Army AGR Readiness NCO Duties and Responsibilities

In today’s post, I want to take some time to educate you about the duties, responsibilities, and job description of the Army AGR Readiness NCO in the National Guard.

For anyone who has served the National Guard before, you probably realize how important the AGR Readiness NCO is.

Basically, the Readiness NCO is the tip of the spear for the unit. They are the senior “full-time” Soldier at the unit. They are the eyes and ears of the unit. They supervise the other AGR staff and handle most of the day-to-day issues in the unit.

A Readiness NCO can make or break a unit. In my opinion, they have the most important job in the unit.

Army AGR Readiness NCO

Army AGR Readiness NCO Duties & Responsibilities

Here are some of the most common duties and responsibilities of the Readiness NCO. Keep in mind this might vary from unit to unit.

# 1: Handle pay issues

The Readiness NCO handles all pay issues. They verify who attended drill weekend with the First Sergeant, and ensure that pay is processed in a timely manner. They also address any pay issues or discrepancies that arise.

# 2: Resource training

The Readiness NCO works closely with the other AGR Staff and the Company Commander to resource training. This could mean scheduling training events, acquiring equipment, planning convoys, and much more.

# 3: Handle suspense’s with the brigade, battalion, and company

The Readiness NCO works closely with the AGR Staff for the Battalion, to include the S3 and S4. They ensure all suspense’s are handled promptly.

# 4: Handle day-to-day issues in the unit

The Readiness NCO runs the unit during the week. They answer the phone, handle site visits, attend meetings, secure the premises, handle inventories with the Supply Sergeant, and much more.

# 5: Advise the Company Commander & First Sergeant on Soldier issues

The Readiness NCO keeps the Company Commander and First Sergeant in the loop about what is happening with the unit during the week. They also fix issues the Company Commander and First Sergeant bring to their attention.

# 6: Supervise the AGR Staff

The Readiness NCO supervises the other AGR Staff in the company. If applicable, this would include the Training NCO and Supply Sergeant.

# 7: Conduct inspections and inventories

They handle all inspections and inventories with the Supply Sergeant. They make sure everything is done on time and to standard. They also ensure the unit is secured properly.

# 8: Prepare unit, Soldiers, and equipment for drill weekend

They prepare the unit for drill weekend. They work closely with the section leaders in the unit to ensure everything is coordinated and resourced for drill weekend.

This list is probably a 90% solution to what they do on a daily basis.

Example Job Descriptions

Here are two sample job descriptions for an AGR Readiness NCO.

Serves as the full-time AGR Readiness NCO of a Forward Support Company, part of an Infantry Battalion; responsible for unit administration, readiness, reports, and training; prepares correspondence, handles suspenses, and resources training.; advise the Company Commander and First Sergeant on Soldier issues; acts as the Company Commander’s day-to-day spokesperson;  supervises 3 AGR Soldiers and 8 traditional M-Day Soldiers; serves as M-Day Platoon Sergeant; additional duties include Hazmat NCO and TMDE NCOIC.

And…

Manages daily operations and administration of the Poplarville Readiness Center. Advises the Commander on Training, Logistics, Personnel, and Unit Mobilization Readiness Requirements. Ensures the Unit develops, updates, and maintains comprehensive Mobilization Plans including Annual Post Mobilization Training Support Report, the Unit Alert Roster, and the Unit Home Station Activity List. Obtains all required data for the Unit Status Report and assists the Commander in preparing readiness reports. Monitors equipment on hand and the equipment readiness status of the Unit. ~ Army Writer

readiness nco

Tips for Success in This Job

What I’d like to do below is take a few minutes and give you some of my best success tips.

Get Organized

This is one of those jobs where you must be organized. There are a lot of different suspense’s, things to do, and people and things to manage. You need a good daily “to-do” list and you should work from a calendar.

Establish Priorities

You need priorities. I would sit down with your AGR and M-Day Chain of Command and find out what is important to both of them. Once you have that information you should set priorities for yourself and your staff.

Time Management

This goes hand in hand with establishing priorities. This is one of those jobs that will require long hours! There is so much to do. You need a good day planner or time management system you can follow so you can stay productive and still have a life at the same time.

Balance the AGR/M-Day Relationship

This is without a doubt the hardest part of your job. You have an AGR chain of command telling you what to do on a daily basis, and then you have the “part-time” Company Commander and First Sergeant, your M-Day Chain of Command

Your real alliance should be to your Company Commander and First Sergeant. In most cases, they are your rater/senior rater and who you really work for, even if you get guidance from the AGR personnel on a daily basis.

Support Your Soldiers

You must remember that most of the Soldiers in your unit have a life outside of the military. They have civilian jobs or school. They don’t have the luxury of doing Army stuff day in and day out, like you do.

When they call and need help, help them! Don’t be a bureaucrat and make their life tougher than it needs to be. Be a servant leader.

Don’t Get On a Power Trip

Sometimes, in some rare cases, the Army AGR Readiness NCO will get on a power trip and act like they run the unit. Remember, it’s not YOUR unit. You are an important part of it, but there is a chain of command in place for a reason.

Don’t get on some power trip or try to sabotage your chain of command so you can look like the stud! Be a team-player.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Army AGR Readiness NCO has a very important job of running the day-to-day operations in the unit. It’s tough, demanding, and requires lots of hard work. They are the pulse of the organization and handle the day-to-day issues of running the unit.

What are your thoughts? If you’ve served as an AGR Readiness NCO before, I would love to hear from you? How did you spend most of your time? What were your most common duties? What tips can you share with other people in this job?

Thanks for your service. Have a great day!

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:
  1. Top 7 Operational Readiness Tips for Army Leaders
  2. 10 Leadership and Career Lessons I Learned from my Army NCOs
  3. The Best NCO I Ever Worked With In My 15 Year Army Career
  4. List of 63 Army Additional Duties for Officers and NCOs
  5. A Tribute to My Drill Sergeants
Sincerely,
chuck holmes







Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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16 thoughts on “Army AGR Readiness NCO Duties and Responsibilities”

  1. I was full-time in the Guard for 29 years. I was an Admin NCO, a Training NCO, and a Readiness NCO.

    AGR personnel at company/battery level are, by far, the most abused Soldiers in the military – particularly the Readiness NCO. In my experience, they are abused by both the lazy, dysfunctional M-Day chain-of-command, and the dysfunctional, self-serving battalion AGR staff.

    I am glad I had a full-time career in the military. I am extremely disgruntled about my AGR experience, however. The majority of the M-Day CoC were lazy bullies who pushed all of their responsibilities onto the Readiness NCO. The AGR staff at battalion would only give lip service to the principle that the M-Day CoC should do their jobs, but constantly held the Readiness NCO responsible for their failures.

    I’m not going to go into detail about all of the dysfunction, not following regulations, not living up to Soldier, Officer, and NCO creeds, and outright abuse, nor how and why many of the Readiness NCOs had to be treated for workplace PTSD, depression, and stress due to the abuse. Nor will I talk about the multiple IG investigations that found those people guilty, yet absolutely nothing was done about it. If I did so, this post would turn into a book.

    I sincerely hope those units that experience this get cleaned up and start functioning with honor and efficiency. I also implore all Readiness NCOs to stick to your morals, principles, and creeds, no matter how badly you are abused. Continue to look out for your Soldiers and try as hard as you can to shield them, in spite of being punished for doing so. After you quit or retire, you will have something you can be proud of, that will mitigate all of the bad memories.

    Peace.

  2. After serving 1 year as a full time recruiter with the Guard I begain my AGR tour in Apr. 1980 as a Unit Supply Sgt. with only OJT as a guide. In Sep. 1980 the Bn. deployed to Germany for AT. By mid 1984 I was promoted to the Unit Training NCO/m-day Bn. Ammo Sgt. After 6 years (1990) I was promoted to Unit Readness NCO/Bn. Ammo. Sgt. In 1995 I was promoted to m-day Unit First Sergeant/Readness NCO. I retired in 1997. One thing for sure, it was a learning curve for me. I’m not sure about today’s AGR soldier but in my time it was all new stuff for the Guard.
    To be fair, 40 years ago it was the good old boys Guard. You know drinking beer in the field, not always conforming to a training plan that was developed by higher headquarters, as well as commanders and senior NCO slacking off.
    To the point; the Unit Readness NCO must take the bull by the horn if you’re to have a unit ready to deploy on short notice. Yes the m-day officers and NCO’s must do there jobs and I always felt it was my job to ensure they did by holding them accountable.

    1. Thanks for the great comment and thanks for your service.

      Sometimes, OJT can be the best training. I believe that if someone wants to succeed in their job, they will find a way to make that happen by taking the initiative.

      I bet it was interesting being a Readiness NCO prior to the internet and using computers day in and day out.

  3. I would like to hear more on the topic of toxic and productive relationships between the m-day First Sergeant and the AGR Readiness NCO

  4. So, I have a question and dont know where to ask it other than here. Can a Commander have a double standard for awards for AGR personal and TPU Soldiers? Our Commnader told us that AGE only get PCS and Retierment awards? please let me know your thoughts on this? and thank you for your assistance.

    1. You are right with the double standard, but bottom line is a Soldier is entitled to an award regardless of his/her status of AGR or m-day. It is important to recognize our Soldiers, but it is commander discretion. Refer to the AR 600-8-22. No where does it state what the Commander is telling you. If you are submitting an award for someone, it could upgraded or downgraded per the commander, or the next higher recommend leader.

  5. Our readiness NCO equivalent used to say he was the caretaker of the unit. He would trim the bushes, mow the lawn and do the upkeep (metaphorically)

    Your readiness NCO isn't the company commander, but they have enormous responsibility in between drills. They have to keep the unit moving forward while most of the personnel are back at their civilian jobs. It's a tough job and everyone should do what they can to help them out.

    1. I agree with you. They are the caretaker of the unit. They should do their best to make sure the unit is successful and the M-Day leadership team should do their best to help out the Readiness NCO whenever possible. This makes life easier and enjoyable for both parties.

  6. Never undervalue the importance of your role as a leader. It’s amazing how doing little thing can leave a big impression and further strengthen work relationships. Things like taking the time to write a thank you card, giving clear guidance and following through with your word are priceless for all leaders. Once again, an informative article that provides specific actionable things that can be done.

    1. Joey,

      You’re right. Little things do make a big difference. As a Company Commander you should work very closely with your AGR Readiness NCO. They are a very important asset to your unit. And you need to do what you can to show them that you appreciate them. The little things really do make all the difference.

      Chuck

  7. After this past IDT I had to come back and re-read this article. Such a good post that I think EVERY leader should read. Our readiness NCO was “burnt out” after this weekend due to a work overload and very little support. I believe that I am going to forward this article to all my peer PLs and PSGs so that they gain a perspective in support of the readiness NCO.

    1. Good for you, Justin. A good Readiness NCO can make or break a unit. They are there to support the leaders and Soldiers, but the leaders and Soldiers still have a responsibility of their own. Many of these leaders “push off” their responsibilities onto the Readiness NCO, because the Readiness NCO is “full time.” As a former Company Commander I held my Platoon Leaders and Platoon Sergeants responsible for doing their job. And I backed up and supported the Readiness NCO whenever I needed to. In the end, it paid off huge!

  8. The full-time staff in your Unit is a great resource, but do NOT abuse that. Take the time to work with them and show them that you are working equally as hard during your time between IDTs. I know that my Readiness NCO appreciates the fact that I do my job and track when my NCOERs are due rather than him.

    1. So true, Justin.

      The Readiness NCO is a great asset, but that doesn’t mean we can delegate our responsibilities to them. Most Readiness NCO’s are overworked and are often doing the job of the Company Commander and First Sergeant, in addition to their own job responsibilities. It’s no wonder they get burnt out and disgruntled.

      As “part-time” leaders we have lots of obligations outside of drill weekend. If we take a leadership position, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to successfully get our job done, even if that means we work for free on our personal time.

      Just my two cents.

      Chuck Holmes

    2. You are so correct Justin. Too many times we expect the Readiness NCO to have everything where it is supposed to be when it is supposed to be there, but no one uses any empathy and considers just how much he/she has on their plate.It isn’t really that hard to keep track of when NCOERs are due, among some other minor things to take some of the load off them.

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