Soldier’s Gold Mine

Nuggets to keep you informed

06/08/2010  | 
The Griffon



US Army Reserve Command released an ELAS tasker on April 6, 2010 requiring all 42As to have a security clearance by September 30, 2010. Clearances must be initiated by June 1, 2010. Failure to have a clearance by 30 September 30, 2010 will result in the discharge from the Army Reserve.


Do you need a Security Clearance?

Many Soldiers are unsure if they are required to have a Security Clearance.  It is the policy of the 108th Training Command that every Soldier SFC and above hold at least a Secret clearance.  Soldiers can check to see if their MOS(s) require a Security Clearance by going into 2X Citizen and pulling up their record.  There will be a box on the right that will list the Primary, Secondary and Additional MOS(s) the Soldier holds and if there is a Security Clearance required.  The Soldier’s current Security Clearance will be in the center of the screen in the Retention/Readiness area.  If you need a Security Clearance or have questions, contact your unit Security Manager.


Interested in Foreign Military Training?

Commander’s Intent:  Provide security forces assistance to train, advise and assist joint, multi-component and multi-national forces in a mobilized or AT status.  Foundation is laid in 108th Training Command (IET) CTG, YTG and Mission Statement.

Support of FMT Missions:  Traditional support for FMT would be received by Request for Forces (RFF) tasking or individual USARC taskings.  A new portal exists that any soldier can access to review open  requirements for DOD missions– And many of them are FMT in nature.  This portal was developed as part of a DOD initiative to directly involve Reserve soldiers in resourcing these requirements on a volunteer basis instead of the normal tasking route.  This portal is Personnel Force Innovation (PFI).  

Some details on PFI:

Website: (open access)

Operates under an Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) charter to use RC personnel on     a fee for service basis supporting DoD when regular active duty personnel are not available

PFI is strictly “fee for service” as customers fund all active duty costs at fixed rates with working capital or FMS case funds, including pay and allowances and TDY costs   

PFI tours last frequently 6 months or longer, but PFI reservists can be used for shorter tour or on longer assignments for up to three years in duration

Reservists cannot curtail their assignments without the consent of the customer and PFI director.  However, the reservist’s military service can prematurely curtail tours because of military priorities, such as contingency operations (ARFORGEN requirements)

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; we compete with Reserve soldiers from all Military Services, not just Army

What does a soldier need to do to request a Tour?

  • Go to and create user account
  • Upload both civilian and military resumes for Agency Review
  • Review available tours and apply for select tours; soldier may apply for multiple tours at one time
  • Wait for Agency to contact soldier  (Agency may request DA Photo, ORB/ERB/2-1 etc.., Letter of Recommendation from Chain of Command, Last three NCOERs/OERs)
  • Once selected by an Agency for a tour, provide requested documentation for the ADOS packet (Ensure PHA, HIV, APFT, Height Weight, ETS/MRD etc.. are current or packet may be rejected)
  • Keep Chain of Command informed


How many times have you asked or been asked, “I’m going shopping, do you need anything?”  Now let’s apply it to the Army Reserve world that we live in.

Force Management annually provides the opportunity to request additional authorizations. Haven’t we all thought of something we would like to have on our TDA?  You can probably think of a few before you finish reading this short sentence.    The key thing to remember when dealing with growing authorizations is that there’s no free shopping or the more familiar “no free lunch.” In force management terminology the “no free lunch” translates to “zero sum gain”, meaning that we have a specified number of authorized positions on our TDA and in a steady state environment we can’t grow new authorizations without, you guessed it — a bill payer.  “Bill payers” are current authorizations that leaders decide to give up to pay for something else.  For example if a unit determines they can give up an authorization for a CW3 915A Maintenance Tech it could become a bill payer to request a CW3 251A Info Systems Tech that a command wants in their G-6 section.  The season will be upon us soon for submitting TDA requests for TPU positions as part of our FY13 command plan.  Before you ask for a position you need to ask the follow-on question that your command management analyst will certainly ask — “Who is the bill payer?”  The next step is to complete the DA 2028 and include a strong justification and submit it up through your command channels to your servicing Management Analyst.

Full-Time Management Analyst POCs for Force Development:


Latest news on USB devices

The ban on using USB devices on military computers remains, for now, in the Army despite a partial lift of the original ban by U.S. Strategic Command. USSTRATCOM issued a tasking order to services and concerned parties, Feb. 12, allowing the services to loosen restrictions on use of USB and flash media devices. Individual services, however, may continue the ban until they feel their networks are adequately equipped to deal with the threats posed by the portable storage devices. For now, thumb drives are not authorized on Army Reserve computers.

Beware of Pop-up warnings

Currently there is a threat involving pop-up security messages that appear while they are on the Internet. The pop-up messages may contain a virus that could harm your computer or lead to identity theft. The messages contain scareware, fake or rogue anti-virus software that looks authentic. The message may display what appears to be a real-time, anti-virus scan of your hard drive. Once the pop-up warning appears, it can’t be easily closed by clicking the “close” or “X” buttons. If you click the pop-up to purchase the software, a form to collect payment information for the bogus product launches. In some instances, the scareware can install malicious code onto your computer, whether you click the warning or not. This is more likely to happen if the account logged into the computer has rights to install software. Downloading the software could result in malicious programs being installed on your computer. Malicious programs can cause costly damages for individual users and financial institutions. Beware of pop-up warnings that are a variation of recognized security software.  You should research the exact name of the software being offered. Take precautions to ensure operating systems are updated and security software is current.  If you receive these anti-virus pop-ups, close the browser or shut down your computer system. You should run a full anti-virus scan when the computer is turned back on.


Changes in NCOES

By Command Sgt. Maj. Travis Williams
USAR Drill Sergeant School

The Non Commissioned Officer Education System is definitely changing. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years that’s something each of you probably don’t need me to tell you.  I just returned from the Commandant’s Conference at USASMA and there are a lot of processes in the middle of change that won’t affect the USAR until FY12. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to fully understand what those processes are and how they may affect us moving forward.

An interesting statistic that many of you may not know is that there is a backlog of non commissioned officers needing the next level of NCOES of 148,867 Army wide.  The USAR piece of that is 31,502.  The question being kicked around is how relevant is NCOES if we don’t have a higher priority in ensuring that it gets taken care of.  Right now approximately 85 percent of the seats for NCOES are filled with 15% unfilled slots.  When you take into account those that are not eligible or available the number of those not enrolled becomes a little more realistic, but the bottom line is that we have too many NCOs who feel like NCOES is a check the block project to justify promotions already received. A travesty to say the least about what our NCOES looks like and how relevant or irrelevant it may be.

The aforementioned changes were brought about specifically to change the perceptions of the lifelong education that should be occurring throughout a Soldier’s career and its relevance to the operational Army.  Structured Self Development (SSD) levels I through V is designed to ensure that the importance of continuous professional development becomes the standard in order to receive promotions and commit to that process.  Army Times, and The NCO Journal both have done multiple articles on how the changes will enhance the Soldiers working knowledge of leadership and management but offer civilian education benefits as well. The Department of the Army is working with colleges to bring  degree plans that are easily transferrable and provide the following:  By completion of SSD level III a Soldier is able to receive an associates degree, by the completion of level SSD IV a bachelors and by completion of SSD Level V a masters degree.  The validation process is complete on all levels except level V and that should be complete in two to three weeks.

I think you’ll agree that these changes bring relevance to the system.  Next part is leadership and ensuring that your Soldiers know.  FORSCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Carey said  “NCOES ties back to mentorship and whether or not it’s happening.”  Mr. John Sparks, TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj., retired, asked the question, “What do we really want NCOs to look like and to know in the year 2015?”  He asked the question to encourage the thought process and the understanding that our NCOES needs to continuously evolve in order to maintain relevance.  I could send you multiple links to find the changes, but it is literally as easy as a Google search on the word NCOES or USASMA homepage.

See you at graduation....


This month the 108th Training Command (IET), G-8 would like to highlight Incidental Expenses for Uniformed Members Only. The reference for this information can be found in the Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) Volume 1, App A. It is important that Soldiers are aware of their travel entitlements especially with the advent of the Defense Travel System (DTS). Often times we see Soldiers travel claims where they are either claiming fees they are not entitled to or vice versa.Listed below are a just a few of the items Soldiers can claim on their travel voucher.

  • Fees and tips to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries (APP G for reimbursement of fees and tips incurred at transportation terminals).
  • Transportation (i.e., bus, subway) between places of lodging or duty/business and places at which meals are taken, if suitable meals cannot be obtained at the TDY site.
  • Personal laundry/dry-cleaning and pressing of clothing (except when travel is within CONUS) and requires at least 7 consecutive nights TDY lodging in CONUS. Note: The cost incurred during TDY travel (not after returning to the PDS) for laundry/dry-cleaning and pressing of clothing, up to an average of $2 per day, is a reimbursable expense (APP G) in addition to per diem/actual expense allowance when travel within CONUS requires at least 7 consecutive nights TDY lodging in CONUS
  • Telegrams and telephone calls necessary to reserve lodging accommodations.
  • Mailing costs associated with filing travel vouchers and payment of Government sponsored contractor-issued travel charge card billings
  • Any other necessary expenses related to rooms, lodging, or valet service (other than barbers, hairdressers, manicurists or masseurs) that are listed in the account.

The above list is not all inclusive, but some of the most frequently used expenses.  For additional listings, please refer to the JFTR Appendices, especially App. G/O.

 Equal Opportunity

The 108th Training Command (IET) is rapidly trying to fill Equal Opportunity leader positions, Sgt. (P) – 1st Lt., at battalion level and below to assist commanders in carrying out the EO program, developing a healthy climate, and ensuring fair treatment for all individuals based solely on merit, fitness, and capability. If you are interested in making a difference in your unit and filling this key position contact your chain command and request EO leader training today. Contact Master Sgt. Moann Benson, 108th Training Command EO Advisor, to coordinate training availability dates. Provided is a schedule of course dates for this year.

    Date and Location

    12-19 July 10,  Ft. Bragg, N.C.  

    25 - 31 July 10,  Ft. Douglas, Utah

    9-16 August 10,  Ft. Bragg, N.C.  

    24 August - 1 Sept. 10,  Ft. Jackson, S.C.

    13-20 Sept. 10,   Ft. Bragg, N.C.  

    19 - 25 Sept. 10,  Ft. Douglas, Utah

The 108th Training Command (IET) will also observe Women’s Equality Day in August and National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th through October 15th, 2010. Diversity Starts Here!

 Safety Nugget

Army Safe is Army Strong!

By Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf
Combat Readiness Safety Center

Privately owned weapons handling accidents continue to concern me.  What troubles me the most are cases involving Soldiers pointing weapons at themselves or someone else. Often they are just playing around without regard to common weapon safety principles that every Soldier should know, such as proper muzzle orientation and treating every weapon as if it’s loaded. It is no surprise that alcohol is a common factor.

To assist you and your commands in raising awareness and to help prevent accidents such as these, we’ve developed a safety training video entitled “No Second Chances”.  The video is designed for small group discussion and is based on an actual case in which a Soldier died after pointing a weapon at himself while intoxicated. It describes the events leading up to the accident and immediately afterwards, and contains personal accounts from the Soldier’s peers and leaders, highlighting the profound impact his death had on those left behind.

“No Second Chances” is available on our web site at and can also be found under the Privately Owned Weapons tab of the Range & Weapons Safety Toolbox at

Staff Judge Advocate

Student Loan Relief,
Readmission, and Tuition Refunds

Currently, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) does not protect reservist and national guard personnel who are full-time post-secondary students in colleges and technical schools. However, the Servicemen’s Opportunity College works to mediate disputes between activated students and post-secondary education institutions as to tuition refunds, credit for classes, and make up of incomplete grades resulting from military activation. Education Benefits and Issues assistance can be found below.

Small Business Assistance for Deployed Reservists and Employers
Many deployed reservists and national guardsmen are small business owners or employees. These businesses face economic hardships because of loss of key employees and managers. To assist these small businesses, when key employees are deployed, Congress created the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) Program. The MREIDL program will provide loan funds to eligible small businesses to cover operating expenses that would have been met, but cannot, because an essential employee was called to active duty in his or her role as a military reservist.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) administers MREIDLs. Small businesses may apply for MREIDLs of up to $1.5 million if they have been financially impacted due to the loss of a key employee. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid. The interest rate on these loans is 4 percent, with a maximum term of 30 years. The SBA determines the amount of economic injury, the term of each loan and the payment amount, based on the financial circumstances of each borrower. The filing period begins the date the essential employee is ordered to active duty and ends 90 days after the employee is discharged from active duty.

For more information, see


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