FORT JACKSON, S.C. –
The 81st Readiness Division Commanding General Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Jones hosted an Effects Coordination Board for senior U.S. Army Reserve leadership across the four readiness divisions nationwide at the 81st RD Headquarters, Feb. 7-8, 2020.
Guests collaborated on four key lines of effort to meet readiness objectives: human resources, infrastructure, operations and logistics.
“I would say [the ECB is] probably the premier forum for commanders with different priorities to come together and find a common solution to common problems,” said Army Reserve Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Marion Garcia, U.S. Army Reserve Headquarters, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “The effects board is actually something that started from the 81st Readiness Division, so this is back on its home turf here. When the readiness division commanders recognized that there was a need for greater communication between the functional and the readiness [divisions], they took the initiative and started hosting these events.”
The event consisted of working groups where leaders reviewed lessons learned from the previous year, worked through challenges and discussed readiness initiatives over the two-day event. Specifically, leaders discussed creating easier access for Reserve Soldiers via future MilSuite access, enhancing collaboration during yearly training briefs, as well as properly forecasting medical readiness events without affecting training time.
“It gives an opportunity for the readiness divisions to present good ideas and to get great feedback from the functional commands on how to best support them in building their readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Mark W. Palzer, commanding general, 99th Readiness Division, Fort Dix, New Jersey.
The ECB started out as a local regional event, but it has grown, said Jones. The idea was born from Jones’ experiences during his deployment to Iraq in support of Joint Task Force Operation Iraqi Resolve.
There was a need to drive effectiveness on a battlefield where the commanders owned no physical resources, which is a similar challenge the RD commands face today, he said.
“We helped them create a thing called the joint effects board to defeat ISIS because [we] owned no resources, but [we] had to bring the battlefield effects on the target to drive out ISIS out of Iraq,” he said. “I just brought that concept back.”
“As an RD and a regional commander, I really own nothing in the region other than a few employees. We don’t even own the center commanders that we were talking about during this whole venue. But we have to work through them to create readiness effects for our functional commands and the soldiers who are out there in our reserve centers.”
He said the biggest part of the ECB success is that it’s a dialogue and a venue to discuss operational, down to the tactical level, to do more efficient and consistent work across the readiness divisions.
If the RD customers, the functional commands, go to the 99th RD, in theory, they should get the same service as they would at the 88th RD at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; the 63rd RD in Mountain View, California; or the 81st RD on Fort Jackson.
The main point of the ECB, said Jones, is “getting four RDs in a new transformational process working together to create better readiness effects in our organization and support their training plans so when the time comes, we are ready.”
Leaders in attendance included Maj. Gen. Marion Garcia, USARC HQ; Maj. Gen. Alberto Rosende, 63rd Readiness Division; Maj. Gen. Jody Daniels, 88th RD; Maj. Gen. Mark Palzer, 99th RD; Brig. Gen. Stacy Babcock, 63rd Readiness Division; Maj. Gen. Greg Mosser, 377th Theater Sustainment Command; Brig. Gen. Tia Young, Human Resources Command; Brig. Gen. Dustin Shultz, ARHQ; Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Jurasek, 1st Mission Support Command; Maj. Gen. John Hussey, 200th Military Police Command; Maj. Gen. Miyako Schanely, 416th Theater Engineer Command; Brig. Gen. Kris Belanger, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command; Brig. Gen. Jamelle Shawlwy, Army Reserve Aviation Command; Maj. Gen. Jonathan Woodson, Army Medical Command; and Maj. Gen. Richard Staats, Army Reserve Innovation Command.