By Debbie Gregory.
Did you know that more than fifty percent of our fighting force now is comprised of National Guard and Reservists? These are our citizen soldiers. They make unique sacrifices because often times they don’t have the same support system for themselves and their families as active duty Army personnel stationed at a base.
The Army values these National Guard and Reservists and wants to draw more of them to active duty.
To that end, the Army has launched the Call to Active Duty program. The program allows Army Reserve and National Guard members in select grades and specialties to go on active duty.
“The Army looks to retain the talent, skills and experience of quality officers who are fit, resilient and ready to serve America’s Army,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Calloway, director, Officer Personnel Management Directorate at Human Resources Command.
According to the head of Army Human Resources Command, so far the Army has received approximately 1,000 applications.
Now the program has been extended to noncommissioned officers.
According to Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, the Army has received several thousand inquiries from the force about making the transition.
“I think our initial goal was a couple hundred, and the response has been pretty overwhelming,” he said.
The Army National Guard and Army Reserve are contributing to this effort to grow the Army by 16,000 in the active force and 28,000 overall by Sept. 30th. Utilizing Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers taps in on the training and experience these troops already bring to the table.
Some of the perks being offered include two-year enlistments and enlistment bonuses, and re-enlistment bonuses to keep current soldiers.
Applications must be in by July 7th to give the Army enough time to process them by September.
“The packets we’ve seen are high quality packets,” Seamands said. “My guess would be the majority of the thousand will be approved to come on active duty.”