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NEWS | March 4, 2024

Army Reserve battalion command teams meet to discuss command priorities

By Staff Sgt. David Lietz 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command

Army Reserve battalion command teams, assigned to the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, attended the annual battalion command teams training March 1-3, 2024 at the Paul G. Schulstad Army Reserve Center in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

The training offered command team members the opportunity to connect with the command staff and meet with other BN CMD Teams to collaborate on staff processes. This year’s training has moved from a slide briefing to more cross talk and break out sessions to dive more into current issues.

“The biggest change from last year to this year is (that it) went from an 85th USARSC briefing to a discussion between the 85th USARSC and battalion command teams,” said Col. David Neary, interim commander, 85th USARSC. “Very few briefing slides and a lot of discussion… it’s been very successful.”

Maj. Gen. Mark Landes, First Army’s acting commanding general, provided a briefing on the Teams platform, to discuss funding, partnerships, support for Army Reserve elements and observer coach trainer priorities.

“The requirement is to enable compo two (National Guard) and three (Army Reserve) readiness. The only way to enable this is the OC/T,” said Landes. “You must create trained and ready OC/Ts. There is a whole range of things you must make sure your OC/Ts are good at. When you have capable OC/Ts, you must make sure you don’t overuse them.”

During the three-day training, command teams participated in a variety of briefings which included learning about mobilization and budgeting.

“This is my second battalion command teams training. For the first day, (I have a) better understanding of the funding requirements from the brigade up to the 85th USARSC, and the integrated requirements list,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ramon Valadez, Battalion Command Sergeant Major, Task Force Conquer, Fort Bliss, Texas. “How we budget, what we need for next year, and our training requirements and resources. It’s important because we are about to come off mobilization. We won’t have the active-duty funding.”

For some command team members, it’s the only opportunity to meet with the 85th USARSC command staff.

“I’ve been in command for eight months,” said Lt. Col. Kindall Johnson, Battalion Commander, 2-363rd Transportation Support Battalion, Mesa, Arizona. “I went to the battalion command team training last year. It’s very beneficial because it’s a touchpoint, meaning it’s the one time during the year I can (meet with) the 85th USARSC command team.”

On Saturday and Sunday, the command teams divided into small group breakout sessions.

“The breakout groups allow the battalion commander time to talk with each section,” said (Chaplain) Lt. Col. Ken Milliken, Command Chaplain, 85th USARSC. “They can ask questions about how we support them.”

“It’s an opportunity to meet with the 85th USARSC face to face to talk about issues they may be able to help us with,” said Lt. Col. Nikolas Asaro, 2-361st Transportation Support Battalion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “This is my second time here. The first battalion command teams training was a great opportunity to meet the 85th USARSC staff. This time is a refresher on priorities.”