lastly, Stutlz explained that “taking care of our soldiers and our families” is essential, adding that Army Reservists “have to have the confidence that we’re going to take care of them and their family.”
“The Army has never been closer in the three components,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond Carpenter, acting director of the Army National Guard
Carpenter said the National Guard needs “the right number of people” to carry out the federal and state missions.
“Our responsibility is to respond overnight,” he said, particularly in state emergencies.
“We also need the right people,” Carpenter continued. “Seventy percent of the 17- to 24-year-olds cannot meet the criteria [for enlisting in the Army].”
The reasons so many do not qualify range from physical to overweight to moral (drug use or criminal activity).
Carpenter, like Stutlz, said that families and employers are priorities.
As he was concluding his brief remarks, Carpenter called for stability.
“We can’t rebuild the reserve components every three or four years,” he said.Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, USA, Ret., and a former director of the Army National Guard, reminded the attendees of all the associations represented at the breakfast and called upon them “to do what you can to keep the Army you have.”