|(Editor’s note: “SPOTLIGHT” is a continuing series
about tenant activities and missions at Fort McCoy.)
What is it?
The Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD) office located at Fort McCoy is
responsible for retaining Army Reserve Soldiers in uniform, including
Troop Program Unit (TPU) and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) Soldiers
living in Wisconsin.
Worldwide, 13 battalions report directly to the Chief, Army Reserve. The
Fort McCoy office is assigned to the 8th Battalion Headquartered at Fort
Snelling, Minn. The battalion is divided into six areas. The Fort McCoy
office, also known as the “Honey Badgers,” is Area Four.
Spc. Edward Nieman, (left) an Individual Ready Reserve Soldier,
completes paperwork with assistance from Sgt. 1st Class Louis
Hanson, an Army Career Counselor, while on muster orders at Fort
(Photo by Theresa Fitzgerald)
The Fort McCoy ARCD area of responsibility encompasses most of
Wisconsin. Excluded are the southern portion, and Madison and Milwaukee.
Full-time offices are manned at Fort McCoy, Green Bay, Wausau,
Appleton/Neenah and Hammond. Part-time offices are manned in Eau Claire
Area Four has eight Army Active Guard Reserve and seven TPU Soldiers
assigned as Army Reserve Career Counselors.
The ARCD seeks to meet end-strength goals set by higher headquarters.
Its missions are divided among four categories: IRR transfers (officer
and enlisted); first-term re-enlistment; career re-enlistment; and
special. The special mission counselor works to accession warrant
officers and commissioned officers, reappoints officers who want to be
reappointed, and helps enlisted Soldiers prepare direct-commission
packets or warrant officer packets.
An accession career counselor works in partnership with the Fort McCoy
Recruiting Office to accession prior-service civilians — Soldiers who
have left the military and have no further commitment — back into the
Army Reserve. This is the last year the ARCD will work these types of
What have they done?
The career counselors attend as many battle assemblies as possible and
work with unit commanders to retain Soldiers by conducting retention and
transition interviews, explaining incentives and benefits to Soldiers,
coordinating re-enlistment ceremonies and preparing re-enlistment
contracts. At the same time, the counselors embed and train with the
units to build trust and rapport.
The ARCDs assist IRR Soldiers, who are required to muster one day a
year, by providing mandatory briefings and answering Soldiers questions
about benefits and options. IRR Soldiers are paid for the muster, and
the counselor submits the orders for payment.
Since Oct. 1, the Fort McCoy office has transitioned 21 enlisted
Soldiers from the IRR to the Army Reserve, accessioned six officers and
completed 54 re-enlistments and is leading with the most transfers and
re-enlistments of all the areas in the 8th Battalion.
What do they have planned?
The Fort McCoy office plans to have one more TPU career counselor
assigned to help increase the number of TPU Soldiers throughout the area
Why are they important?
The ARCD has a direct impact on the size of the Army Reserve and the
careers of the Army Reserve Soldiers. The counselor ensures all Soldiers
have a sponsor when initially assigned to a unit, goes over career
progression when discussing re-enlistment, and provides an exit briefing
if a Soldier decides not to re-enlist.
No other military career field can touch as many pieces of a Soldier’s
life as the career counselor can.
A four-avenue approach of phone calls, e-mails, mailings and house calls
is used to retain or transition Soldiers in the unit. Career counselors
also help recover Soldiers who have not attended battle assemblies by
using one or more of the avenues to help solve problems and get the
Soldier back in good standing with the unit.
The career counselor assists with officer career progression by
providing counseling and mentoring about requirements for successful
continued service in the Army Reserve and serving as a link between the
officer and the Officer Career Management branch located at 8th
Call 608-388-6123/6132/6138 to talk with a career counselor or
608-388-6145 to talk with the special mission’s counselor. Information
also is available at the website