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NEWS | Feb. 16, 2024

Human Resources Command supports IMA Soldiers through workshop

By Maria McClure U.S. Army Human Resources Command

The Individual Mobilization Augmentee Program, or IMA, is one of several ways individuals can continue to pursue their civilian careers while also serving the nation in the U.S. Army.

The IMA program currently has about 2,800 Soldiers filling its 3,330 billets with some 500 still vacant. Those Soldiers and the units and government agencies to which they are assigned require administrative assistance and actions often provided by professionals who have been assigned the IMA coordinator task as an additional duty, said Hannah K. Somers, HRC IMA program manager, Reserve Personnel Management Directorate, U.S. Human Resources Command.

To improve the working knowledge of IMA coordinators, the functionality of the program and getting after vacant billets, RPMD recently hosted an in-person workshop for those who manage IMA Soldier actions for their respective units.

HRC is tasked with the unique responsibility to manage IMA, but Soldiers in the program are often not adequately supported administratively outside of the command’s purview, Somers said. “So, this workshop created a better opportunity for IMA coordinators to have correct data and to know what to do in the field,” she said.

The four-day conference, the first of its kind, featured interactive sessions during which experts from HRC and the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve provided information vital to the administrative management of IMA Soldiers.

Although the HRC IMA team has been hosting virtual meetings for about a year, they decided to host an in-person, hands-on workshop to better connect with coordinators, Somers said.

Creating a network of support between coordinator and the HRC IMA team undergirds the command’s commitment to improving service for Soldiers and the overall customer experience with touchpoints throughout the enterprise.

The training schedule was determined through interest feedback from IMA coordinators, Somers said. Workshop topics included roles and responsibilities, essential personnel support actions, IPPS-A processes and actions, Tour of Duty and mobilization actions, travel, pay, Soldier Talent Profile updates, medical readiness, schools, structure, assignments, promotions and orders, uniform requests, and retirements.

Along with learning the administrative side of managing IMA Soldiers for their respective units and addressing individual unit issues the workshop, which saw more than 100 participants in-person and virtually via Microsoft Teams from stations around the world, provided fertile ground for networking.

Maj. Trichelle Lee, assigned to U.S. Africa Command station in Stuttgart, Germany, took over as her unit’s IMA coordinator in August and manages the administrative actions for about 60 IMA Soldiers.

“I am excited about this assignment,” Lee said. “I have met a lot of my counterparts who are stationed where I am, in the same time zone, so if I do get stuck, I have some people I can reach out to.”

Lee found the workshop informative and looks forward to the next IMA training session offered by HRC.

“They came to us a couple of weeks ago and that was helpful as well,” she said, “so, if the command is able to bring them over, I say bring them to give the one-on-one attention more specific to our unit.”

What is IMA?

IMA Soldiers are part of the U.S. Army Reserve’s Selected Reserve, are under the administrative jurisdiction of the HRC commander and serve in specific duty positions.

“We have very unique organizations that have any kind of MOS [military occupational specialty] imaginable to meet specific mission requirements,” Somers said.

The IMA program enables the rapid expansion of the active Army’s wartime structure and other U.S. government departments and agencies to meet manpower requirements in the event of an emerging crisis, military contingency, premobilization, mobilization, sustainment, and demobilization operations worldwide.

“IMA Soldiers get embedded into active component units, DOD agencies and non-DOD agencies, at a strategic level, which gives them opportunities that do not exist in the Army Reserve,” Somers said.

Because the Army’s manpower requirements for future contingency operations and mobilizations are greater than peacetime staffing levels allow, IMA Soldiers bridge that gap and are prepared to muster within 72 hours without delay to perform their assigned duties. This is made possible by IMA Soldiers training and working in those specialized positions at their assigned units or government agencies during peacetime.

Benefitting the Soldier

The IMA program provides both opportunity and flexibility for civilians to work in their professions while also serving in the U.S. Army Reserve.

IMA positions are only funded for up to 48 four-hour periods of individual duty for training, or IDT, and 12 annual training days, or AT, which equals 36 days, Somers said.

“A traditional TPU [Troop Program Unit] Soldier has to go to training one weekend a month, two weeks a year, which does not necessarily work if you are a doctor or a nurse or have a practice,” she said. “They can come be in IMA and train in one chunk and meet that mission set so they are in good standing with the Army Reserve, earn their retirement points, get a strategic opportunity and it does not greatly impact their civilian lives.”

Once an IMA Soldier has fulfilled 36 days for pay, there is the opportunity to do duty for retirement points only, which is a voluntary election. IMA Soldiers can also volunteer to serve on active-duty mobilization orders by applying for positions through the Tour of Duty, an internet site where any command that has positions or missions that could be filled by Reserve Soldiers can post those jobs.

IMA workshop

Workshop attendees completed after action reviews providing the HRC IMA team with positive feedback. They requested HRC host a workshop annually, Somers said.

“They also requested we travel to them, because some of them had to come from overseas and that is difficult for them to balance,” she said. “We are definitely interested, and hope leadership will support us in continuing this workshop.”

Meeting in person established a working relationship between coordinators and the HRC IMA team that sustains the command’s mission of always putting Soldiers first.

“We have created an opportunity to increase the support for IMA Soldiers and better the communication for the coordinators in the field because now they all have points of contact for people here at HRC instead of not knowing who to call or what to do,” Somers said. “They have points of contact, they have business processes, and they have the right access. We are moving forward ensuring our Soldiers are supported in the best way possible.”

For more information about the IMA program, visit