Story by Timothy Hale
U.S. Army Reserve Command
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Lt. Gen. Jeffery W. Talley, chief of Army Reserve, outlined his priorities and the way ahead during the Army Reserve Senior Leader Forum Aug. 19.
Talley said one of his top priorities is a new private-public partnership that is designed to help Army Reserve soldiers learn valuable skills that correlate to trade professions in the private sector.
“This is what I think will change the Army Reserve forever,” Talley said. “We’ll plan, prepare, and provide and keep us part of the operational force as we get utilized in a responsible way throughout the ARFORGEN cycle.
“The private-public partnership initiative will recognize that solutions that are global problems cannot be solved by the government it has to be solved by the private-public sector and we’re in a unique place to bring that partnership together because we’re Citizen-Soldiers.”
Talley envisions evolving the functionality and mission of the current Employer Partnership Office, which has over 4,000 agreements in place, to help soldiers build their civilian-acquired skills under a private sector model.
He said on the unit side, the idea is to get private companies to pay for projects that reinforce Title 10 training.
Talley cited water projects in Africa as an example of how this would work.
“We’ll pay for the ODT which is Title 10 training but the building materials and all the other stuff that is going to enable you to do that training is all going to be paid by Water Partnership,” he said.
He added the Army Reserve has been doing work like this for years in places like Africa, and Central and South America. Now he is including the private sector and the government agencies such as the U.S. State Department in these initiatives.
“It allows us, in the Army Reserve, to do a better job with Title 10 training for ourselves in delivering things, in this case the State Department or combatant commander … would want,” Talley said.
“This private-public partnership initiative allows us to recognize that perhaps our greatest strength is that we’re citizens and we’re soldiers,” Talley said.
In addition to the public-private partnership initiative, Talley said every member of the Army Reserve must concentrate on improving the response to and prevention of sexual harassment, preventing suicide, and finding the best solutions for manning and training the force with reduced financial resources.
“Those are the ones I focus on every day,” Talley said. “Those are the four big rocks in our rucksack that are just always going to be constant.”