"The Army will fail in its mission if the Army Reserve isn't
ready. That's why everything we do focuses on readiness," said Lt.
Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley.
He explained that the vast majority
of doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers and logisticians come from
the Army Reserve and without that expertise, the Army could not
Talley, the 32nd chief of the Army Reserve and 7th
commander of U.S. Army Reserve Command, spoke at his final media
roundtable in the Pentagon in May 2016 ... shortly before his
retirement in June.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, receives a briefing from Soldiers of the 7th Civil Support Command during a demonstration of the unit's foreign consequence management capabilities in Kaiserslautern, Germany, on Nov. 5, 2015. The 7th CSC is comprised of Army Reserve Soldiers capable of providing assistance to a requesting host nation, upon request by the Department of State, to mitigate the effects of a deliberate or inadvertent chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack or event, and to restore essential operations and services.(U.S. Army photo by Maj. Meritt
After serving in his dual-hatted role for four years,
Talley summed up what he thinks are the two most significant
recent readiness enhancement achievements for the Reserve,
created during his watch: "Plan, Prepare, Provide," and
"Public-Private Partnerships," or P3.
"Plan" refers to the regional
alignment of units to Army service component commands and
combatant commanders, Talley said. Part of this alignment
includes the forward positioning of staff organized into
Army Reserve engagement cells, or ARECs and Army Reserve
engagement teams, or ARETs.
ARECs support Army
service component commands and field Armies. ARETs are
smaller elements that help integrate Army Reserve
capabilities into combatant commands and corps-level units
across all warfighting functions.
The ARECs and ARETs
are technical and tactical experts who provide direct staff
planning support and reach-back capability on a daily basis
across all warfighting functions, he explained. "They've
been very successful and combatant commanders are very happy
"Prepare" is how the Army Reserve trains
as part of the total Army Force, he said. That means if
they're receiving medical or engineering training in the
private sector, it translates to readiness benefits for
those same doctors and engineers when in uniform.
"Provide" is the deployment of Army Reserve Soldiers,
leaders and units in support of requirements at home and
abroad, he said.
In just the last four years, 62,000
reservists have deployed, he said. The Army, as well as the
other services, relies on their expertise and the unique
capabilities they provide, he added.
protect the homeland from natural disasters and military
threats, he said.
When people think about a natural
disaster, the National Guard is usually what comes to mind,
he said. But a large part of the response comes from the
Army Reserve, he said.
The Reserve has an aviation
component, which can be used for search and rescue, as well
as other expertise that provide important on-the-scene
assistance -- from quartermasters and civil affairs to
sustainment and full-spectrum engineering.
"our Plan, Prepare, Provide readiness model allows us to
remain an operational force," he said.
P3 combines training and leadership
development reservists get in the Army with technical
training they get with their civilian employers in the
private sector, be it industry, government, academia or
non-profit, he said.
The idea is that their military
and civilian training can benefit the bottom line of their
civilian employer and the bottom line of the Army -- which
is readiness, he said. "We get twice the citizen, which is
the Army Reserve motto."
P3 also helps Soldiers and
their families find employment or advance their careers in
the private sector -- about 3,000 thus far, he added.
Talley provided some examples.
The Army Reserve
is partnering with financial adviser and motivational
speaker Suze Orman, who is now providing Soldiers and their
families financial readiness training -- pro bono, he said.
Similarly, physical trainer and former actor Tony Horton
volunteered his time to give fitness advice to Soldiers and
their families, he added.
Cyber operators, employed
by Microsoft and Google, put their expertise acquired from
those companies to use in the Reserve, he said.
instance, there was a recent Army cyber exercise at MIT
Lincoln Lab in Lexington, Massachusetts, pitting the active
component against the Guard and Reserve. "We kicked the
stuffing out of the active component guys," Talley said,
explaining that they wrote exceptionally effective code day
in and day out at their civilian jobs and are the best and
Talley added that the Reserve has no
problem recruiting and retaining these and other cyber
operators because they don't have to quit their day jobs and
they enjoy the challenge and adventure of being Soldiers, as
well as serving. "It's a good news story for us."
Reserve has about 3,600 cyber operators and about 3,500
others who are in support of them, he added.
those three examples, there are many more that could be
given, since the Army has 7,000 of these P3 agreements in
place -- including 20 with Fortune 500 companies as well as
small, but innovative start-ups, he said.
endorsing those companies and no money or resourcing changes
hands," he said. "We're finding projects we can do
Talley added that the program has been so
successful that Army Under Secretary Patrick J. Murphy wants
P3 to be a business model across the entire Army and has
made it a priority. The Office of the Secretary of Defense
is also "paying attention and trying to mirror it," he
families and their employers value predictability when it
comes to deployments, Talley pointed out.
most part, the Reserve has given them that, he said.
Sometimes, however, there are unplanned but important
short-notice deployments where not a lot of notice can be
given. That's something the Army Reserve continually works
to avoid whenever possible, he said.
The other thing
is training, he said. While training provides readiness,
that has to be balanced with providing the right amount.
"The next budget that's going forward has increased the
number of training days for funding to the Army Reserve,
allowing us to train longer at the National Training Center
and CTCs in general," he said, adding that nothing has yet
been funded, but if the funding is available, "this will
provide for additional training days for those units nearing
their READY year for mobilization -- not additional training
days for all Army Reserve Soldiers across the board."
Another big challenge, Talley said, is getting
reservists accreditation and certifying training.
explained that the challenge works both ways. Reserve
training is often not accepted by civilian employers and
civilian training is sometimes not accepted by the military.
For instance, a cyber operator might have to train for
18 months, but that operator, like those from Google or
Microsoft, might already have the required expertise gained
from their civilian jobs, he said.
occur for truck drivers, medical technicians and others.
The Army Reserve is in the process of fixing those
problems, sometimes using its relationships with P3
organizations to do that, particularly non-profits that
oversee the credentialing or accreditation process, he said.
LIFE AFTER THE RESERVE
Talley said he looks
forward to doing simple things after retiring, such as
getting adequate sleep, a lot of physical activity, reading
books for leisure and winding down in general from the
harried pace at the Pentagon. He also plans to do some
vacationing with his wife Linda and some possible volunteer
He accepted an initial faculty fellowship at
Harvard University and will go up there to do projects as a
leadership fellow and a Cabot House Scholar and then when
he's finished with that near end of this year, he said he
plans to retire to "warm and sunny Arizona and do a number
Looking back on his 34 years of Army
service, he said he's had some great civilian jobs and
careers, "but the highlight of my professional life has been
as a Soldier. It's the thing I hold in highest esteem. Not
necessarily being an officer, but serving with other
Soldiers as we try to make a difference in serving a nation.
If you ask anyone who served, you'll find that a common
Also looking back, Talley said he couldn't
have done the things he's accomplished "without having a
great staff, command teams and my wife Linda. She has done
so much for me and for the Army day in and day out during my
34 years in uniform."
By David Vergun, U.S. Army
Army News Service
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