As small unit leaders we are responsible for the readiness of our units. This includes personnel and equipment readiness, in addition to training. At all times we must be prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice and complete our wartime mission.
In the real world, most ARNG units have many readiness challenges that the Active Duty Army does not have. We basically have one weekend a month to do what the Active Duty Army has 30 days to do. Plus, we have Soldiers who are civilians MOST of the time.
Dealing with these issues, and finding creative solutions is really the key to success. In order to improve your unit readiness, I would like to share three helpful tips you can implement right away. Let’s get started.
# 1 Get Rid of the Dead Weight: You must be vigilant with your Unit Manning Roster. You must constantly scrub the report to look for ways to improve your unit’s readiness. In most units, there are 5-10 soldiers who negatively affect the unit readiness. This includes repeat APFT failures, soldiers who are non-MOSQ, problem soldiers, non-deployable soldiers, and more. You need to find ways to reform or separate poor performing soldiers who do not meet the Army standards. This will require lots of time and counseling, but it is worth your time.
# 2 Be Proactive with Unit Maintenance: It simply amazes me how few Army National Guard Units place a high priority on unit maintenance. I completely understand that there are lots of things to do during drill weekend. Sometimes you feel like you’re trying to put 10 pounds of dirt into a 5 pound bag. However, unit maintenance is one area you cannot avoid. You must make unit maintenance a high priority. Schedule PMCS on your training schedule every month. Participate in motor stables with your subordinate leaders. Be involved and show your subordinates that maintenance is a top priority of yours. Also, make sure your maintenance personnel are trained, have the required tools and equipment, along with command support. It would also be a good idea to build a good relationship with your FMS and CSMS Shops.
# 3 Be Training Focused: Whenever possible, train as if you are fighting. Schedule unit training outside the armory so you can work on your unit’s collective (METL) tasks. Also, make sure your soldiers are proficient with their Warrior Tasks and MOS Related Skills. Make sure your soldiers get the required NCOES and Professional Development Schools. Each month, review the status of your unit’s collective and individual training. Identify problem areas and find ways to make continuous improvements each month. You will be glad that you did.
These are my favorite three ways to improve your unit’s readiness. Your success as a leader boils down to your ability to get the “most important” things done and done right. In order to do that, you must have priorities and you must take daily action. Just focus on getting a little bit better every day and your unit will do a complete 180 in a short amount of time.
What are your thoughts? What tips can you share that you use to improve your unit’s readiness? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.
In addition, if you have any questions in which I may be able to help you with solving issues in your unit’s readiness, just post them below and I will attempt to provide an answer.
Thanks for visiting and have a great day.