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.