ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, March 3, 2008) — The U.S. Army Human Resources Command will conduct a muster of about 10,000 Individual Ready Reserve Soldiers beginning this month.

The muster is a follow-on to the successful pilot program the Army conducted last year, HRC officials said.

This year HRC, with support from the U.S. Army Reserve Command, will conduct three different types of one-day musters at Army Reserve Centers located across the continental United States.

The three types of musters are: readiness musters, personnel accountability musters, and unit affiliation musters.

There will be eight readiness musters conducted between March and June at eight different locations:

• Fort Devens, Mass.

• Los Alamitos, Calif.

• Fort Lawton, Wash.

• Fort Totten, N.Y.

• Decator, Ga.

• Arlington Heights, Ill.

• Grand Prairie, Texas

• Fort Meade, Md.

The readiness muster is a one-day event consisting of readiness and personnel accountability tasks such as a Reserve Component orientation brief, records review, security clearance updates, medical and dental screening, identification card issue, presentation of training and unit opportunities, and exit surveys. The readiness muster is typically conducted for Soldiers assigned to the IRR for more than 12 months.

The Army will also conduct personnel accountability musters at more than 450 Army Reserve Centers in the continental United States and abroad.

The personnel accountability muster is intended for Soldiers in the first 12 months of being assigned to the IRR. The purpose of this muster is to educate the Soldier on participation requirements and present training and promotion opportunities. They are also offered the Post Deployment Health Reassessment Program and are required to update their personal information.

New this year is a test pilot program called the unit affiliation muster, which involves a visit by the IRR Soldier to a Reserve unit in addition to muster activities.

Orders will be issued to the IRR Soldiers to report to a local Reserve Center, and they will be paid $190 for successfully completing the muster. IRR Soldiers who complete their muster requirement will be credited as satisfactory participants for the year.

"The muster program not only affords us the opportunity to collect required information but also allows our Reserve Soldiers to remain IRR members. There are a lot of opportunities available to them through either more active IRR participation, affiliation with an Army Reserve Troop Program Unit, or volunteering to mobilize in support of the Global War on Terrorism," said Lt. Col. Craig Smith, who is in charge of the Army's IRR Muster Program this year.

A Soldier typically becomes a member of the IRR after successfully completing a tour of duty as a Regular or Reserve Army Soldier. Soldiers remain members of the IRR until their total military service obligation expires.

Officers are required to submit a request for resignation of their commission to be removed from the IRR rolls. Soldiers who retire after 20 years of service are not kept in the IRR unless it is of their own accord. Persons who are unsure of their status may telephone the Communications Hub Office of U.S. Army Human Resources Command at 1-800-318-5298.

These musters are part of readiness screening operations undertaken by the Army as part of a seven-year program to optimize the operational and strategic value of the IRR, according to HRC officials. They said the program aims to improve individual deployment readiness levels and maintain a reliable database of IRR Soldiers who can be used to support the Army in the war on terrorism.

All military services are required, by statute and DOD policy, to continuously screen and provide training to members of the IRR. The Army has had the regulatory authority for many years to conduct a physical muster, HRC officials said, adding that due to lack of funding they did not conduct a muster program until last year.