Morale Killer

Lt. Gen Charles Stenner, Air Force Reserve chief, said Tuesday if he had more funds, he’d put it toward “seasoning” new recruits to make them deployable faster. Stenner, speaking at an Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Series presentation in Arlington, Va., said Reservists graduate basic schools “at a 3-level” of competence but need to be at a 5-level to deploy. Recruits who don’t get to deploy soon after they complete training are frustrated spending endless months working up to a deployable skill level and wind up not staying in. In fact, they are more inclined to leave then their counterparts who have multiple visits downrange. “It’s a morale killer,” he said. By contrast, “retention goes up tremendously” for non-priors who get to deploy soon after completing their training. Stenner would spend the funds keeping the new Reservists in training straight through until they get their 5-level certification.