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NEWS | Jan. 23, 2017

Army Reserve Soldiers and units must be ready, flexible

By Lt. Col. Jefferson Wolfe 7th Mission Support Command

Army Reserve Soldiers and units must be ready to conduct their mission at any time or place and adjust to whatever conditions or changes they face, the commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command told the commander and other leaders of the 7th Mission Support Command.

To illustrate, LTG Charles Luckey took a black Sharpie marker out of his notebook and wrote a series of letters on a stack of paper
Luckey held up the paper, which read, “SOTWISUF.”

He asked more the dozen people in the room if they were familiar with the acronym.

None of the leaders knew what it stood for.

“It stands for ‘Something Other Than What I Signed Up For,’” Luckey said. Soldiers often face conditions they didn’t expect or plan for, he added.

This highlights how Army Reserve Soldiers have to be prepared at all times to deploy and perform their mission, and be flexible enough to excel in any mission they are assigned, Luckey said.  

“That’s who we are,” he said.

Luckey visited the 7th MSC Jan. 22, speaking to leaders and Soldiers from the headquarters and subordinate units, including the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, Medical Support Unit – Europe, the 773rd Civil Support Team, the 406th Human Resources Command, the 589th Engineer Detachment and the 446th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control).

Leaders need to engage to ensure individual readiness and collective readiness, Luckey said.

“It’s important that Soldiers and staff get to hear it from him – from the three-star level,” said Brig. Gen. Steven W. Ainsworth, the 7th MSC commanding general.

“It’s very refreshing” to have the commanding general of all the Army Reserve to validate the 7th MSC leadership’s emphasis on individual and collective training, he said.

Ainsworth has been emphasizing basis measures of readiness, for example, ensuring they meet height and weight standards, pass the Army Physical Fitness Test, maintain medical and dental readiness and meet other requirements, said Col. Alex Wells, the 7th MSC deputy commanding officer.

Luckey understands the demands on the 7th MSC Soldiers, as they serve in the Army Reserve’s only forward-stationed unit in Europe, he said.

“He recognized the great work they’re achieving and their contribution to the theater,” said Col. Alex Wells, the 7th MSC deputy commanding officer.

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany —  LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to Sgt. 1st Class Christopher M. Staley, from the 446th Transportation battalion (Movement Control) during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to Sgt. 1st Class Christopher M. Staley, from the 446th Transportation battalion (Movement Control) during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany —  LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to Sgt. 1st Class Christopher M. Staley, from the 446th Transportation battalion (Movement Control) during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
USARC CG: Army Reserve Soldiers and units must be ready, flexible
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to Sgt. 1st Class Christopher M. Staley, from the 446th Transportation battalion (Movement Control) during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
Photo By: Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Chlosta
VIRIN: 170122-A-NP785-191

The 7th MSC not only has to meet its Army Reserve commitments, but also must support United States Army Europe and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Ainsworth said.

“I think it’s very important for the American people to know that, as a forward-based Army reserve unit, they’re getting a very good return on their investment,” he said. “We are a contributor to the Army Reserve, but also provide capability and capacity to the 21st and USAREUR at the same time.”

There are only three time zones in the world in which the Army Reserve does not have a consistent, persistent presence, Luckey said.

“What makes us awesome is we’ve got 200,000 Soldiers spread from Bagram Air Force Base to Guam,” Luckey said.

It’s also part of Luckey’s job to make sure senior leaders in the various theaters of operation around the world understand what the Army Reserve can do to support their efforts.

“We get asked to do things by all kinds of folks,” he told the 7th MSC audience. “My job is to say yes as often as I can and allow you to say yes as often as you want to.”

His goal is to create situations where the Army Reserve can provide a capability to the combatant commanders and the individual units can sustain and build their own readiness.

“He recognizes the demands in theater,” Wells said. “We have to determine a measure of effectiveness that proves a return on investment.”

In the past, the 7th MSC has provided a few individual Soldiers to support an exercise or operation, Wells said.

This may contribute to individual readiness, but may not increase the unit’s collective readiness because it is not training together with all of its assigned Soldiers.

Training events and exercises that enhance the 7th MSC’s readiness and capabilities are key, Ainsworth said.

To see the command’s capabilities up close, Luckey visited a half-dozen static displays set up by the various units.

While, there, he spoke with dozens of 7th MSC Soldiers, and followed that up by meeting about a dozen more at the Clock Tower Cafe dining facility on nearby Kleber Kaserne.

This kind of interaction builds the credibility of senior leaders, said Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Brown, the 7th MSC senior enlisted leader.

“When senior leaders are genuine, Soldiers know it and in Lt. Gen. Luckey, it came through,” he said.
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany —  LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to leaders and staff members during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to leaders and staff members during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany —  LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to leaders and staff members during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
USARC CG: Army Reserve Soldiers and units must be ready, flexible
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — LTG Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks to leaders and staff members during a visit to the 7th Mission Support Command at Daenner Kaserne, Jan. 22, 2017.
Photo By: Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Chlosta
VIRIN: 170122-A-NP785-004


“Any time any senior leader can engage Soldiers, it’s a positive,” Ainsworth said.

All Army Reserve Soldiers are part of a team, Luckey said.

“The mission of this team at the end of the day is to win America’s wars,” he said.

While the Army Reserve is largely a combat service and combat service support force, the main focus remains to “close with and destroy the enemy,” he added.

Luckey is not worried about uncertain funding in a fiscally constrained environment, instead focusing on the capability the force has.

“Whether we get bigger or smaller, we’re going to get more powerful,” he said. The key is to ensure that individual Soldiers and units are ready to perform their missions.

Back to SOTWISUF, Soldiers and units must always be ready to go and prepared for anything, Luckey said.

“Make sure you are ready to be employed and deployed anywhere on the planet,” he said.

Ainsworth echoed Luckey’s statement, adding that almost any job description doesn’t cover everything a person will be asked to do.

Ainsworth, too, had a unique acronym — “AAA-O.” He used to wear it on the back of his hat, “until the Army told me I had to remove it.” he said.

It stands for something Ainsworth lives by as a commander, namely “Anything, anywhere, anytime — bar nothing.”