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US Army Reserves News

15 JAN 2021

Fellow RC MS officers,

What an interesting time we live in! The last 90 days of MS operations have been busier and odder than most 1st quarters of any given fiscal year. Throughout the national chaos of the last 90 days, one could count on finding RC MS officers present and engaged in the nation’s business. Many call this last year, the "Year of the National Guard". RC MS officers in the National Guard were in the mix of COMPO II operations whether it’s been testing for COVID, distributing vaccine, supporting immunizations, tracking case rates, or any other host of efforts. The National Guard is also living up to the name, sending tens of thousands of forces to provide security (and their accompanying medical support) to the US and State Capitols across the country as our fragile democracy attempts a transition of power. COMPO III MS officers have also been busy, albeit in more traditional MS endeavors. COMPO III officers are busily planning for the upcoming exercise season this summer. There look to be 3 Global Medic exercises, a Guardian Response exercise, and Sabre Guardian (aligned with the EUCOM Defender Exercise) all occurring between April and September. A variety of planning tasks are underway and all three of the Regional Training Sites-Medical (Ft Gordon, Ft McCoy, and Camp Parks, CA), all led by USAR 70 series AGR COLs, have updated their Field Hospital training equipment and low density AMEDD MOS training opportunities. Ft Gordon is now back to being able to provide collective training capability with the addition of a Role III MTF training set.

The RC officers of the Medical Service Corps continue to achieve accolades for their outstanding efforts. MAJ Kathryn Cavan from the Southeast Medical Area Readiness Support Group (MARSG) was selected as the USAR recipient of the CPT John R. Teal award. MAJ John Pham-Ta (Medical Readiness and Training Command) was added to the Office of the Medical Service Corps team to work on the Field Leadership Team. Promotion lists for CPTs and MAJs were released. (3) COLs were selected to attend resident Senior Service College. (8) officers were selected for Resident ILE. MAJ Marie G St Louis was selected to attend the Advanced Military Studies Program (Ft Leavenworth). COL William Floyd was selected to command the 2nd Medical Training Brigade at Fort Douglas, UT as the incumbent (COL Kate Simonson) was promoted BG and left for her new assignment. COL Thomas Hrabal was selected to serve as the Chief of Staff at 807th MC(DS) also in Salt Lake City, UT. We wish a fond farewell to COLs Cindy Hopkins and Robin Crear, both former Site Directors at RTS MED McCoy and Gordon, respectively, as they both retired within the last 90 days after 30 years of service each.

The selection and formal appointment process by the Office of the Surgeon General (Consultancy Office) of COMPO II and COMPO III AOC consultants marches along. Once in place, these officers will provide Consultancy services to (14) RC MS AOCs (those with 50 or more AOC holders in their population). This will greatly enhance the ability of the voices of the officers in these AOCs to be amplified in order to best understand how to resource opportunities for them to be postured to achieve Individual Critical Tasks. These Consultants will also be very useful for providing career advice and advising the Corps leadership on accession and retention issues.

I am cognizant of (2) issues brought to me by your input from the field. The inability of TPU officers to participate in Long Term Education and Training (LTHET) and the current lack of retention bonuses for those in our Corps. I cannot promise I can change policy on either of these issues. I bring this up because I want you to know that you are heard and I am working diligently to acquire more staff, conduct analysis, and request that we POM monies for these efforts, and change policy –OR- explain why current policy is in place to ALL via our social media platforms, messages to the field, personal correspondence, through our Consultants and/or AOC advisors (for the small AOCs) so there is transparency and clear understanding of process by every member of COMPO II/III.

As always, I continually seek to tighten the connective tissue between all three COMPOs of the Medical Service Corps and even amongst those in our trade in our sister services and those in our allied services. Please keep sending inquiries to me or to the current set of AOC Consultants. Though these officers are COMPO I, they do understand that they represent all officers in their AOC and they communicate with me when there is a USAR or NG nuance to the matter. There were numerous new doctrinal publications related to our work released within the last ninety days and I urge you to study them. I look forward to our continued interaction as we work to improve our Corps.

See you on the high ground,
COL Leon Hooten
JBSA, TX
Assistant Corps Chief- Reserve Affairs (MS)