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ARPC hosts interservice Reserve conference

DENVER, Colo. -- Nearly 100 officials from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard gathered at the Doubletree Hotel in Denver for the Individual Ready Reserve Interservice Conference June 22 and 23.

ARPC hosted the annual event which allows representatives from all the services to discuss current issues and improvements for the nation's IRR force.

IRR members have served in the military and still have a service obligation but are no longer participating.

"One of the biggest values of this conference is learning from each other and learning from the different services," said Brig. Gen. Kevin Pottinger, ARPC commander. "Today and tomorrow we will be sharing ideas with each other and acting on those ideas."

The theme of this year's conference was "Restructuring the IRR of the Future: Ensuring Strategic Depth for the Total Force."

The keynote speaker was Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, Chief, Army Reserve, Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command. General Stultz discussed the need to keep IRR members involved by offering them some of the same benefits their active duty and Reserve counterparts receive.

"If we are going to expect them to be the resource we're asking them to be, then we've got to change the way we're dealing with the IRR," General Stultz said. "We need to have that continuum where people can transition back and forth from active to Reserve status."

The general discussed some of the Army's plans for improving the IRR program, including a pilot program where soldiers leaving active duty could be assigned to a Reserve unit but without the responsibilities of a participating reservist.

"If you leave active service you're not going to go into the IRR. You will go into an affiliated assignment as a nondrilling soldier," he said. "What does that mean? It means someone has responsibility for you, but more importantly it means someone has responsibility for you and your family."

The two-day conference included problem solving workshops and updates from each of the branches of service.

"We're asking the member to be ready when we need you," General Stultz said. "We've got to be leaders and ensure they get the support and benefits they deserve."
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