Assumption of Command

14 May 2005

LTG Helmly sends a message to troops about the BRAC

The Commanding General of the US Army Reserves LTG Helmly sent out this warm and fuzzy message pertaining to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

BRAC 2005 and the Army Reserve

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present? As our case is new, so must we think anew, and act anew."

Abraham Lincoln, Message to Congress, 1 Dec 1862

13 May 2005

Dear Army Reserve Soldiers, Employees, and Family
Members:

Over the next few weeks, you will hear much about Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005. No doubt, you will have many questions about how BRAC impacts your position, your unit, and the Army Reserve. I want to take a few moments to tell you my perspective on BRAC as we proceed through this process.

First and foremost, recognize that BRAC 2005 provides an unheralded opportunity for the Army Reserve to change for the better. When I assumed command of the Army Reserve three years ago, I shared with you that profound change was needed to prepare our organization for the challenges of the 21st Century. Part of this change includes seeking to station our forces in the most modern, up-to-date facilities possible and streamlining command, control and support structure. BRAC 2005 provides the engine to help propel these changes.

  • BRAC 2005 empowers us to achieve changes in training, mobilization and readiness by better positioning our force where we are stationed, where we live, and where we train.
  • BRAC 2005 enables us to occupy a host of new, improved, more highly-capable facilities, training areas, and support structures to conduct our training and missions. With these benefits in mind, consider these things about BRAC and the Army Reserve.

First, Public Law 101-510 (BRAC Act of 1990) established and governs the BRAC process. BRAC 2005 marks the fourth time the US Government has used this process to reorganize its installation infrastructure to more effectively support the armed forces, increase readiness, and find new ways of doing business. Let me explain how the process works.

  • The BRAC 2005 process started on 31 December 2003 with a two-year analysis and will continue through the end of 2005.
  • In May 2005, the Department of Defense (DoD) forwards its recommendations for realignments or closures to the BRAC Commission.
  • In September 2005, after holding regional meetings throughout the country to solicit public input and visiting the proposed sites, the BRAC Commission forwards its recommendations to the President. The President accepts or rejects the recommendations and forwards them to Congress. By the end of 2005, Congress accepts or rejects the recommendations.
  • Once the recommendations are established in law, the subsequent realignments and/or closures will occur between 2006 through 2011.

Second, these closures and realignments will not happen overnight. For instance, an Army Reserve Soldier currently deployed will return to the same Army Reserve facility from which he or she departed. Throughout the eight-year process, the Army Reserve will work to ensure that the least amount of stress occurs for Soldiers, their families, and the Army Reserve staff who supports them.

Third, the Army Reserve has been a full partner in the BRAC 2005
process since 2003. We have worked closely with the Departments of the Army and
Defense (DoD) to ensure that BRAC recommendations result in changes for the Army Reserve that increase our ability to accomplish our mission which is,
according to Title 10 US Code, to provide trained and ready Soldiers and units
available for active duty in the armed forces in time of war.

Finally, I want to emphasize that while change can be unsettling, it is necessary to build a more dynamic, agile and flexible Army Reserve. BRAC 2005 does not change the Army Reserve's purpose, values, or position as an integral part of the United
States Army. BRAC 2005 will change where and how we go about achieving our
mission.

The centerpiece of the Army Reserve has always been, and will remain, its people Soldiers, employees, and family members. I encourage each of you to learn more about BRAC 2005. Go to the Army Reserve website at http://www.armyreserve.army.mil/usar/home/. The website is updated regularly
with information on BRAC 2005.

Thank you for your attention. I value your service, your loyalty, and solicit your understanding of our intent as we change the Army Reserve.

Sincerely,

James R. Helmly
Lieutenant General, US Army
Commanding