Tags: army | reserves | border

Army Reservists Tapped to Fill Out Border Patrol

Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 07:45 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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The Army Reserve and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) formally agreed this week to work collaboratively to provide job opportunities for America’s soldiers and veterans to serve with the CBP -- a growing agency that finds military men and women a good fit.

With an estimated 11,000 jobs opening in CBP, the partnership will aim to help Army Reserve soldiers and veterans find jobs in today’s economy, noted a press release from the Army Reserve.

The alliance, launched under the Army Reserve Employer Partnership Initiative, will help strengthen the community, support Army Reserve soldiers and their families, and contribute to a strong economy, noted the release.

CBP is the first federal agency to join the Army Reserve’s Employer Partnership.

“This formal alliance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection presents a remarkable opportunity for some 10,200 trained and skilled Army Reserve Soldiers to potentially achieve their career goals with this federal agency,” said Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief, Army Reserve. “This formal partnership also sets the standard among other federal agencies and the Army Reserve.”

“CBP maintains a deep commitment to hiring and supporting the brave men and women who protect and defend America,” said Jayson P. Ahern, Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “These Citizen-Soldiers have a well-earned reputation as exemplary employees with proven leadership, teamwork, discipline and grace under pressure that are immeasurably valuable to any organization.”

Between attrition and new positions, the CBP expects to hire for 11,000 positions this year, bringing the size of the agency to 56,000 employees, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The expected hires “cover every kind of position you can imagine,” Christine Gaugler, assistant commissioner for the border agency, said. The jobs include billets for field-duty Border Patrol agents, agriculture officers and air interdiction pilots.

Many Army reservists are well qualified for such jobs, she noted, according to the Post report. “They have experienced many of the stressful situations we have experienced on the border, situations where they have to make decisions quickly, in difficult terrain and in the dark,” Gaugler said.

“We’re a good fit from the military perspective, because they continue to represent the country,” she added.

Through the employer partnership, the Army Reserve is collaborating with public and private sector leaders across the country to develop staffing solutions to meet America’s industry demands, tackle the issue of work force preparedness and reinvigorate America’s human talent to remain competitive in the global economy.

Since its inception in April 2008, nearly 300 employers have joined the initiative.

The Employer Partnership Initiative establishes a process where employers and the Army Reserve secure and share the talents of trained professionals. Partner employers such as CBP will benefit from access to men and women with Army values, experience and proven leadership skills, noted the Army Reserve press statement.

“Soldiers who deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan come back and say, 'You know, I can do better. I had responsibility over there. I don't want to go back to what I was doing before,” Stultz said.

The Army Reserve, which numbers about 206,000, has about 10,000 soldiers trained in law enforcement, nearly one-fourth of the Army's total military police force, according to the Post.

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