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News > Mustering success in 'jointness'
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 About 250 Air Force and Navy reservists attended
 First-ever joint Reserve mass muster for the IRR
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Mustering Success
Brig. Gen. Kevin Pottinger (right), Air Reserve Personnel Center commander and former 301st Fighter Wing commander, was in attendance June 12 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, to show support for the first joint Reserve mass muster for the Individual Ready Reserve. He spoke to IRR members during the event, including Lucas Smith, who has been on IRR for three years.
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Mustering success in 'jointness'

Posted 6/28/2010   Updated 6/28/2010 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Shawn David McCowan
301 FW Public Affairs

6/28/2010 - NAS FORT WORTH JRB, Texas -- About 250 area Air Force and Navy reservists were on hand June 12 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, for the first-ever joint Reserve mass muster for the Individual Ready Reserve.

The purpose of a mass muster is to gather IRR personnel, reservists who are still required to complete a military commitment, for the required check-in, briefings and needed announcements so they maintain readiness if called to active duty.

Normally, each military branch holds separate musters in different regions and bases.

However, according to Sherrie Briggs, chief of plans and programs at Air Reserve Personnel Center, which is responsible for the Air Force IRR program, experts at IRR conferences have discussed combining mass musters for more than ten years. Joint mass musters could bring improvements like shorter drives for reservists, financial savings to supporting units and adding to the spirit of jointness shared by today's military.

Brig. Gen. Kevin Pottinger, ARPC commander and former 301st Fighter Wing commander, was in attendance to show support for this new joint process.

"It's really a great feeling to see such a positive result after a lot of coordinating. I hope this new joint muster makes everyone's life a little easier. That's our goal, and it looks like it worked," said General Pottinger.

General Pottinger believed that NAS Fort Worth JRB would be an ideal location to launch this new concept.

"Having been commander for the fighter wing here, I knew this was a perfectly centralized place to try this mass muster."

Lt. Colonel Doug Ottinger, Director of Assignments at ARPC, and one of the key coordinators for the event, said the mass muster had been in planning for almost a year, but really started to take shape in the last six to seven months.

Guy Stratton, principal director, manpower and personnel, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Reserve Affairs), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), Washington, D.C., met with staff as well as addressed the attendees during the briefings. He was happy to see this endeavor become a success.

"This has been a big plan for a while, but the challenge was getting the right people at the right time in the right place to make it work. It looks like we found that here," said Mr. Stratton.

Past musters forced servicemembers on IRR to travel much greater distances to separate facilities in order to fulfill their annual requirements. This mass muster only had to reach a 50-mile radius to bring in the 250 participants. Reservists like 1st Lt. Lucas Smith can appreciate the change.

"I've been on IRR for three years now. Last time I had to go to a muster it was three hours away in Abilene. So this is much more convenient," said Smith.

An additional sign of success was the surprising results for recruiting, one of the agencies in attendance. According to 301st Fighter Wing recruiters, it is normal for them to get recruitment leads from an average 10 percent of the muster attendees, and mostly from active duty members. This event gave the recruiters a record 24 percent of attendee leads. The recruiters reported this as the highest lead rate ever for their mass musters.

ARPC leadership plans to review the success of this event to decide if they will continue joint mass musters in the future.

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