< November 2022 >
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OIC Notes

Greetings SOCOM ARE,

I hope this update finds you well and hopefully adjusting as we begin to return to collective training opportunities amidst COVID. Much of the population is getting vaccinated and while I recognize this effort remains a personal choice (for now), I encourage you to vaccinate yourself and your family, if you feel it appropriate to do so. I personally received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and had few side effects, easily managed with a few appropriate doses of Aleve (Naproxen). I felt 100%, 48 hours later.

Shifting gears to our internal workings, the ARE is currently undergoing UMR maintenance. As we have grown quickly over the past 18 months, our UMR has many double and triple-slotted billets, vacant billets, and even more significant:  personnel performing duties unrelated to their assigned billets. The latter is the greatest concern and we are making a very concerted effort to properly realign personnel on the UMR to where they are working. This process, coupled with realigning double/triple slotted personnel will result in some difficult conversations with many of you. You may be asked where you actually work, who is in your rating chain (should always be a rating chain within your Directorate and not ARE Staff members – unless you are an ARE Staff member), and you might even be asked to pursue opportunities outside of the ARE. For those of you previously employed as an IMA Soldier - that program is designed for Reserve members to remain in those billets for several years, serving to support large commands and managed by HRC. Now that you have transitioned to TPU status, there are new criteria to which you must adhere, such as readiness requirements, duty location adherence, and the 76th ORC Commanding General's tenure compliance. This may require some of you to seek new roles in your Army Reserve career. This is by no means a message to alarm any of you, it is simply to convey how we, as the ARE, are implementing actions to follow updated guidance received from the SOCOM Vice Commander and facilitated by the SOCOM J1. May this serve as your preliminary notice to perhaps proactively understand your current status and make necessary adjustments, if required.

Next, as a result of leadership turnover within the SOCOM ARE over the past few months, I want to make sure you understand who your respective detachment's leadership is:

Detachment 1 (JSOC):  MAJ Chris McKinnon

Detachment 2 (SOCOM HQ):  MAJ Scott Schumacher (LTC(P) Dave Wofford will be transitioning out of his former role as Det OIC, as a result of his recent selection for promotion – CONGRATS!!)

Detachment 3 (TSOCs):  LTC Rich Granados

Please be sure to reach out to your current detachment team with any issues or concerns. They are employed to assist and support you.

The Executive Officer remains LTC Tony Gonzalez.

The Senior Enlisted Advisor remains MSG Amado Ortiz.

The new Training/Operations Officer is LTC Al Eckart.

The Admin NCOIC is MSG Juan Rogiers.


These Staff leaders are also here to assist your detachment leadership. Please first contact your detachment teams with any administrative issues; they are your first lines of support and in most cases should be able to resolve your concerns at the detachment level. Of course, you are always welcome to contact the XO, S3, SEA or myself if you seek additional support. 

Finally, in personally adhering to the 76th ORC CG's tenure policy, my two years as the ARE OIC is wrapping up this Summer.  My replacement has been identified and is expected to begin transitioning into the position within the next 60 days. This is very likely my last quarterly post to this medium, and I want to humbly express my gratitude to this team of teams. You are supporting, arguably, the most important military organization in America's arsenal - Special Operations Command. Continue to hold yourselves to a higher standard and remember how much of an impact you can make. Do not lose sight of your readiness and professional development. These aspects of your career will make or break your career progression. Remember, serving in the ARE is not for everyone. It is also not a unit in which to serve "forever."  Treat it as a "stop" along your career path.  Plan to transition to other Army Reserve units where you can impart to others the knowledge and experience you have gained, here in the ARE. This is how we develop our future leaders and maintain our global dominance.

I wish you all GODSPEED in your continued service and future endeavors.

COL Ward

Upcoming USSOCOM ARE Events

The ARE team is offering ACFT training every Wednesday @ 0900 at the MacDill AFB gym. Barring any future restrictions, the below scheduled training events will be executed as written:

28 APR: Diagnostic ACFT

29 APR: Diagnostic ACFT 

28 JUL: AWT Training

SEA Notes


I hope you are all doing well. I would like to thank everyone who has completed CUI and Extremism training. For those of you who have not competed CUI, you need to do so, ASAP. For those who have not yet completed the Extremism training, coordinate with your detachment teams to schedule a time to complete this requirement. These two courses are mandated by SECDEF and all commands must achieve 100% compliance no later than May 2020.

We still have some stragglers that have not yet turned in Yearly Training Plans. If you are one of these Soldiers, we need you to turn your training schedule in now. We have been persistently advocating for earlier AT order publication timelines (no less than 30 days prior to order the start date), but in order to support this goal, we need our ARE members to make a real efforts to submit their RFOs at least 60 days in advance. Doing so allows our support staff to properly forecast their budgeting requirements, so please do your part by getting these submitted as early as possible.

As a reminder, FY21 training priorities are as follows:

  1. Duty Military Occupational Specialty Qualification (DMOSQ)
  2. Professional Military Education (PME)
  3. Mission Essential Tasks (METs)
  4. Army Warrior Task Training
  5. Individual Weapons Qualification 

We need to continue to focus on maintaining unit readiness. Each of us must ensure currency on all of our annual medical requirements. The ARE staff has been tasked with aggressively enforcing medical readiness standards, so if you are overdue on anything, expect to hear from the unit leadership. You are required to complete a PHA and dental exam every 12 months and you should be scheduling your appointments when you are within 90 days of your next required examination date. Maintaining your readiness requirements is a condition of remaining in the ARE and we expect proactive and voluntary adherence to these standards.

As of 30 September 2020, the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is no longer being conducted by any Army Reserve unit. The Army has transitioned to the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), but its implementation has been temporarily deferred, until further notice. If you achieved a passing score on the APFT between March 2019 and March 2020, you are considered current on your physical fitness requirements. However, Army height and weight requirements are not suspended as part of this change and you are still required to conduct height and weight measurements every six months. The temporary suspension of the ACFT requirement does not mean that you should neglect your physical fitness training. We work within the SOF community and will maintain an appropriate military appearance and level of physical fitness, in line with USSOCOM expectations. I expect you to be good ambassadors for the Army Reserves and I appreciate those of you who continue to do this without reminder. Starting April 2021 we will begin to conduct diagnostic ACFTs. You can schedule your diagnostic ACFT through your detachments and also inquire about event familiarization opportunities. Each ARE Soldier is required to take at least one ACFT diagnostic by the end of September 2021.

COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our military population, so continue taking proper precautions to protect yourselves and your families. You will always be the Army's most valuable asset and, more than ever now, we need you to remain fit to fight and ready for action at all times! I appreciate everyone's hard work and efforts and I'm proud to serve as the USSOCOM ARE Senior Enlisted Leader. I look forward to another great year serving with the ARE team.

-MSG Ortiz, SEA