|Commissioned Corps E-Bulletin|
Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service
Office of Reserve Affairs
Submitted by the Office of Reserve Affairs, Office of the Surgeon General
Message from the Director, Office of Reserve Affairs
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted 23 March 2010, created the Ready Reserve Corps, a new component of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps). The purpose of the Ready Reserve Corps is defined in law as “ . . . to fulfill the need to have additional Commissioned Corps personnel available on short notice. . . to assist regular Commissioned Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions.”
The Office of Reserve Affairs is working closely with the Office of Commissioned Corps Force Management and the Office of Commissioned Corps Operations to develop new regulations and policies to implement the law. There is still much work to be done to plan for implementation. Please note below, excerpts from the fact sheet that was posted on the www.usphs.gov Web site. This may start to answer some of your questions. Appointment standards are being reviewed and we hope to begin the application process for appointments for short tours and extended active duty as soon as policies are finalized. The discussion of an inactive status in the Ready Reserve Corps is ongoing.
The Office of Reserve Affairs will continue to share plans, policies and regulations around this legislation to inform you of the status of the Ready Reserve Corps. We are excited about this unprecedented and historic time of opportunity to build the future of the Corps and our capacity to improve our Nation’s health.
CAPT Carol A. Romano, USPHS
Director, Office of Reserve Affairs
Office of the Surgeon General
See “Update of the Status of the Ready Reserve,” dated 23 April 2010 at http://www.usphs.gov/Newsroom/Why did the new health care bill create a Ready Reserve Corps?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted March 23, 2010, created the Ready Reserve Corps, a new component of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps).
The purpose of the Ready Reserve Corps is to have additional Corps personnel available on short notice (similar to the other uniformed services' reserve programs) to assist Regular Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions. Prior to the passage of the new law, the Corps did not have a Ready Reserve component to call upon in this fashion. The Ready Reserve Corps members perform duties for assigned periods of time as opposed to full time Regular Corps members who are on extended active duty. Joining the Ready Reserve Corps is voluntary; however, members of the Ready Reserve Corps join knowing that they can be called at anytime to serve in times of national need.
The Ready Reserve Corps officers will participate in routine training; be available and ready for calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises or to backfill critical positions left vacant during deployment of Regular Corps officers; or be available for service assignments in isolated, hardship, and medically underserved communities.
How is the Ready Reserve Corps different from the former Reserve Corps?
The former Reserve Corps officers served side-by-side with Regular Corps officers on full-time extended active duty to meet public health needs of various Department of Health and Human (HHS) Operating Divisions and Staff Divisions and other non-HHS Federal entities such as the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The law eliminates the Reserve Corps by extending Regular Corps status to Corps officers already serving in a full-time capacity. Moving forward, all officers called to extended active duty will enter the Regular Corps.
Where can I go to find out more information about the Ready Reserve Corps?
HHS is in the process of reviewing that provision of the legislation. The USPHS Web site will be updated with information on the Ready Reserve Corps as it becomes available.
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