NEWS | Jan. 30, 2021

TNR Almanac: Readiness

By CNRF Public Affairs

MOBILIZATIONS

In support of the Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions 2020, the Reserve Force is transitioning away from Individual Augment (IA) sourcing and toward a mobilization-to-billet posture. Mobilizations of the future will be focused on providing strategic depth to the Navy’s warfighting capacity. This means capabilities resident in the Navy Reserve must be accessible to operational commanders for employment whenever warfighting requirements exceed the capacity of the active component.  To achieve this end-state, emphasis must be placed on enhancing mob-to-billet readiness. Transitioning away from sourcing IAs and providing ad hoc operational support on an individual basis will unlock time and resources to better prepare Sailors to serve in their programmed mobilization billets. During this transition, the Reserve force will continue to support IA missions, as outlined below.

Current mobilization requirements are managed by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command, which validates Joint and service requests for IAs to support overseas contingency operations, COVID-19 response missions, and other contingencies. USFF determines Navy’s total force capacity to source IA requirements and assigns them to either the active or Reserve component to fill.

Requirements assigned to the Navy Reserve are sourced by Commander, Navy Reserve Force (CNRF) N35.

Both officer and enlisted Reserve Sailors are eligible to volunteer for IA mobilizations. Prior to volunteering, Sailors should ensure they are volunteering for a requirement for which they are fully qualified. They must also obtain approval from their mobilization billet chain-of-command to volunteer for an IA mobilization under involuntary authority that will incur dwell. This approval can be obtained via the command’s Reserve Program Director (RPD) Volunteer mobilization opportunities are advertised on the ZipServe application.

The Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) is the Reserve Sailor’s primary point of contact once they are notified of selection for mobilization. Upon notification, Reserve Sailors should contact their NOSC’s mobilization department to start the pre-mobilization process as soon as possible.

DISTRIBUTED MOBILIZATIONS

The Navy Reserve’s ability to rapidly mobilize the entire force during a large-scale contingency will be critical to meeting National Defense Strategy and mission success. Executing the administrative and logistic demands of a large scale mobilization requires a process change that improves speed of Reserve activation and capacity throughput.

To meet these increased demands, the Navy Reserve has contributed in the development of the Distributed Mobilization (DM) process that will leverage multiple existing Navy Reserve Activities (NRA) to meet mobilization requirements more effectively.

The Navy Reserve utilized mass activation and deactivation processes throughout 2020 leveraging existing Reserve commands and facilities to meet COVID-19 related mobilization requirements quickly and effectively. Reserve Sailors who mobilized in support of CONUS based pandemic response missions were pre-screened, activated and processed by their NRA and then proceeded directly to their supported commands with minimal intermediate stops. Accelerating and expanding the DM capability will enable the Navy and Navy Reserve to respond rapidly in support of Great Power Competition.

PHYSICAL READINESS 
  
Physical fitness is a major part of Reserve Sailor readiness. Visit https://www.navyfitness.org for help along your fitness journey and to prepare for the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). Download the official Navy PFA app at www.applocker.navy.mil. The Physical Readiness Information Management System (PRIMS), available at www.bol.navy.mil, provides access to your official physical fitness record. 

FAMILY CARE PLAN 

All Sailors are required to ensure their dependents are cared for during deployments, mobilizations, temporary duty as well as at any other time during which the service member is away from home. 
A family care plan helps Reserve Sailors develop a workable plan for family care, establish procedural requirements, and outline legal options. Plans are required for: 

•   Single parents 
•   Dual military couples 
•    Assumption of legal responsibility as sole provider for an elderly, disabled or chronically sick family member
•    Sailors in a blended family who have custody of a child or children from a prior relationship need to complete a family care plan, even if they have remarried and plan to have the new spouse care for the minor child during periods of absence
•    A plan may also be required for family members who have limited proficiency of the local language, or are unable to drive or otherwise gain access to basic life-sustaining facilities (e.g., food and medical care). For example, Sailors and their families who are assigned to an isolated location with a family member who has limited language or communication skills in that country of residence may require a family care plan Sailors who meet the above criteria are required to submit a new or updated family care plan to their commanding officer no later than 60 days prior to active-duty service and within 90 days under the following circumstances: 
•    Upon change in personal or family circumstance 
•    Upon birth, adoption or assumption of legal guardianship of an elderly/disabled family member 
•    Upon change of previous caregiver 
•    Upon reporting to a new duty station 

Family care plans should be updated annually, in addition to your Page 2 (NAVPERS 1070/602 Dependency Application/Record of Emergency Data). 

•    Dual military couples must each provide a family care plan consistent with their spouse’s plan 
•    Both service members shall maintain a copy of their family care plan with their respective commands 
•    In the event that a family care plan is not or cannot be established, Navy Personnel Command will determine which service member may be separated based on the needs of the Navy
•    Military mothers of newborns, including those who adopt, shall be deferred from travel away from their home station for four months following delivery. This provision is to assist the service member in developing a family care plan and to establish a pattern of childcare.

CHILDCARE

Maintaining family readiness is an important piece of a Reserve career. How your children are cared for while you are in a drilling status or on orders can be a complicated situation. Prior planning and education are critical in assisting our Reservists in gaining resources for childcare support. Ensure your Family Care Plan is up-to-date before heading out on active duty orders. Also ensure that your updated status reflects your profile’s tier group for childcare priority.

Learn more about assistance and resources available to Reserve members through the Military One Source website at: www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/parenting-and-children/childcare/child-care-the-essentials

MEDICAL READINESS

As stated in the Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions 2020, “We will emphasize ‘warfighting readiness’ (fitness to serve in the mobilization billet) in addition to ‘mobilization readiness’ (fitness to activate). Warfighting readiness is paramount; mobilization readiness is the basic requirement for SELRES service.” Navy Reserve Sailors must be considered deployable in order to meet mobilization and warfighting readiness requirements. In addition, DoD policy states that to maximize the lethality and readiness of the joint force, all Service members are expected to be deployable. Servicemembers who are considered non-deployable for more than 12 consecutive months will be evaluated for: 

•    A retention determination by the Department of the Navy. 
•    As appropriate, referral into the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) (DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1332.18), or initiation of processing for administrative separatiib (DoDI 1332.14 or DoDI 1332.30). This policy on retention determinations for non-deployable servicemembers does not supersede the policies and processes concerning referral to the IDES or the initiation of administrative separation proceedings found in these issuances. 

Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC) coordinates with Navy Region Reserve Component Commands (RCC) and Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) staffs to contact Reserve members directly who have been initially identified as being non-deployable for greater than 12 months. Guidance and instruction is provided to staffs and members per OPNAV instruction 1300.20, NAVADMIN 239/18 and respective MILPERSMAN guidance. 

The Deployability Assessment, Assignment Program presented in NAVADMIN 239/18 introduced new rules for medical deployability. Regular communication and accomplishment of medical requirements is now mandated for retention in the Navy Reserve.

The basics of medical readiness rest on communication. The Reserve Sailors who complete medical requirements on time each year are the ones who stop by and talk with their medical representatives on a regular basis. Ongoing conversation about upcoming requirements allow Sailors to be ahead of deficiency lists on mandatory tasks such as immunizations, blood draws, etc. The top two requirements are to complete your annual Electronic Periodic Health Assessment (ePHA) and dental exam. Don’t wait until you’re on a deficiency list. Make a calendar, schedule an appointment, take ownership of your own medical readiness. When returning from a mobilization, and as required, complete a post deployment health reassessment (PDHRA) within 90-180 days. This requirement is equally as important as completing your annual ePHA or dental exam. 

The ePHA is standardized throughout the DoD as the preeminent document to disclose medical conditions. Discussing changes in your medical condition with your medical department representative is critical to meeting the Navy’s expectations for deployability. Even if your condition was documented years ago, it doesn’t excuse your obligation to report the condition annually on the ePHA for as long as the condition persists. If a new condition occurs, you must notify your medical department representative in person or via email within 60 days. The sooner a change is reported, the more time can be dedicated to managing injuries and generating faster injury case adjudication. 

If you should happen to find yourself in an injury case status, such as Medical Retention Review (MRR), Line of Duty (LOD), Temporarily Not Physically or Dentally Qualified (TNPQ/TNDQ), you must, at a minimum, provide an update of your condition to your medical department representative monthly.  

You are the reason corpsmen are at the NOSC, with individual readiness the primary mission. It’s the medical department’s responsibility to provide the highest class of medical care and support to the Reserve team. Senior medical leadership is looking at how to better accomplish the mission with excellence. A new Reserve Medical Administration Technician (RMAT) NEC is in the final steps of approval and will soon be required for medical professionals serving at NOSCs. 

LINE OF DUTY HEALTHCARE 

It doesn’t happen very often, but in the event that you incur or aggravate an injury, illness or disease while in a duty status you could qualify for LOD-HC benefits. This authorizes you medical and/or dental care benefits until a military physician finds you fit for duty with no additional follow-up required, or until final disposition is determined by a Physical Evaluation Board. You could also be eligible for incapacitation pay, but it’s incumbent upon you to prove with clear and convincing evidence the amount of gross civilian earned income and any losses incurred. Notify your NOSC medical department and chain of command if you feel you qualify for LOD-HC. 

TRICARE

As a Reservist, you have access to medical and dental insurance in the form of TRICARE Reserve Select (healthcare) and TRICARE Dental. These insurance options are premium-based health and dental care that you can purchase to cover you and your family. As long as you’re not on orders, covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP), or working for the federal government in a capacity that enrolls under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, then you can take advantage of these benefits. More information is available at https://www.tricare.mil/FormsClaims/Forms/Enrollment/TRS_TRR

To verify eligibility, visit www.mydodbenefits.dmdc.mil. You and your family members must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to be eligible for TRICARE. Visit a uniformed services identification card issuing facility to register family members. Find your nearest ID card office at: https://idco.dmdc.osd.mil/idco/

During periods of active-duty service, you and your eligible family members become eligible for the same health and dental benefits as an active-duty service member if called or ordered to service for more than 30 consecutive days. Please note that different sets of orders may not be combined to equal more than 30 days for eligibility. For example, a set of Exceptional-AT orders for 29 days with back to back ADT orders for an additional 30 days; In this case, neither set qualifies for TRICARE entitlements. All orders must stand on their own and be greater than 30 days to qualify for eligibility.

•    If enrolled in TRICARE Dental Program, you will be automatically disenrolled and begin using active-duty dental benefits 
•    If eligible family members are enrolled in TDP prior to activation, coverage will continue at a reduced premium (if not enrolled, eligible family members may enroll at any time) 

You may qualify for early TRICARE eligibility if you are issued delayed-effective-date active-duty orders for more than 30 days in support of a contingency operation. Eligibility begins on the date your orders are issued, or 180 days before you report to active duty, whichever is later. During this pre-activation period, you qualify for benefits as though activated. TAMP provides 180 days of premium-free transitional health care benefits after regular TRICARE benefits end. You may receive TAMP after serving on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days in support of a contingency operation. 

If activated in support of a contingency operation, you will immediately receive TAMP benefits for 180 days. TAMP begins on the first day after your active duty service ends. Family members are also eligible for TAMP. If activated, but not in support of a Contingency Operation you are not eligible for TAMP and any active-duty medical benefits end the day after your last day of active duty. 

EXPEDITIONARY COMBAT READINESS CENTER

ECRC provides administration, training, equipping and transportation for all Individual Augmentee (IA) personnel and also manages the mobilization of Reserve Component Sailors returning to active duty. From the moment a Sailor departs their home station, whether it is a Navy Operational Support Center or parent command, ECRC works to support Sailors and their families during their tour of active duty.

During mobilization processing, Sailors will conduct the many steps necessary to transition to active duty and ensure the screening required for their assigned mission has been completed. Mobilization processing normally consists of five days with ECRC at Naval Station Norfolk. ECRC is responsible for this transition and ensuring the Sailors being sent forward are fully trained and qualified. 

ECRC assigns Action Officers (AOs) to IA Sailors and provisional units grouped by mission. AOs review missions and training pipelines and communicate directly with IA Sailors throughout the mobilization process to ensure that IAs are fully ready to deploy both medically and administratively. AOs can answer questions about the upcoming mission, including contact information in theater, and provide the peace of mind of knowing that Sailors have a Navy advocate to guide them through the transition into their missions.

ECRC also provides Navy Liaison Officer (LNO) teams to provide direct assistance to Sailors at pre-deployment training sites. LNOs update Sailor information used to support students and family members during student training and deployment. LNOs assist with berthing, pay issues, communications, scheduling, uniforms, transportation, documentation, surveys, database updates and information archives. 

Following the completion of all required training, Sailors will be transported to their ultimate duty station. Again, ECRC has personnel stationed forward to receive and direct inbound personnel, coordinate temporary billeting, gear handling/stowage and customs assistance and ensure they arrive at their final destination. Outbound personnel receive the same support on their way to the Warrior Transition Program (WTP).

At WTP, ECRC personnel assist redeploying Sailors in gear turn in, readjusting to normal operations, and transportation back to Norfolk for demobilization activities. ECRC provides transportation support by coordinating IA Sailors’ return home through the redeployment/demobilization process, helping get Sailors home expeditiously and safely.

For more information, talk with your Command IA coordinator or visit the ECRC website at https://www.necc.usff.navy.mil/ecrc/

LEGAL READINESS

The Navy’s legal assistance program promotes the increased readiness of active duty and Reserve Sailors and enhances the morale and quality of life for military personnel, dependents and other eligible clients through the provision of free, effective attorney advice, outreach programs, referral services and vigorous preventive law activities. If you’re on active duty for 30 days or more, then you are entitled to legal assistance. As resources permit, Reserve Sailors on active duty for single periods of 29 days or less may be provided legal assistance in emergency cases, or prior to events like a deployment or mobilization for 30 days or more.

Unless on orders or preparing for a mobilization, Reserve Sailor’s are not typically eligible for legal services. If you know about an upcoming deployment or are planning to volunteer for one in the future, talk with your unit leadership and NOSC staff to find out when you can meet with a legal services representative.

Upon receipt of orders, Reserve personnel identified for mobilization to active duty (even for periods under 30 days) are eligible for pre-mobilization legal counseling and assistance. Pre-mobilization assistance typically consists of drafting or updating wills, advance medical directives and powers of attorney.

Talk with your unit leadership to obtain information on legal assistance close to your NOSC. Reserve Sailors identified for mobilization may seek help terminating home leases, staying (delaying) civil court proceedings, or help with other issues related to rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) at scra.dmdc.osd.mil/ and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act at www.esgr.mil/USERRA/USERRA-for-Service-Members.

Each NRA should have a mobilization readiness program. Whether that is a Deployment Readiness Training weekend or individual unit readiness, look for available times to take care of your legal readiness.

Pre-deployment services are given priority. Engaging with a legal assistance attorney to determine your specific legal needs before deployment can avoid unforeseen hassles and challenges before they happen. Coordinate in advance of your needs so there is not a rush when time is short and focus needs to be elsewhere.

Every Reserve Sailor is encouraged to be ready — in all facets — for short notice deployments. Time and legal representative availability is finite. Early planning and communication with your family and leadership is crucial to maintaining a ready to fight Reserve force. Our goal is for every Reserve Sailor to be legally ready. The more prepared you are, the more you can focus on the mission. For more information contact your local legal representative, mobilization officer or visit: https://go.usa.gov/x7SuR.