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By Lisa Burgess, Stars and Stripes European Edition ARLINGTON, Va. — For the first time, the Army is offering soldiers
the opportunity to seek a follow-on assignment in a specific job in
a specific unit, instead of just asking to go to a particular post
and taking whatever job the Army assigns them there.
The new, Web-based volunteer assignment system, dubbed the Personnel
Lifecycle Unit Selection System, or “PLUS2,” went live May 1 for enlisted
From now until May 31, enlisted soldiers can use PLUS2 to volunteer
for jobs that are up for grabs in three new “units of action” that
will be formed this fall within the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vincenza,
Italy; the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; and the 10th
Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.
“Units of action” is the Army’s name for uniquely structured combat
brigades that are supposed to replace the service’s historical emphasis
on huge, heavy divisions.
Officers will have a similar chance to volunteer for jobs in the three
units beginning about May 28.
Until PLUS2 came along, soldiers submitted a “wish list” of bases
where they hoped to be assigned. The job they performed once at that
base was completely up to the Army, according to Army personnel spokesman,
Lt. Col. Stan Heath.
The new system is a chance for soldiers to “get into the action” in
the Army’s “new and different” brigade structure, Heath said.
The Army plans to spend $20 billion over the next seven years to create
a force of 42 smaller, more flexible and capable “units of action,”
or active duty combat brigades, up from the current force of 33 brigades.
The UAs will also have more support units attached, so they can operate
independently of their parent divisions.
The new units will also be different because they will be “lifecycle
managed,” which is the Army’s new buzzword for unit manning.
Under force stabilization, brigades will train and fight together
for up to three years.
Army plans call for a three-to-four-month “reset” window when a UA
will first be gathered together, followed by a six-month group training
cycle and then a 30-month period of “combat readiness,” which will
probably include either a six-month or one-year deployment.
Because the three units now under bid are force-stabilized, soldiers
volunteering for jobs will be required to commit to staying with their
selected unit for three years, Heath said.
Soldiers can access the PLUS2 sign-up system at the HRC
Web site by clicking on the PLUS2 icon (just below the word "active"
in the lower section).
Once online, soldiers can check available job openings in the new
units and volunteer for those they find appealing. The system is automated,
so that only the jobs a soldier qualifies for are displayed.
When the enlisted window closes on May 31, HRC managers will review
all the applications and pick the soldiers they want to fill the jobs.
Personnel officials will send a formal assignment notification to
chosen soldiers, and send an e-mail to the Army Knowledge Online (AKO)
accounts of the soldiers that didn’t make the cut.
Using PLUS2 to volunteer for a job “constitutes a waiver of stabilization”
for soldiers with deployment, compassionate reassignment or high school
senior stabilizations, Heath said.
And for soldiers who are assigned to a dependent-restricted tour,
like Korea, and who already have a home-base/advanced assignment location
under the Home-base/Advanced Assignment Program (HAAP), using PLUS2
to volunteer for reassignment constitutes a waiver of the HAAP commitment.