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How We Support

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Integration integrates Reserve Component issues across the Department of Defense and serves as the representative and liaison for all seven Reserve Components: Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve. Reserve Integration ensures seamless policy across the Department of Defense and provides strategic engagement on all Reserve Component matters.

Reserve Integration programs

Programs that fall under Reserve Integration include: 

  • STARBASE – STARBASE focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, as they continue their education. The academies serve students who are historically under-represented in STEM. Students who live in inner cities or rural locations, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance or have a disability are in the target group. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them. 
  • National Guard Youth ChalleNGe – The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program was established by the National Guard to turn around the lives of young men and women between the ages of 16 and 18 who are experiencing difficulty completing traditional high school. This program is a free, voluntary 17-month dropout recovery program, which uses the military model to help at-risk youth earn their high school diploma or GED. Some states offer credit recovery, which allows youth the opportunity to return to high school upon successful completion of Youth ChalleNGe. The program also offers post-graduation assistance with enrolling in college or trade school, starting a career or joining the military. 
  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve – This Department of Defense program promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component service members and their civilian employers and assists in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. The program is supported by a network of more than 4,500 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Together with headquarters ESGR staff and a small cadre of support staff for each state committee, volunteers work to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the National Guard and reserves.
  • Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program – The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a Department of Defense-wide effort to promote the well-being of National Guard and reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle. Through Yellow Ribbon events, service members and loved ones connect with local resources before, during and after deployments. 
  • Innovative Readiness Training Program – Innovative Readiness Training builds mutually beneficial civil-military partnerships between U.S. communities and the Department of Defense. It is a military volunteer opportunity providing training and readiness for military personnel while addressing public and civil-society needs. Community needs, such as infrastructure, health care, diving, transportation, and cybersecurity, align with military mission-essential training requirements. Military professionals train in these specialties as well as other partnership, leadership, planning, logistics and support skills. These partnerships strengthen military and civilian relations and are mutually beneficial.
  • Military Reserve Exchange Program – The primary purpose of the Department of Defense Military Reserve Exchange Program is to provide National Guard and reserve officers training associated with mobilization duties, while enhancing their ability to work and communicate with the military individuals of the host nation.
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve policy – This premium-based health plan is available to qualified Retired Reserve members and their families worldwide and meets or exceeds the coverage required under the Affordable Care Act. This policy is available to:
  • Retired Reserve members who are:
    • Members of the Retired Reserve of a Reserve Component who are qualified for non-regular retirement under 10 U.S.C., Chapter 1223
    • Under age 60
    • Not eligible for, or enrolled in, the Federal Employees Health Benefits program
  •  Family members of qualified Retired Reserve members o Survivors of Retired Reserve members if:
    • The sponsor was covered by TRICARE Retired Reserve when he or she died.
    • They are immediate family members of the deceased sponsor (spouses cannot have remarried).
    • TRICARE Retired Reserve coverage would begin before the date the deceased sponsor would have turned 60 years old. Survivor coverage is not affected by FEHB eligibility.
  • TRICARE Reserve Select policy – This premium-based health plan is available to qualified selected reserve members and their families worldwide and meets or exceeds the coverage required under the Affordable Care Act. To be eligible, you must not be on active-duty orders, not be covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program, and not be eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.
  • Full Time Support policy – The Reserve Component maintains a cadre of full-time support personnel who are primarily responsible for assisting in the organization, administration, recruitment, instruction, training, maintenance and supply support to the Reserve Component. When authorized, these service members may complement their primary responsibility by providing support to active-duty members of the military services, members of foreign military forces, Department of Defense contractor personnel and Department of Defense civilian employees. Reserve Integration programs support the Reserve Component, as well as their family members and communities.