BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Recently, Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, the chief of Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, approved changes to the Active Guard Reserve program which are expected to be implemented later this year.
The implementation of the new policy is expected to take place with the publishing of a new Air Force Instruction. Until the new policy is published, here are the top 10 things Reserve Citizen Airmen should know or can expect with the new program.
10. There are currently 3,849 AGR positions in the Air Force Reserve. AGR positions are located at every wing across the Air Force Reserve Command and at other major commands. In addition, there are AGR positions within the Recruiting Service at most Air Force bases. By 2020, an additional 1,277 AGR positions will be added.
9. AGR members receive the same benefits and entitlements as their active-duty counterparts, including pay, leave and medical. “Additionally, each year a member is on AGR orders is 365 points towards Reserve retirement. If a member is pursuing a Reserve retirement, it is a huge boost for him or her,” said Capt. Matthew Harding, AGR Assignments Branch chief.
8. Anyone can apply for an AGR position, including individual mobilization augmentees, traditional Reservists, Air Reserve Technicians, Guard members and active-duty Air Force members. All complete applications are forwarded to the hiring official regardless of an applicant’s status. The hiring official selects the best qualified applicant among all applicants.
7. There are vacant AGR positions from staff sergeant to colonel. In addition to applying for positions of their rank, enlisted members can apply for positions that are one above or one below their rank. If an applicant is selected for a position that is one above the rank, he or she must complete all requirements including time in grade to be eligible for promotion to the next higher grade. If an applicant is selected for a position that is one below the rank, he or she must be willing to accept that rank to work in that position. Officers can apply for positions of their rank or one above. If an applicant is selected for a position that is one above, he or she must be selected from a promotion board and complete all requirements before promoting to the next higher grade.
6. Most AGR positions at the unit level will initially be a four-year order with the option to extend or curtail based on a request from the member and mission needs. The approval authority for extensions and curtailments will be the wing commander or equivalent.
5. The following AGR positions will remain three-year tours – special duty; overseas; headquarters for O-4 and above and E-7 and above; all O-6; designated key, command and joint for officers; and key and strategic for enlisted members. However, the same extension and curtailment policy will be applied for these positions as with unit positions with wing commanders or equivalent as the approval authority.
4. For O-5 and below key, command and joint positions, the hiring official will select the best qualified applicant. The hiring official will receive all applications from the Key, Command and Joint Management Office at ARPC that will also include career field manager feedback and applicants who have been identified on a key personnel list from the respective developmental team board.
“We have implemented a more deliberate process to develop future senior leaders in key positions or positions like command and JDAL (Joint Duty Assignment List) so that these members can gain breadth of knowledge needed to support Air Force needs and the secretary of defense’s priority of strengthening joint leaders,” said Maj. Nate Cole, Key, Command and Joint Management Branch chief.
3. ARPC will no longer hold an AGR review board with generals at the Pentagon and Air Force Reserve Command. Instead, career program decisions will be delegated to the wing commander or equivalent to allow for more flexibility for the wing commander to make decisions at different gates. If a career program decision has not been made at a member’s five-year point in the same assignment, the wing commander will make a career program entry decision. It will be automatic for those selected for a follow-on assignment exceeding the six-year probation period.
2. Before a member enters a career program, he or she will need to sign a statement of understanding to include a mobility statement similar to a statement of understanding that an Air Reserve Technician would sign. The statement of understanding will also include information on certain positions that will always be three-year tours (see number five), limited opportunities in non-sustainable career fields, force development and outplacement priority consideration after returning from a different status. Once in the career program, a member may serve until his or her mandatory separation date or high year tenure date. This will eliminate the need for an AGR review board-like decision for greater than 20 years of active duty service.
1. To find all vacant O-5 and below AGR positions, go to myPers at https://mypers.af.mil/app/answers/detail/a_id/35663.
“Both my AGR Assignments Branch and Key, Command and Joint Management Branch are working hard to ensure the new policy will be implemented in time later this year,” said Col. Jena Silva, director of assignments. “We are excited about the new changes because it gives more flexibility for commanders while making it more attractive for our Reserve members. And since this program is growing significantly, we have a need to recruit new AGRs and retain our talented AGRs.”
(Peterson is the individual mobilization augmentee to the ARPC deputy commander.)