The members of the Army Reserve are civilians and soldiers who provide specialized skills to supplement enlisted military forces. Those in the Reserve receive training close to their homes and are on stand-by to serve when needed. Reservists may support efforts in homeland security, information technology, logistics, civil affairs, psychological operations or medical services.
Applications are accepted online or at an Army Reserve recruiting office. An Army recruiter will contact the individual with further qualification questions. Individuals who pass the initial application stage must then take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test that determines an individual’s personal and occupational strengths to see which Army job is best for that person. The applicant then goes to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to get a full physical examination, choose a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and be sworn in as Army Reserve Soldier. There are more than 60 MEPS stations across the United States.
Army Reserve members can get funding for education, group life insurance for a family and access to premium medical care services. In addition to an extra paycheck for training exercises, the soldiers can get bonuses and regular allowances to help cover the cost of living. Reservists can also get job training and Veterans’ benefits to help with their careers in the civilian world.
The U.S. Army Reserve utilizes a variety of professional skills that involve more than just intelligence and combat support. Career opportunities in the Army Reserve may be available in fields like construction, engineering, media, law enforcement and administrative support. The demand for certain Army Reserve careers will depend on active missions and military operations.
The minimum commitment expected of an Army Reservist is one weekend per month and two weeks per year for a minimum of three years. That can change if the reservist is called to active duty during a time of war. The U.S. Army website states that reservists are called to fight as needed and service options range from three to six years. The amount of time an individual is deployed depends on the type of job an individual has and the location of her Army Reserve Center.