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Marine Corps makes more room for reservists

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 2005114185234
Story by Lance Cpl. Bernadette L. Ainsworth

U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii (Jan. 14, 2005) -- The Marine Corps is adding three new Individual Mobilization Augmentee detachments in the Pacific which will be operational by this summer.

Marine Forces Korea, the Combined Marine Rear Area Operations Group in Hawaii and the III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa will receive the new IMA reserve billets.

These new permanent IMA dets have been in the planning stages since March, said Col. Jason C. Seal, the reserve liaison officer here. “The Force Structure Review Group got together in March and looked at what the Marine Corps could add and take away from its structure. These IMA dets were one of the things that we needed.”

Although all of the commands getting an IMA detachment needed one, III MEF was on the top of the list, according to Seal.

“III MEF is the only MEF in the Marine Corps that doesn’t have dedicated reserve support,” said Seal.

There are 141 reserve billets for III MEF, 21 for MARFORK and 37 for CMRAOG, which will be at the MARFORPAC Headquarters.

These 199 seats will be officially approved on the February 2005 list, according to Seal. Once the seats are released, reservists will start being recruited to fill the billets.

“We are in the process of recruiting and working with the prior service recruiters to lay all this out and tell people what sort of structure is out there,” said Seal. “The anticipated geographic area where these reservists will come from is the west coast and the Pacific Rim.”

The Marines that will be filling the new slots will be coming from units that the review group targeted for disestablishment in March 2004.

Col. Micheal Crites, Headquarters and Service Battalion Commanding Officer, is a good example of an IMA reservist.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Marines, it opens up a whole spectrum of headquarters activities,” said Crites. “It’s a big boost in advancing a reserve Marine’s career.”

Reservists filling the IMA seats are not active regular reservists who drill one weekend a month and two weeks a year. IMA reservists don’t have scheduled weekend drills.

Their service is based on a mutual agreement between the reservist and the operational sponsor
of a section, according to Seal.

The reservists filling the IMA seats will be spread throughout the commands, according to Seal.

Once enough seats are full, the IMA Dets will be set up.

“These IMA Dets will be up and running by the UFL (Ulchi Focus Lens) time frame, which is summertime,” said Seal.

These three new detachments are an asset to the MARFORPAC Commander. They offer the Commander a substantial increase in reserve structure support, said Seal.
With three new IMA detachments in Okinawa, Korea and Hawaii, reserve Marines will now have a greater opportunity to deploy and spend their drill periods in a different location.

Marines interested in a finding out what billets are available at MARFORPAC can view the list at http://www.mfp.usmc.mil/teamapp/g1 /default.asp?tab=5, or visit http://www.marines.com/priorservice/defaul t.asp?display=contract for a list of prior service recruiters.

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