Guard and Reserve Members Will Be Able to Access Job Board from Personal Devices

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(U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret)

There's not a lot members of Congress can agree on these days, but one issue that brought Democrats and Republicans together was allowing military members in the National Guard and Reserve to find active-duty gigs more easily.

Both sides of the aisle came together to put a provision into the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, allowing those troops to access the Tour of Duty online job board from their smartphones and other personal devices. Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, joined Reps. Chris Jacobs, R-N.Y., and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, in pushing for the addition.

The Tour of Duty online job board is a database of active-duty orders and deployments, and usually features some 2,000 job listings. The Army has more than 500,000 Guard and Reserve members who can search the site and apply, but only through the use of a government computer. The provision passed in the 2022 NDAA will soon allow them to access the site using a "personal internet-enabled device."

The NDAA also extends the amount of time these troops can spend on temporary active duty for operational support orders (ADOS) from three out of every four years to five out of every six.

Without the new provision, users who want to search the database would have to make their way to their duty station to use a government device if they didn't have one at home. The new law also says the Army is responsible for the security of the website, which informs users about the Army's staffing shortages.

Tour of Duty is open to all Reserve Component soldiers to browse and volunteer. Any Army command with positions or missions available can post those jobs on the site. Soldiers must find jobs that not only match their skills, but also match their pay grade.

Soldiers can even post their availability and interest for active-duty tours. Commands looking for Reserve Component soldiers to fill vacancies can see soldiers' names, grades and military occupational specialty (MOS) in a pool of volunteers. If a soldier is selected from Tour of Duty, they can choose to accept or decline.

Once accepted, the soldier signs a voluntary request for active duty, but must still be approved by the soldier's chain of command. The application is then sent to be transferred into official orders. The process usually takes 30-60 days.

A pilot program is expected to be released in the coming weeks, outlining procedures for soldiers to bring personal devices into their workspaces.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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