By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris
99th Readiness Division
Spc. James Giancone has spent the past six years serving his country in the active Army and Army Reserve. Serving in uniform has been his life-long ambition.
“I vaguely remember 9/11,” said Giancone, who serves with the Army Reserve’s 367th Military Police Company in Horsham, Pennsylvania. “I’ve looked up to law enforcement and military and firemen since I was 5 years old.
“The most rewarding thing is being part of something bigger than me,” added Giancone, a Forked River native. “It’s kind of a cliché answer, but it’s a good answer in my opinion.”
Giancone and his unit reported here to Timmermann Center Feb. 20-21 to participate in a Soldier Readiness Improvement Program event hosted by the Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division.
“The Soldier Readiness Improvement Program offers events that will enhance a Soldier’s readiness in all areas – medical, administrative, financial, spiritual,” explained Lt. Col. Ken Bria, officer-in-charge of the 99th RD SRIP.
“Even though we’re going through a pandemic, there are still real-world missions going on - we have to continue to keep up our readiness,” he continued. “The Soldier needs to make sure they’re ready to deploy at all times – that’s part of being a Soldier. They are still going downrange, and they still need to be validated.”
Bria added that the SRIP, while focused primarily on readiness, also offers training for medical personnel and financial savings for the Army Reserve.
“Part of what we do at these events is using organic doctors and medics to do the medical review, and one of the big things about that is all our doctors and medics are training – they’re gaining readiness not only for themselves by working on the medical systems, but also for the Soldiers they’re working with to validate they’re ready,” Bria said.
“So now we have training, we have readiness, and because we’re doing it ourselves, we’re fiscally responsible,” he added.
For Giancone, the SRIP event is simply helping Soldiers.
“This is actually really organized,” he said. “I got everything I needed.”