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NEWS | Jan. 14, 2016

Deputy Chief, Army Reserve holds town hall at Fort Sam Houston

By Capt. Jose Caballero 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

SAN ANTONIO - Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas – Maj. Gen. Michael R. Smith, deputy chief of the Army Reserve, held a town hall meeting with Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and surrounding Army Reserve units, Jan. 8, 2016.

Smith traveled to San Antonio in support of the All-American Bowl, a national event which showcases the best high school football players from across the country.

He also held a town hall and visited Soldiers to discuss the future of the Army Reserve and answer questions from Soldiers.

Smith covered a broad range of topics including Army Reserve priorities, soldier readiness, the University of Texas at San Antonio Cyber Program, army scholarships, Army Reserve Engagement Teams, civilian employment and family care.

As the active component Army gets smaller, the need for the Army Reserve is increasingly evident. “The nation needs you” said Smith, when discussing the challenges the Army Reserve faces with smaller budgets and mission requirements that do not abate.  Smith added “you support more than the Army, you support the Joint Force, the demands are high”.

“Readiness is the number one priority, for the Army Reserve, it always has been” said Smith. 

He highlighted medical readiness is a significant challenge. The Army Reserve has the lowest medical readiness of all Army components. Units must strive to meet these standards. 

The Army Reserve plans to change how Medical Readiness is reported. The Medical Readiness Classification 4 population will change from available to non-available on the Commander’s Unit Status Report. “Beginning in June, Soldiers who are evaluated as a Medical Readiness Classification 4 will not be considered available or deployable” he said. 

During questions, one Soldier raised concerns about the effect of increased training and deployments on their civilian employment. “A key part to this is performance at your job, show your employer, how your Army training benefits your job. We add value to employers, be better citizen Soldiers” Smith said.