By Lt. Col. Delwyn Merkerson
It may be time, but sometimes it's hard to leave the hooah behind. Military skill sets gained and deployment experience, along with the camaraderie built with fellow Soldiers can make the prospect of transitioning to civilian life daunting. And that's even before you factor in the struggling economy and job market.
Even if "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" isn't what you had in mind, you can still maintain your Soldier-connection and hone your military proficiency and hard-earned skills while striving for the career of your dreams through the Individual Mobilization Augumentee Program.
A unique aspect of the program is that you aren't locked into a "drilling reservist" schedule. You can continue Soldiering on a part-time basis - earn pay and credit towards retirement, receive benefits and entitlements, all while maintaining the flexibility to pursue your career and family aspirations. In the IMA Program, how you serve can be tailored to your work and school schedule, giving you greater flexibility to plan your service around your busy schedule.
What is the IMA Program?
The IMA program is designed to facilitate the rapid expansion of the Active Army
wartime Department of Defense structure and/or other government departments or agencies. IMAs help the Army meet military manpower requirements in the event of military contingency, pre-mobilization, mobilization, sustainment, and/or demobilization operations.
These Soldiers are currently serving on a part-time basis in over 73 Army Agencies throughout United States and overseas (Europe and Korea). IMA Soldiers serve in Special Operation Command, Intelligence and Security Command, Central Command, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, just to name a few.
IMA Soldiers are required to perform a minimum of 12 annual training days each fiscal year and may be authorized to perform up to 48 4-hour periods of inactive duty for training. The IMA Soldier coordinates directly with the agency IMA coordinator to schedule the AT and IDT periods. While serving in the IMA program, you can work with your coordinator to do all your training requirements at one time, or spread them out over the year.
For more information on the IMA program visit: https://www.hrc.army.mil/STAFF/IMAProgramOverview
Search available IMA position vacancies using the online search tool on the HRC My Record website.
- Go to this link: https://www.hrcapps.army.mil/portal/
- Log in and click on the "Tools" tab on the top right of the screen
- Choose the "VACANCY SEARCH" link
- Select "Vacancy Type: IMA" and input your desired filter criteria
Every Soldier making the transition from active duty needs to think about the value of their service.
You don't have to leave the hooah behind. The Army Reserve allows you to continue your service to the nation and derive all of the benefits that compelled you to join in the first place.