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NEWS | Nov. 20, 2017

Phoenix Recruiting Battalion hosts Army Reserve leadership at R2PC

By Alun Thomas U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Phoenix

The Phoenix Recruiting Battalion hosted Army Reserve leadership at a Reserve Recruiting Partnership Council (R2PC) on Nov. 18 at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The purpose of the R2PC was to improve communications and mutual partnerships between the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion and reserve units within Arizona in order to fill critical reserve vacancies.

Army Reserve leadership attending the event included Maj. Gen. Brian Alvin, commanding general, 63rd Readiness Division, and Maj. Gen. Peter Bosse, commanding general, 335th Signal Command (Theater).

The point of this event is to meet people from both recruiting and the Army Reserve, and maintain a healthy dialogue once the R2PC is complete, said Lt. Col. Dave Clukey, commander, Phoenix Recruiting Battalion.

“We’ve teed it up for you, so you can see the faces of everyone in our organization,” Clukey said. “Sustaining it is the hard part – following up and maintaining that consistent dialogue.”

Clukey stressed how important it is to get the right people in the Army without lowering the standards required to join.

“We need qualified applicants, people who are flexible, who can operate with maturity and discretion, are physically fit, and meet the moral requirements,” he said. “We need these people to face the nation’s challenges more so now than ever.”

Forming relationships with prominent local business, figures and sports teams is something that has paid dividends for the battalion, Clukey continued.

“We’ve established partnerships with every major city, school and town throughout Arizona,” he explained. “We’re good friends with all the mayors and chambers of commerce. We leverage those relationships to influence our access in the schools.”

The battalion has three lines of operations for a return on investment with these partnerships, Clukey said.

“We look at leads and enlistments as our primary task and line of operation. Access is our second – to gain freedom of maneuver at our priority schools,” he said. “There’s also our target demographic and population; do we have access to them?”

Clukey also talked about influence and being able to promote the Army narrative.

“We need to get the Army story out there and ensure folks understand all the options available to them, while simultaneously deconstructing the contemporary paradigms associated with military service,” Clukey said. “Social media, the news, media, constantly are working against us. We have to dispel those paradigms and convince them not everyone has a gun and is marching towards the enemy.”

“They’re unaware of all the different jobs that are available. There are so many opportunities in the Army that directly translate into a civilian occupation,” Clukey said. “This is something we’re on a consistent campaign to educate people on – public leaders, key influencers – so the parents are aware of what’s actually out there.”

During his comments, Bosse said they need the help of recruiters more than ever, as tensions continue to escalate on multiple fronts throughout the world.

“We have to be ready to go to war. That’s what it’s all about – lethality and building readiness,” Bosse said. “We don’t have a problem with recruiting in the 335th – we have the jobs people want. They want communication skills, which transfer really well into the civilian community.”

Bosse said there remains a selected fills problem however, with many vacancies in the junior officer and noncommissioned offer ranks.

“We’re sitting at about a 50-60 percent fill rate on those opportunities. These are at the mid-career level. We have a lot of significant vacancies,” Bosse said. “We can’t grow ourselves out of this problem. We have to find new people and promote them into these positions.”

“We have a multi-pronged approach and we need your assistance to fill them,” he said.

Despite not having current recruiting issues, there is always a need for military technicians (MILTECH), said Alvin, Soldiers who serve in the reserve and as government employees, with a requirement to maintain both.

“All of our mechanics in the 63rd RD are dual status technicians. And if they aren’t, then we would love them to be,” Alvin said. “In the 63rd alone we have about 700 mechanics. But that’s about 40 percent of what we need. We definitely have a challenge when it comes to maintenance.”

This is something for recruiters to think about when a potential candidate approaches them, Alvin said.

“If they don’t want to be active duty, maybe they want to be a miltech in the civil service,” he said. “The more solid people we’re able to get, the more maintenance we can get done.”