Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) Affiliation Program
WHAT IS IT?
On July 1, 2011, the Army will launch the IRR Affiliation Program (IAP) to provide IRR Soldiers and their Families with a local network of support to ensure their well-being and readiness. The IAP will be cooperatively managed by U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC), U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC), and the U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG). The focus of the program will be on communicating support and resources versus participation in unit training events. IRR Soldiers will be affiliated with a local Reserve Component (RC) unit, but will be under no obligation to participate in unit training or to maintain contact with the unit. They will only be required to acknowledge the program, their affiliation to a RC unit, and their understanding that resources and support will always be available to them while assigned to the IRR.
WHAT HAS THE ARMY RESERVE DONE?
The Army Reserve initiated a pilot IRR Affiliation Program on December 1, 2010 to study the potential of the program, the impact on Reserve unit’s full-time staff and the business management processes, to include potential changes to regulations, policies and systems. The IAP will be implemented July 1, 2011 using current USARC core business management processes and existing automation systems to provide IRR Soldiers and their Families with a local network of support without degradation of RC unit readiness. Army Reserve G1 (Personnel) will provide oversight.
WHAT EFFORTS ARE PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE?
RC units will integrate IRR Soldiers and their Families into the unit; establish and maintain lines of communication with IRR Soldiers and their Families; provide information about benefits and opportunities; allow IRR Soldiers to participate in unit events; allow IRR Soldiers and their Families to participate in Family Program activities; and when necessary serve as a conduit between HRC and IRR Soldiers. Additionally, the Army Reserve Careers Division will serve as the program manager for the AR and will provide career and transition counseling as needed.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO THE ARMY RESERVE?
The Army has a statutory and moral obligation to support Soldiers and their Families throughout their entire military service obligation, regardless of their duties status. The IAP embraces that obligation by focusing the efforts of thousands of RC units throughout the world. Additionally, as the AR transitions from a Strategic to an Operational Force, it will become more dependent on IRR Soldiers to augment its ranks during times of crisis. It is in the AR’s interest to make every effort to assist HRC in maintaining and improving the readiness of the IRR.
WHAT DO LEADERS/SOLDIERS NEED TO KNOW?
All current IRR Soldiers will be affiliated with Army Reserve units beginning July 1, 2011. While several Army National Guard units will also participate in this initial program, the Guard intends to include all its units in the program later this year. No action is needed on the IRR Soldier’s part other than meeting their statutory and regulatory requirement of notifying HRC of any changes to their contact information and personal status. HRC will notify each Soldier that they have been affiliated and the unit commander will send them a Welcome Letter and other unit information. Also on July 1, the AR will affiliate AR Soldiers transitioning to the IRR. Around December 1, Soldiers separating from the Active Component and entering the IRR will be affiliated at Transition Points. Unit workload impact will continue to be assessed, as will impact on IRR Soldier and Family readiness.