Army Reserve Soldiers, Civilians, and Families:
I am 12 Battle Assemblies into leading this exceptional team of Soldiers and Civilians. So far, it has been quite a journey. As we continue to shape tomorrow, here are some observations and thoughts regarding the challenges we faced and my intent for the way ahead.
Over the past year the entire leadership team has leveraged technology to meet with Soldiers, Civilians, and Families through virtual town halls and battle assembly drop-ins. These digital events became a great way to keep a pulse on the force and they connected us with Soldiers and units in as many as four states within two hours! Later, we resumed safe, in-person travel visiting Soldiers at installations, training centers, and units in locations as far away as Guam.
We shared leadership advice, answered questions, and listened. We learned. This was not an easy year by any means and we still have work to do. We are facing corrosives – behaviors that break trust with Soldiers and the American People. In response, the Army Reserve has adopted the Sergeant Major of the Army’s philosophy, “This is My Squad.” By blocking time for Foundational Readiness we are ensuring leaders have time to conduct counseling, build esprit de corps, and address the Army Values.
We are resilient. Our remarkable and adaptable force responded to the Nation’s call mobilizing over 5,000 Soldiers for COVID response efforts. An additional 16,000 Soldiers deployed worldwide in support of global operations. As conditions allowed, we safely resumed collective training with exercises such as River Assault, Global Medic, Liquid Logistics, and Defender Pacific.
Priorities. People remain my #1 priority. I received great feedback through various platforms – a People Summit, social media, town halls, etc. – and provided initial guidance to address our mid-grade shortages. We continue to pursue Reform by identifying policies and processes that need further streamlining (or eliminating) to maximize training time. We are working with commanders to re-energize Soldier and Family Readiness Groups (SFRGs) to get Soldiers and Families access to assistance in times of need. Army Reserve Ambassadors are building on Partnerships by engaging employers and community leaders that will advocate for the Army Reserve at local and state levels. We must change our thoughts on Readiness: it’s not green/amber/red metrics, but a holistic view of a unit’s ability to execute its mission. I want to know the stories behind the metrics as leaders manage talent, increase proficiency, ensure equipment is mission-capable, and actively engage Soldiers in training. Finally, Modernization efforts are transforming our ability to support the Army’s role as a multi-domain capable force. The Army Reserve Mission Force, or ARM Force, compliments the Army’s Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, or ReARMM. Both will align units against competition requirements, providing predictable mission cycles that allow for training and modernization.
I have 36 Battle Assemblies remaining to continue making a difference for the future. Alongside the finest force I have had the privilege to lead, I have no doubt we will succeed.
Ready Now! Shaping Tomorrow…
Jody J. Daniels
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army
Chief of Army Reserve/Commanding General,
U.S. Army Reserve Command