There are two areas that I’d like to talk about this quarter that I need your help with. The first is drill sergeant strength. The Army Reserve is in a strength crisis and at the 108th we are also in a crisis as it applies to qualified drill sergeants. As a result, I have made changes at the unit level within the 95th and 98th Divisions in hopes that we get our 500+ drill sergeant candidates to the Drill Sergeant School in accordance with regulatory guidance and policy.
First, company commanders will not be selected unless they can remain in position for at least two years. First Sergeants will not remain in position longer than three years and will have an X-ray identifier which means they are, or have been, a drill sergeant. All training NCO positions will be filled with an NCO with an X-ray identifier as well. I realize that some of you use this position to cover your Soldiers undergoing the MEB process. Double slotting is authorized but at least one of the Soldiers filling it will possess the identifier. The reason for these changes is to ensure company leadership understand and push the drill sergeant packet, as well as the prep program.
I continue to hear about the great things you all are doing. Cadet Command, the ATCs, Ft Bliss, USMA, Chaplain’s BOLC, USARC, and TRADOC all sing your praises, so thank you for your competence and commitment. It makes me so proud to be part of this great unit.
Recruiting drill sergeant candidates is still vital and I want to thank those in support of Operations Sustainment Warrior at Fort Dix. I had an opportunity to visit there recently and that support to the 377th TSC netted numerous candidates, thanks to the recruiting efforts of our trainers there. In addition, understanding the criticality of the drill sergeant shortages, the 104th TD, which has an instructor mission and not a drill sergeant one, recruits for the other two divisions on a regular basis, which is also much appreciated.
The other issue is our budget. We’ve had a crisis there as well recently, and this message applies to our leadership teams across the command. Every leader should know their mission requirements for the following year and know the cost of those requirements. That information must be pushed up to my level so we can adequately support you. In the Training Command (TC) headquarters we conducted a Tiger Team to ensure processes at the division and TC level are properly in place. My role is to ensure you have the tools (and money) you need to successfully fulfill your mission requirements and lately I have not been able to do that. For example, numerous Soldiers from Illinois had to drive to Fort Dix as a result of insufficient funds in the DTS account for airfare. Others received orders very late and employers were not happy. I guarantee we will do better in the future.
I also want to ensure leaders are aware that we usually have end of the FY OMAR money for Unfunded Requirements (UFRs). Again, if we don’t know what they are, we can’t allocate funding to you. If you are not aware of the UFR process, please consult with your higher headquarters to inquire about it.
I continue to hear about the great things you all are doing. Cadet Command, the ATCs, Fort Bliss, USMA, Chaplain’s BOLC, USARC, and TRADOC all sing your praises, so thank you for your competence and commitment. It makes me so proud to be part of this great unit.
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