By Emily Oehler, WTC Stratcom
“I am proud that our Army has a COAD/COAR [Continue on Active Duty/Continue on Active Reserve] program as most armies around the world do not,” LTG Thomas Bostick, Army G-1, told the 30 delegates who continued on active duty/reserve post severe injury. “We are going to take what you give us and do our best by you.”
Bostick was joined by other senior leaders at the AW2 COAD/COAR Forum to hear firsthand what issues and recommendations the delegates had for updating the 40-year-old regulations. Joining Bostick on the panel was:
- Human Resources Command Commander MG Gina Farrisee
- Department of Military Personnel Management BG Gary Cheek
- Warrior Transition Command (WTC) Commander COL (P) Darryl Williams
- Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Director of Installations Kathleen Marin
- AW2 Director COL Greg Gadson.
Additionally, Deborah Amdur from Veterans Health Administration, Dr. Duncan from Civilian Human Resources Agency, Samuel Rutherford of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army/Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Tom Webb WTC Deputy were in attendance for the delegate’s report out.
After three days of intense focus group work, the delegates narrowed down 57 issues to a consolidated list of 34 issues. Each of the two groups then selected their top five issues and presented them to the entire delegate body. Together, they then prioritized their top five issues—and due to a tie for #1, there was actually a top six list:
- COAD/COAR Soldiers to remain competitive with peers for promotion.
- Absence of continuity of understanding of COAD/COAR at all levels of the Army. Standardization of awareness and training, and effective distribution of information affecting all COAD/COAR Soldiers.
- Procurement, sustainment, and maintenance of durable medical and adaptive fitness equipment.
- Coordination of care is difficult for a COAD/COAR Soldier.
- Stipend for extra expenses directly associated with service-related injuries.
- Develop advanced education programs for enlisted COAD/COAR Soldiers.
After an hour of listening to the delegates explain the importance of these six issues and recommended actions for resolution, Bostick said, “This is very helpful. We need to work on this together.” In closing, Bostick stated, “We live by our ethos, ‘to never leave a fallen comrade.’ I am here to tell you we will not leave you now. I am extremely proud of you and your Family’s service, and your hard work and leadership this week.”