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"Easy to Serve" Initiatives

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"EASY TO SERVE" INITIATIVES

HQ RIO is focused on streamlining processes to make it easier for IRs to serve.

Our 26 “Easy to Serve” initiatives are divided into five categories—Travel, Pay and Benefits, Orders, Communication and Outreach, and HQ RIO Internal—and have been implemented through Continuous Process Improvement events. This web page will be updated with more initiatives and information as they are released.

TRAVEL

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership requested assistance from AFRC leadership to improve IDT lodging reimbursement. AFRC leadership approved contracting the IDT lodging reimbursement workload while a command-level working group explores additional payment solutions for IDT lodging.

IMPACT: IRs will experience a more efficient IDT Lodging Reimbursement process and reduction in reimbursement time.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership augmented the Travel office staff with additional Reservists on orders to process travel vouchers in a timely manner and has simplified the myPers voucher submission form process. Vouchers are now paid in less than seven days.

IMPACT: IRs are now reimbursed for travel expenditures quickly, enabling them to pay GTC bills in a timely manner.

PAY/BENEFITS

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership modernized the leave request procedures with a myPers-based submission link. The AF Form 988 now allows for digital signature, and myPers offers a simple and effective way to track leave requests. Since last year, turnaround time decreased from 15 days to one.

IMPACT: IRs no longer need to print out the form, wet-sign, scan and email to the RPO to receive a leave number. IRs now need less lead time to submit leave requests.

ORDERS

RESULT: A signature is no longer required from an IR’s active component supervisor on the Annual Tour Special Request Form, and the form is no longer needed for AT on federal holidays or that crosses over two weekends.

IMPACT: IRs have a simplified Annual Tour Special Request Form and experience a reduction in administrative burden.

COMMUNICATION/OUTREACH

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership advocated for IMA positions to be added to the KCJ program listings.

IMPACT: The IMA force now has opportunity to apply for 231 Key and Joint positions managed under each of the Detachments. 

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership advocated for virtual training to ensure all IRs are able to comply with the DoD yearly SAPR/Suicide Prevention training requirement.

IMPACT: IRs who were not able to attend in-person training with their Active Component units can now access training online, increasing participation across the Total Force.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership began a series of virtual training events which cover topics such as Reserve Pay, Website Tips and Tricks, What an IR Supervisor Needs to Know, RIO Detachments and IDT Lodging Reimbursement. These videos are posted on the public website for easy access.

IMPACT: IRs have clear, easy-to-understand video training to help navigate common IR tasks and functions.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership created an IR Advisory Council to make it easy for IRs to contribute to IR programs, services and processes.

IMPACT: IRs have the opportunity to identify issues experienced in the field, help identify IR-based solutions, and ultimately provide recommendations to HQ RIO/CC for action.

RESULT: HQ RIO detachments hosted five in-person and one virtual IR All Calls with the RIO Commander

IMPACT: IRs have direct access to engage with RIO leadership and ask questions or bring up issues for leadership to solve.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership directed a full re-write of the IR Guide to assure information is up-to-date, as well as increase the usability of the document with bookmarking, a glossary, and hyperlinking throughout. In addition, new Quick Guides have been created with screenshots and step-by-step instructions for using IR websites and performing needed tasks. Currently Quick Guides have been published on ARCNet, AROWS-R, the Career Data Brief, PCARS, and IDT Lodging Reimbursement.

IMPACT: IRs now have current guidance available to them for the IR program itself and short, task-driven Quick Guides that are easily grasped.

RESULT: HQ RIO staff is now present at all of these events to support the IRs on pre & post-deployments, to answer any questions they have, and make sure they are fully supported.

IMPACT: IRs no longer have to go outside Yellow Ribbon events to get IR-specific answers to pre- & post-deployment questions.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership created and conducted the “Making it Easy to Serve” Survey.

IMPACT: IRs get to provide their ADCON chain direct feedback on any matter concerning their participation in the program and steer positive changes in programs, processes and services.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership created a dedicated link on the main page of myPers to direct IRs to the Pay and Travel submission pages required to submit queries and paperwork. 

IMPACT: IR PII is protected; IRs get streamlined voucher processing and faster pay.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership increased capacity of the IR Orientation and added additional events. As a response to COVID-19 and to increase accessibility around the world, HQ RIO has also created a virtual IR Orientation.

IMPACT: More IRs are trained on IR-specific program requirements and benefits upon entering the program. The virtual platform means IRs can participate from the convenience of their home/duty location and access recordings of the briefings for future reference at any time.

RESULT: HQ RIO created new video-based training for URCs and added it to the RIO public website. URCs now understand the basics of their additional duty, which in-turn increases their ability to assist IRs in performing their duties and integrating into the Active Component organization.

IMPACT: IRs have trained support from their URCs.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership ensured active component Casualty Assistance Representatives are assigned to service IRs and included IR-specific guidance in the Casualty Assistance AFI.

IMPACT: IRs have proper, more expedient casualty assistance.

HQ RIO INTERNAL

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership worked with ARPC, the IR force’s FSS, to formally document all Force Support Squadron (FSS) functions that are required.

IMPACT: IRs get faster processing and accountability of FSS issues.

RESULT: HQ RIO eliminated individual host-tenant support agreements at all seven RIO detachments and instituted AF-wide blanket support per AFI which standardized support and eliminated unnecessary arrangements. Freed up RIO staff to focus on supporting and managing IRs.

IMPACT: IRs have improved support from greater detachment personnel availability.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership established the first HQ RIO Command Chief position.

IMPACT: Since March 2020, the new HQ RIO Command Chief has been actively advocating for the needs of the IR enlisted force.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership hired an IMA public affairs officer to oversee strategic communication and assist with training. A focus on full-time strategic communication increased RIO Connect app participation from 3% to 30% and social media following by 22%. The PAO also supports refreshing IR training programs and has spearheaded our popular virtual training sessions, the complete update of the IR Guide, and the IR Quick Guides.

IMPACT: IRs have greater and current information to support their participation and readiness.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership obtained a bonus to attract a medical provider to serve as the OIC of the Medical Section.

IMPACT: IRs have a qualified resource to advise them on medical-related requirements and readiness.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership streamlined the readiness items displayed on the ARCNet readiness report.

IMPACT: IRs can focus on those items required to mobilize or deploy and more easily see what readiness items require their attention.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership directed a virtual Value Stream Mapping event which yielded 25 projects designed to create efficiencies and make it easier to serve. It also led to the creation of this web page, tracks and directs the progress of ongoing improvement efforts, and analyzes the best organizational model to support the IR force.

IMPACT: IRs have knowledge of RIO improvement efforts, the experience of being listened, and peace of mind that progress is being made.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership conducted an HQ RIO Climate Survey.

IMPACT: IRs get greater support in the areas their internal support staff identified for improvement.

RESULT: HQ RIO leadership researched past orders and vouchers and recapitalized funds that were obligated but never executed. A total of $1.6M was de-obligated.

IMPACT: Allowed more IRs to participate beyond minimum requirements by putting those funds back into the RPA budget.

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