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Talley: Army Reserve Expanding Private, Public Partnerships

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Army Reserve is making great strides in expanding public and private industry partnerships to both enhance the quality of life in communities and directly support its own readiness, the chief of the Army Reserve says. Because of budget constraints and dwindling resources, generating readiness through a government-only approach is “probably not a good plan,” Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley said at an April 21 breakfast sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare. “I need to recognize that my stakeholders are in the private sector,” Talley said. “Most of the Army Reserve is citizen-soldiers who live in the communities and work in the private sector.”

The Army Reserve has been building partnerships with public and private organizations since 2008. The pathway to building those mutually beneficial connections is the Army Reserve’s Private-Public Partnership Office, or P3O, which Talley said now includes a roster of more than 7,000 private-sector firms, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to young startup outfits. “They provide opportunities for our soldiers and their family members to get employment, and they also directly generate readiness by participating with us in supporting our training,” Talley said. For example, Army Reserve engineers might go into a training status to build a new medical building in Samoa, with General Electric coming in to support that effort with hardware and equipment, Talley said. Then Army Reserve soldiers with medical expertise might go in and train local staff in how to make maximum use of that facility “to improve the quality of medical care on the island.” “I could give you thousands of examples of the Army Reserve partnering with the private sector every day,” Talley said. “Regardless of who the private-sector partner is, we can find a way to partner with them to improve our readiness while we deliver support to combatant commands. “And here’s the beauty of it: It doesn’t cost the Department of Defense a dime, because I already have to spend money to train those soldiers.”