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NEWS | Nov. 30, 2016

New AREC Director Sets Goals for Army Reserve

By Sgt. 1st Class Shelman Spencer U.S. Army North

FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS - Brig. Gen. John B. Hashem took the reins as the Deputy Commanding General - Reserve Affairs and Director, Army Reserve Engagement Cell for Army North. He and his family were welcomed to Fort Sam Houston and San Antonio at a welcoming ceremony held at the historic quadrangle, November 7.
The Army North AREC serves as a conduit to employ Army Reserve capabilities in support of Army North’s operational requirements.

“Given all his experience and given all his previous assignments, there’s probably no single person in the Army Reserve better qualified to come and join us and serve as our deputy for reserve affairs and director of the AREC,” said Lt. Gen Jeffrey S. Buchanan during the welcoming ceremony, Commander, Army North.

Hashem most recently served as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Army Reserve in Washington, D.C., and says he is ready to begin his work with Army North.

“I think the Chief of the Army reserve is the assignments officer for general officers in the Army reserves,” said Hashem. “When I came on the list for general assignments, this was a natural fit to put me here because of my experience in doing homeland defense and civil support. I’ve had a number of positions across the Department of Defense that prepared me for this job.”

New leadership brings different experiences, new perspectives and a different outlooks on the way ahead for goals and accomplishments.

“I’d like to refine the Army Reserves, participation in homeland defense and civil support,” says Hashem. “A few years ago the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 allowed the reserve components to be mobilized involuntarily for natural and man-made threats and other emergencies.”

“The Army Reserves has done many things in the homeland, but it still has a way’s to go to refine how we provide our capabilities and how capacities are employed,” he said. “That’s really what I want to accomplish here.”

Stepping into his new position, it is Hashem’s responsibility to advocate for the Army Reserves, Army North and the American people.

“In my position I need to ensure that this command knows the Army Reserve capabilities – some of them are unique, and how they can be utilized based on a valid requirement to the command, the Department of Defense and to the people of the U.S., says Hashem.

Each position doesn’t come without hurdles and challenges. Providing support in the homeland can sometimes be more difficult than the conventional battlefield.

“Operating in the homeland is the most difficult terrain and terrain doesn’t mean land, or hills and water. Terrain means the statutory laws, the regulatory policies within the United States, it’s very difficult to operate in,” he says. “We operation within a particular framework. It’s not an obstacles, but it’s very important to have unity of effort and use our role properly.”

“I think when you are a member of the Department of Defense that works in the homeland on homeland defense and civil support, it’s entirely the best theater to work in, because you’re here to protect the American people from threats,” he says.