So, you just received a memorandum that you meet the criteria for review by the Army Qualitative Retention Board. We feel your anxiety and stress. The first thing I must say is congratulations, you have served at least 20 years for your country. Be proud, and do not allow the stress of a QRB dictate your life.
In today’s post, we are going to examine the Army Qualitative Retention Board (QRB) and what you should know about it.
What the QRB is
Any Soldiers who have served in the United States Army National Guard or Army Reserve for 20 or more years must be reviewed every 2 years for retention potential. The objective is to determine acceptability for reenlistment or extending enlistment. The National Guard and Reserve want to guarantee that the most qualified Soldiers are retained beyond the 20 year mark.
Many Soldiers who have lasted for 20 years have the intention of staying until their mandatory retirement date. The Army National Guard or Reserve has been a great extra income, and it is understandable that a person would want to stay.
Before the QRB
Before your Qualitative Retention Board, you should make sure your personnel files (ORB/2-1) are completely up-to-date. Any, and all educational courses need to be in your ORB. You will also want to review your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) and make sure it is completely accurate.
What else can you do to help guarantee your retention?
Let me be blunt without sounding like a donkey (to use a decent term).
Not much, because you should have been considering the QRB a long before this time. The Army National Guard and Army Reserve are businesses and run accordingly. They are going to retain those Soldiers who still have something to offer. If you are just doing the very minimum, you may have reason to be anxious and worried.
For those Soldiers who are seeking out and volunteering for challenging assignments, have upstanding evaluation reports, have consistently good APFT scores and meet and/or exceed civilian and military education objectives, they typically have nothing to worry about.
To help your cause, you could get a few letters of recommendation for your company or battalion commander, or even from your NCO Support Channel. Another good thing to do is to write a letter (memorandum) to the president of the board to stay why YOU think you should be retained. These won’t guarantee you survive the board, but they will definitely help your cause.
Soldiers that will not be considered
No soldier in any of the following conditions will be considered in a Qualitative Retention Board:
Hasn’t completed 20 years of qualifying service for non-regular retirement pay before the board date.
Is subject to QMP (Qualitative Management Program) screening.
Is within 9 months of reaching the age of 60.
Is a Reserve or Guard Military Technician who has been retained to serve in the Military Technician assignment.
Has a bar to reenlistment.
Was promoted to current grade less than 1 year before the board convening.
If the Soldier is under favorable personnel actions suspension unless the suspension is for failure to pass the APFT or meeting body fat standards.
I must state here and now that the Army National Guard and Army Reserve always need quality Soldiers. If you have more to offer the service, you really should not worry about the Qualitative Retention Board.
Also, keep in mind that retirement is not a bad thing either. If the National Guard or Army Reserve decides not to retain you, you now have the ability to use all you have learned from the military in the civilian world. In many cases, the education and experience a person has received in the military can lead to some very lucrative jobs in the civilian world.
We would love to hear from some of you who have faced the QRB recently. What advice would you give someone who has been given a memorandum that they are on the list? What steps did you take to help be retained?
I also want to mention to all of the Soldiers reading this who have some years before their 20 year mark comes along. Keep the QRB in front of you and strive to make your records shine so you can be retained. Go the extra mile and do what you can to stand out in the crowd.
To all of you who have given 20+ years of service…thank you.