|Commissioned Corps E-Bulletin|
Office of Reserve Affairs
Ready Reserve Corps Update
|The Affordability Care Act (ACA), signed by the President on 23 March 2010, established the Ready Reserve Corps as the new surge capacity for the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. In addition, all Reserve Corps officers who were serving on extended active duty on 23 March 2010 were converted to Regular Corps officers. The same legislation also abolished the Inactive Reserve Corps (IRC) on 23 March 2010 and consequently the commissions of the 10,000 officers who were on file as IRC officers. The Office of Reserve Affairs (ORA) is sending letters to these individuals, notifying them of their change of status.
The IRC served as a valuable asset for the Corps. Inactive reservists voluntarily activated to provide over 3,000 active-duty days annually for routine and public health emergencies. They were invaluable during Hurricane Katrina and other emergency response missions and in providing surge capacity for numerous shortages in isolated and hardship underserved areas. Inactive reservists also played important roles in the humanitarian shipboard training missions with other uniformed services. We are grateful for their contributions to our Nation and their willingness to serve in national emergencies and to meet urgent staffing needs. We are also grateful for their recruitment efforts to increase the force strength of the Corps.
Congress established the Ready Reserve Corps to fulfill the need to have additional Corps personnel available on short notice to assist Regular Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions. The Ready Reserve Corps officers will be available and ready for involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises.
Because of the changes in the law, a Ready Reserve Corps Working Integrated Project Team (WIPT) was convened in April 2010 to propose policy concepts, a strategic framework, and a budget for the Ready Reserve Corps. The WIPT submitted its final report to the Office of Commissioned Corps Force Management (OCCFM) in June, and OCCFM forwarded the recommendations of the WIPT to the Assistant Secretary for Health for his review and approval. We are awaiting his decisions on the recommendations before drafting directives and policies needed to implement the new law.
Standards for appointment into the Ready Reserve Corps and related proposed directives and policies are under review and are expected to be finalized in the near future. ORA is not accepting applications for the Ready Reserve Corps at this time, but will begin accepting applications after the Secretary issues the implementing directives.
ORA, in collaboration with OCCFM and the Office of Commissioned Corps Operations, will continue to coordinate Ready Reserve Corps initiatives and communications. When information is available on the appointment criteria, policies, and application procedures, updates will appear on the USPHS Web site at http://www.usphs.gov and the Commissioned Corps Management Information System Web site at http://dcp.psc.gov. As soon as the appointment standards are available, qualified individuals are encouraged to apply for appointment into the Ready Reserve Corps.
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