Reservists, families subject of latest ILW Torchbearer
AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare recently released a new publication – "Resetting Reserve Component Units: Taking Care of Soldiers and Families" (Torchbearer National Security Report, July 2011) – that examines the Army’s efforts to sustain the resilience of its National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers and families throughout the deployment cycle.
The Army’s sustained operational tempo in the past decade has created a formidable challenge in the reset process of returning units, soldiers and families to the level of readiness necessary for future missions.
Reserve component (RC) soldiers and family members face some unique reset challenges – caused by extended distances from units/armories, civilian career responsibilities and the RC’s evolving role as an operational force – in addition to other challenges shared by all soldiers and families.
During reset, RC soldiers need to assimilate back into their local communities by reuniting with family, having timely and predictable access to health care-related resources, engaging successfully with the civilian workforce and researching new educational opportunities.
The Army National Guard and Army Reserve are meeting these needs in numerous, innovative ways.
For example, the Army National Guard’s Job Connection Education Program offers soldiers ongoing, personalized civilian career assistance.
The Army Reserve’s Army Strong Community Centers break the existing paradigm of family support by bringing soldier and family readiness resources to communities far from Army installations.
These programs and others not only help to assure reliable access to today’s "operationalized" RC, but also help deliver quality of life commensurate with soldiers’ and families’ quality of service.