News | Oct. 2, 2020

New memos help IRs get appointments at active-duty MTFs

By Staff Sgt. Tara R. Abrahams Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization Public Affairs

Most Individual Reservists (IRs) get great care from their active duty military treatment facilities (MTFs) and that support is vital to staying current on mandatory readiness items. However, IRs sometimes have issues getting their readiness appointments made and completed at their MTFs because that particular MTF was not aware of the regulations regarding support and service to IRs.

Capt. Andrea R. Morgan, Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization medical readiness officer-in-charge, explained how reserve members are not required to be in status when scheduling appointments, but they must be in status to complete the appointment. Since the current medical system does not show off-duty reservists as being in any military status, they are shown as “not eligible” and sometimes turned away.  

Unlike traditional reservists, who are typically seen by their own reserve MTFs, IRs are usually geographically separated and stationed individually around the world, so they often need to be seen at their nearest active duty base.

Morgan and her team created two memos to assist both the IRs and active duty MTFs with this challenge. Each memo cites the Air Force Instructions, Department of Defense Instructions and Defense Health Agency regulations, and explains that reservists can make appointments and be seen for specific readiness items without being on long orders.

“The memos are there to give our members something to help educate the MTF with and shows the guidance that outlines the service that they are supposed to provide,” Morgan said. “They’re about arming our IRs with the knowledge they need to speak to if there is ever confusion.”

These memos state members are eligible to schedule appointments whether in military status or not, although they do need to be in status at the time of the appointment. The memos also include information on getting readiness tasks completed with sister services, and arranging for fitness testing.

“The Defense Health Agency is aware of the issues with reservists and they are working on creating a way to register an IR in the system to show they can be seen without being on orders for 30 days or more, but that’s all still in process,” Morgan said.

Until then, Col. Amy Boehle, HQ RIO commander, recommends members carry a copy of these memos with them and have them available to show the MTF when making and completing their appointments.

“These memos help our IRs familiarize themselves and their nearby MTFs with the reserve-specific regulations on how to provide the required support and care,” Boehle said. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of the active duty medical community for taking care of our IRs; these memos just make it easier for them to do so.”

The memos are available on the HQ RIO website under the Resources tab. Click here for the memo for IRs and click here for the memo for the MTF.