Reserve Component Transition Career Symposium

02/20/2013   By Mrs. Deborah P. Williams 108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs
 

FORT HOOD, Texas ­— The Reserve and Army National Guard from across the states and territories met Nov. 19-20 at the Fort Hood Community Events Center for the first ever “Reserve Component Transition Career Symposium”.

Senior Reserve Career Counselor and a 28-year veteran, Master Sgt. Edward LeDoux, said, “It took two months of coordination, I feel the event is important to Soldiers leaving the military. By bringing in the Reserve and National Guard from other states, it gets the information out to Soldiers; they leave with a plan.”

LeDoux said, “We are trying to give them the opportunity to see what else is going on in other places across the country and what other opportunities are out there whether it is school, jobs, or continuing a career with the reserve. Everything is in one central station. They can walk away with a wealth of information giving them the ability to make an informed decision.”

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Master Sgt. Miller, command career counselor, 108th Training Command (IET), was in attendance with his team of Drill Sergeants, 1st Sgt. Robert Kemp, Sgt. 1st Class Melissa Solomon, Staff Sgt. Maricella Netzel, Staff Sgt. Eric Warner, Staff Sgt. Anjelie Bargin and Sgt. Jerome Pearson, to help recruit eligible drill sergeants. Photo by Mrs. Deborah P. Williams, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Miller, command career counselor, 108th Training Command (IET), was in attendance with his team of Drill Sergeants, 1st Sgt. Robert Kemp, Sgt. 1st Class Melissa Solomon, Staff Sgt. Maricella Netzel, Staff Sgt. Eric Warner, Staff Sgt. Anjelie Bargin and Sgt. Jerome Pearson, to help recruit eligible drill sergeants.

“We hope to find good candidates that have an interest. You have to want to be a drill sergeant. I wanted to be a drill sergeant since I joined. I said, ‘Where do I sign’. It is a good place to be,” said Pearson, 2//354th BCT Bn, Grand Prairie, Texas.

“Being a drill sergeant is a different experience placing you on another level. It is not too aggressive now, but the same values we teach are also instilled in us,” concluded Pearson.

Sgt. Jerome Pearson, 2//354th BCT Bn, Grand Prairie, Texas took drill sergeant recruitment to a line outside the base commissary.

Photo by Mrs. Deborah P. Williams, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs

Army Reserve components and Army National Guard were brought in from other states so that the Soldiers could talk to components from their home states. Subject-matter experts from 36 different agencies met to provide knowledge and opportunities for Soldiers that are planning on leaving the military and for those who are still undecided.

“We are here building that relationship, the path of least resistance, talking directly to the Soldier and taking out the middle man,” said Miller.

Other organizations were at the event, as well, including participation from the Army Career and Alumni Program and colleges.

“We brought in ACAP itself to make sure that Soldiers transitioning out have a plan in accordance with the VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) Act,” LeDoux said. “Soldiers actually have a plan to go out there and be employed versus collecting unemployment, but also that they have an education plan.”

LeDoux said he hoped Soldiers walked away from the event with one thing: that this was the information to make a successful transitioning step into one of the reserve components and not throwing away everything they worked for while on active duty. The Active Component Career Counselors or the Reserve Component Career Counselors are normally the first persons Soldiers go to for information on the process to transition out of the Active Army to the Reserve Component without a break in service.

“We just want to help Soldiers with the transition process with as much information as possible. Some Soldiers just need a break and just want to go home, but still be part of the team,” said LeDoux.

Soldiers leaving the Army may not know what may be the best option for their particular situation as they return to civilian life, but this is where the expertise of the Reserve Component Career Counselor is critical. They use the complete history of the Soldier’s military experience to assist. Soldiers within 180 days of their ETS may schedule an appointment with the Reserve Component Career Counselor’s Office. Do not miss another opportunity to continue your military service.

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