Air Force Reserve Command standardizes AGR program tours

  • Published
  • By Col. Belinda Petersen, IMA to HQ ARPC Vice Commander

The Chief of Air Force Reserve recently approved changes to the Active Guard Reserve program including improvements for tour lengths.

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, approved these changes during a Human Capital Management Leadership Team briefing, Jan. 28.

Unit AGR positions that are not identified as a key or command position will be a standard four-year initial tour with the flexibility to extend based on a member's request and unit mission needs, beginning in September 2019 when the AGR guidance policy is expected to be implemented.

"Currently, all AGR tours are three years regardless of mission needs," said Capt Matthew Harding, AGR Assignments Branch Chief. "The new policy will provide more stability for AGR members and Reserve units. Another change to the program is allowing wing commanders to approve extensions and curtailments so they can better manage their units. This is aligned with the Air Force's priority of revitalizing the squadrons."

Three-year AGR tours will remain the same for the following positions - special duty, such as recruiting; overseas; headquarters for O-4 and above and E-7 and above; all O-6; KCJ for officers; and key/strategic for enlisted.

"Because most of these positions are used to grow future strategic senior leaders, the intent is to have a member serve in these positions for three years even if a member is a career AGR," Harding said. "However, the same extension and curtailment policy will be applied for these positions as with unit positions with wing commanders or equivalent as the approval authority."

"My office will communicate with above-wing-level AGRs in O-5 and below KCJ positions every year," said Maj Nate Cole, KCJ Management Branch Chief. "An AGR should apply for assignments at the end of the second year in their three-year tour. Six to nine months before their tour ends, if a career AGR has not been selected for another assignment, my office will work in conjunction with the respective Career Field Manager to find the next assignment. If an AGR is not in the career program, then they separate at the end of their AGR tour if they are not selected for another AGR assignment."

Another significant change to the program includes how long orders are processed for career AGRs. While special duty, overseas, headquarters for O-4 and above and E-7 and above, O-6, KCJ, and KS will remain three years for all AGRs regardless of career, all other tours will be processed to the career AGR's mandatory separation date.

"This is a big change to current policy," Harding said. "Currently, members serve until they reach 20 years of active-duty service unless they are selected for another AGR position or they are extended from an AGR Review Board. Now members can serve much longer, even to 33 years. For enlisted members, the intent is to allow career AGRs to serve until 33 years. We can execute that by extending their orders every time they re-enlist."

Over the next three fiscal years, the AGR program will grow from 20 percent of the Reserve's full-time support to 26 percent. These changes will support the growth of the program, provide parity and longevity within full-time statuses, as well as attract and retain talented members while developing future senior leaders, both officer and enlisted.