IRR Airman volunteers for new program

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. J. C. Woodring
  • Air Reserve Personnel Center Public Affairs
It wasn't long after he separated from the Air Force after serving six years in security forces that Staff Sgt. Doug Reed said he had made a "big mistake."

So when the Air Force asked if he would participate in a conference on the individual ready reserve program, he jumped at the chance.

"Each year [the Defense Department] sponsors a conference to address IRR issues of all the military branches and components," said Chief Master Sgt. Valerie Pryor, the IRR management chief at the Air Reserve Personnel Center here. "This year the conference committee wanted to add a new dimension to the conference and invite IRR members and spouses to sit on a panel to provide their experiences and insights into being in the program."

After the IRR conference, Sergeant Reed was asked to observe the push-pull exercise, an end-to-end test of key mobilization processes and systems, at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in June. He also participated in a follow-up meeting to discuss lessons learned from the exercise.

"We do not usually have face-to-face contact with IRR members," Chief Pryor said. "So this allowed us to get first-hand knowledge of his burning desire to serve.

As a result, the chief said, he became the first nonparticipating IRR member to serve in the Volunteer IRR program.

While the program is still in its infancy, Sergeant Reed worked for two months in ARPC's personnel readiness center researching addresses and updating exemption codes for IRR Airmen.

"It would've taken us a lot longer to get them back in a 'mobilization' status, if needed, without his efforts," said Master Sgt. Ron Wuis, personnel readiness center superintendent.

The program expanded Sergeant Reed's knowledge as well.

"This was a great experience for me," Sergeant Reed said. "I got to learn more about the IRR program and the way the personnel system works. That's something I never even thought of while I was a cop."

Since he began his renewed Air Force interest, Sergeant Reed said that his wife enlisted and is going to graduate from dental technician school this month.

"I'm still looking for a way to get back into the Air Force, but at least I know I'm still part of the family," he said.