The Search is On: Reserve Command Seeking Innovative Ideas

  • Published

Air Force Reserve Command launched an innovation page on its public website in April, providing Airmen with all the tools needed to submit or share ideas, or discover existing initiatives around the military.

“Innovation has been at the forefront of our Air Force since the Wright Brothers took that first leap of 120 feet,” said Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson, Air Force Reserve Command commander. “Our Citizen Airmen of today are unrivaled in their ability to apply lessons learned from their civilian experiences into best practices for our military.”

Innovation is defined as an actionable plan, method or device that is new or novel and results in a validated improvement that is capable of significantly increasing effectiveness or efficiency in Air Force Reserve operations. Innovative ideas, when implemented and replicated, typically generate significant systemic time and cost savings or cost avoidance.

Airmen are encouraged to submit their ideas through one of two programs: the Air Force’s Airmen Powered by Innovation or AFRC’s Replicating Proven Innovations. RPI aims to capture ideas, smartly implement them, and make them available for the betterment of the Air Force Reserve, Air Force and Department of Defense.

Ideas that have been implemented at any level can be submitted, but they should go through the submitters’ chain of command. Innovations can originate from a best practice, a process improvement event, a conference, research or a special study, lessons learned from an inspection, an exercise or contingency, or an open forum such as social media.

A unique feature of the command’s new web page is a forum that showcases innovations of Reservists and allows wings to upload videos illustrating their ideas.

Jackson said it’s important for leadership to support innovation.

“We must infuse a culture of innovation at all levels,” he said. “Input from all our Airmen is critical, and it is equally critical that we encourage our Airmen to offer their innovations. “In today's rapidly shifting security environment, it is imperative that we continue to look to the future to determine how to build the future force, develop the team and recapitalize our fleet,” Jackson said. “As we continue to leverage our innovation, experience and strengths, I am confident we will remain ready for the next 70 years.”