(Oct. 17, 2017) The Army is about to test the effectiveness of having its recruiters sign up enlistees for all three components—active, Reserve and National Guard. The new pilot program was mentioned last week by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Snow, the commander of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, in an interview with Military.com, a website focused on defense issues.
Snow said, “It’s a multi-year pilot . . . because there are some things we are going to have to work through.” However, he said, he has “always felt this is the right thing to do.”
The idea was proposed by the National Commission on the Future of the Army in its report released in January 2016. The ad hoc panel spent two years reviewing all aspects of the service, including the relationship between its components. It recommended that the Army create this type of program allowing recruiters to recruit for all three components and receive credit for each successful enlistment.
Snow pointed out that his command recruits only for the active component and the Reserve, while states are responsible for filling the ranks of the Guard.
“It’s a challenge because right now, in many parts of the country, the states put their National Guard ahead of the regular Army and Army Reserve,” he said.
Most states have made it advantageous to join the Guard rather than the Reserve, he said, because “the states add state benefits, predominantly in the form of educational benefits, on top of federal benefits.”
Snow said the Army fell short of its fiscal 2017 goal of adding 14,400 soldiers to the Reserve, missing by 1,228 soldiers. He said some of those may have signed with the Guard.