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January 25, 2013

Spotlight

Army Reserve Careers Division

(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.
PHOTO: An Individual Ready Reserve Soldier, completes paperwork with assistance from an Army Career Counselor. Photo by Theresa Fitzgerald
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 McCoy.
(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 and Hurley.

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 gains.

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 of responsibility.

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 battalion.

Resources:
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 www.StayArmyReserve.com.

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