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NEWS | April 25, 2024

U.S. Army Reserve reaches sergeant strength goal

By Maj. Katie L. Glover U.S. Army Reserve G-1 Strategic Communications Officer

On April 24, 2024, the U.S. Army Reserve achieved its “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BHAG) of being over its authorized strength in sergeants by 3,000. Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, chief of Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, launched efforts to make this milestone possible in September 2021, and it became part of Operation Shaping Tomorrow.

Starting in spring 2022, the initiative aimed to increase personnel strength in the specific grades, an issue deemed a key readiness challenge. 

“What we are doing right now is a big deal,” said Col. Thomas Akerlund, deputy chief of staff, G-1, U.S. Army Reserve Command. “These efforts are building the bench for our senior NCO Corps that we will see in five, 10, 15 years from now.”

The effort required synchronization between the U.S. Army Reserve G-1’s Enlisted Management Branch and the G-3’s Training Division to ensure that Soldiers demonstrating potential for promotion met all training requirements. Together, human resource professionals and Army leaders at all levels met this milestone in less than 2 1/2 years.

“Reaching this goal is historic,” said Sgt. Maj. Demickel McGrigg, the sergeant major of the U.S. Army Reserve Command G-1.  “I have seen a specialist receive their orders to sergeant, and their eyes sparkle knowing they are leaders within this great Army.  I applaud everyone at every level that played a role in this historic event, especially those team members for the USARC G-1 EMB team, led by Ms. Laura Hoffman.”

The Soldier that brought the U.S. Army Reserve to its goal is Sgt. Kay McNeil. McNeil, who’s unit falls under the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, is currently mobilized in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. She is excited about her promotion from postal clerk to postal sergeant.

“I’m truly appreciative for making this happen, and hope to be a great NCO,” McNeil said.

Moving forward, the Enlisted Management Branch also is focusing on the “E5 in 5 Challenge,” which was initiated by Daniels to challenge Soldiers and leaders to focus on having Soldiers achieve the rank of sergeant within five years of their enlistment.

“We want to sustain the excess sergeants and continue to focus on identifying and assisting specialists with potential to become sergeants, thus building the NCO Corps,” said Laura Hoffman, chief of the Enlisted Management Branch.

The U.S. Army Reserve Command G-1 continues to highlight the promotions of talented Army Soldiers.  Updates are available on the G-1’s Facebook at