Congress directs the military to open the Tour of Duty portal to reserve and guard troops

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Since late 2017, the Army’s more than 500,000 National Guard and Reserve soldiers have been unable to browse short-term Army vacancies except on a government network. Through a new provision in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022, the service will now make these lists available on soldiers’ personal devices.

The Army posts individual job postings for deployments or short active duty tours on Tour of Duty, an online job site designed for part-time service soldiers to volunteer for such roles. But the necessary trip to an armory to access a government network was an obstacle for many troops who only have access when on base.

“The army will comply with the [legislation]spokesman Bruce Anderson told the Army Times. “We plan to evaluate access to the Tour of Duty portal as part of the Bring Your Own Device pilot program planned for this year.”

The service will have one year to implement the change.

Another new policy added that Guard and Reserve troops can now spend five out of six years on temporary active duty for Operational Support Orders (ADOS). Previously, these volunteers were limited to three years on ADOS over four calendar years.

Leaders of organizations representing Guard and Reserve troops welcomed the measure.

“Providing citizen soldiers with easy access to find their next opportunity to serve is critical to their growth as soldiers and the readiness of the Reserve Force,” said Reserve Organization of America Executive Director, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, in a news release.

A spokesperson for the US National Guard Association cautiously backed the change, noting that ADOS roles were a “band aid” for permanent full-time staffing issues.

“[This] has the potential to impact a lot of people,” NGAUS spokesman John Goheen said, describing the provisions as a “win-win” that will provide soldiers with more opportunities and create better pools of talent. applications for critical short-term vacancies.

The bipartisan Tour of Duty legislation was led in Congress by Rep. Chris Jacobs, RN.Y., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R – Iowa.

The author of this article is a member of NGAUS.

This article was updated at 6:30 PM on December 30, 2021 to clarify that Tour of Duty was accessible from non-government devices until the end of 2017..

Davis Winkie is a staff reporter covering the military. He originally joined Military Times as a reporting intern in 2020. Prior to journalism, Davis worked as a military historian. He is also a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.

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