The novel coronavirus has caused many companies and businesses to adapt and overcome. Likewise, the Defense Logistics Agency Joint Reserve Force has had to overcome challenges that come with social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.
One of the ways it has done this is by transitioning from in-person drill weekends to virtual battle assemblies. Rather than gathering for large group meetings, the JRF hosted town halls and meetings over video conferencing.
Navy Rear Adm. Grafton Chase addressed members of the DLA JRF virtually, Sept. 12, 2020. Chase began by taking time to remember those who lost their lives or were affected by the 2001 terror attacks on 9/11. Afterwards he addressed the social strife, reminding the JRF that if they participate in campaigning or protesting not to wear the uniform so as to represent themselves and not the United States military.
Chase took time to address the challenges of the novel coronavirus and to stay vigilant before reminding everyone to complete their Professional Military Education as they can working around these challenges. Another focus during the town hall was the JRF culture.
“We need to make sure we look after each other and provide support,” Chase said.
He reiterated how important it was to check on others within the JRF, especially in this challenging time. Along these lines, Chase highlighted joint integration and learning to work together and from each other as one team. Chase then turned it over to the senior enlisted leaders who stressed the importance of the culture survey and readiness and training. Chief Master Sgt. Carisa Blanc echoed chased words on the importance of checking on one another during this time.
“During this time, it’s been very difficult for a lot of people who have been confined to the house, they would love to hear from you even if it’s a quick text or phone call,” Blanc said.
Another point Chase stressed was the importance of family during this time.
“It’s all about the family—that has priority,” Chase said. “The security of your family is most important.”
Chase empathized with JRF members with young children who have to manage home school during COVID.
Chase quipped, “I would not have been able to teach my youngest daughter in High School Calculus II… She would be teaching me.”
Another challenge during this time is transitioning back to physical, in-place work. JRF Deputy Director, Ms. Kris Kremer addressed reconstitution, accountability, as well as the need for robust communication.
“Reconstitution is bringing the workforce back in the physical work locations, through a flexible phased approach and managed locally, based on current environmental conditions,” informed Kremer.
As Reservists begin to gather in-person, these guidelines to keep everyone safe will be enforced by senior leaders.
The JRF remains committed to ensure everyone’s safety while providing the service it is known for.