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NEWS | Feb. 10, 2022

Navy Reserve Senior Enlisted Gather for Idea Exchange

By Mass Communication Chief Petty Officer Elisandro T. Diaz, Office of the Chief of Navy Reserve

Force Master Chief Petty Officer Tracy L. Hunt hosted the Navy Reserve Leadership Mess Symposium to discuss pressing enlisted issues and exchange ideas among Reserve command senior enlisted leaders.  The event, the first in-person meeting of the Reserve Leadership Mess since 2018, was held Feb. 07-09, 2022, at the Lone Star Center at Joint Reserve Base Forth Worth.

Under the theme, “Align the Mess,” the event provided a forum for command senior enlisted leaders to engage on timely topics, discuss challenges, receive an update on key topics and generate ideas accelerating the lines of effort of the Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions (NRFI). 

“The goal for each Sailor in the Navy Reserve is to be ready to mobilize when the call comes. This means that all their training, medical, physical, and administrative requirements are up to date and that once they get to their destination, they are ‘Ready on Day One,” said Hunt.

Keynote speaker, Vice Adm. John B. Mustin, Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force, updated the group on the progress of the past 14 months since NRFI was released. He described the Navy Reserve’s journey from supporting the Global War on Terror to warfighting lethality in the maritime domain supporting the current security environment. 

“The number one priority of the Navy Reserve is to be warfighting ready.  The best way we can do this is providing our greatest resource – our Sailors – training, preparation, and placement in a specific billet, so that they are ready to perform on day one.  The Chiefs’ Mess is key to making this happen,” Mustin said.

Several subject matter experts shared programs and initiatives underpinning warfighting readiness in the areas of Manning and Manpower; NTMS-R (Talent Management); Command Senior Enlisted Leader Development; Enlisted Community Management; Adaptive Mobilization; Mobilization Readiness; and a Culture of Excellence.

“We want to make sure the pathways to mobilizations are clear,” explained Capt. Adam Billim, with Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command, which includes Sailors proactively taking care of items such as medical and dental screenings and making sure they have prescription glasses ready to go when the time comes.

To track readiness, the Navy Reserve recently released the online Annual Readiness Questionnaire, a CAC-enable database that maintains real-time information on a Sailor’s readiness.  Eventually, this database will also be available via mobile phones. 

At the core of warfighting readiness is the capability to activate Reserve Sailors quickly, en mass.  Surge Maintenance (SURGEMAIN) is one successful example of the Adaptive Mobilization concept which quickly mobilized more than 1,300 Reserve Sailors to provide critical support at four public shipyards to reduce maintenance backlog due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Master Chief Javier Salvatierra of Naval Sea Systems Command Space Reserve Component Program 29 SURGEMAIN, explained the process.

“This was the first time SURGEMAIN mobilized this many Sailors at one time.  It took detailed coordination between an advance team, the local Navy Reserve Center and the shipyards to get them to their final destination. We also had a ‘hammerhead team’ composed of Sailors who volunteered to mobilize quickly to keep the shipyards on schedule,” explained Salvatierra.

Another key topic of discussion was creating a culture of safety and excellence where Sailors feel safe and valued.

According to Command Master Chief Sharon Kinloch of Navy Reserve Region Readiness and Mobilization Command Great Lakes, the way to do this is by “treating Sailors with respect so that they understand that they have a voice and that they are contributing to the mission.”

The event ended with breakout groups tackling topics such as a Culture of Excellence; Mob to Billet; Reserve to Active Integration; Adaptive Mobilization; Medical; Pay and Special Duty Assignment Pay; Professional Development; and Manning.

“The working groups are scheduled to submit their progress and recommendations for improvements in April of this year. Some of the topics may be short-term while others, due to their complexity, may require longer timeframes,” explained Nicole Rios, Command Master Chief for Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command.