Mobilization – Day Two – 28 November 2009

Today was the day where we all finally came together as prepared for our movement to Fort Dix. The final travelers arrived in the morning and we had a few hours of briefings arranged for the Soldiers and available family members. We had attempted to do a formal Yellow Ribbon, but were unable to do so due to limited funds and poor interpretation of Federal Statute by our higher headquarters. Had the event been fully funded, more family members would have been available for both the briefings that were provided today and our Farewell Ceremony scheduled for tomorrow. Ultimately, it may not being the worst thing that happened, but it really shows the actual priorities of those in power above us.
Mobilization and deployment is the main mission that all Army units train for, regardless of unit type or component. Part of this mission is caring for the families left behind, and one thing created to help do this is the Yellow Ribbon Program. In my opinion, however, higher commands have confused the need to support their peacetime missions with the need to fully support deploying units and their family members. They pay lip service to caring about families but in the end seems to prefer excuses to answers and do not do enough to provide all that is needed. I do not know if this is something that is spread out amongst all other Army Reserve commands, but it is definitely shown in the actions of those in power of the 316th ESC.
It may be a simple gripe based on my status as a dual-status technician within the organization, but I see an organization wrought with poor planning and mismanagement of government money, deciding to fund long active-duty tours for people who are simply doing the same job that a full-timer should be doing and is already paid to do. It would be interesting to see an audit of the Army Reserve and the misuse of taxpayer monies paying for unneeded tours, especially those people that are simply giving a headquarters extra depth at a position that does not require it. If a backup is needed for certain tasks, it is simple enough to add it as an additional duty to someone else, simply as a backup. I experience this in my own employment; all it takes is a good manager or supervisor to identify all work in a section and identify a primary, alternate, and where appropriate, a tertiary person to perform all the work. We have done this with some success within my own work section. I feel that it can work at higher levels as well. More people, at the expense of fully supporting mobilizing units, are just an easy solution, not necessarily the right one.

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