SPRINGFIELD, IL (07/16/2014)(readMedia)-- SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - This week's National Guard Bureau qualification scorecard found the Illinois Army National Guard moved to first place among the states and territories for duty military occupational specialty qualified (DMOSQ) Soldiers. Of the available 8,983 Soldiers assigned, 8,713 are military occupational specialty (MOS) qualified, which is a success rate of 97.5 percent.
A Soldier is DMOSQ when he or she graduates from a school required to qualify for the job specialty.
"The importance of this is about being a ready and relevant force," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mark Hebenstreit of Springfield, Illinois, human resources specialist for the personnel branch. "Units need to be able to perform missions, not only for deployments, but federal and state missions. It is important to have trained and competent Soldiers in the units to perform homeland security and combat missions."
The training branch (G3) and the personnel branch (G1) are responsible for identifying Soldiers who need to qualify in their occupational specialty and processing school applications in a timely manner.
"There is a 30-day window when we are allowed to obtain seats from other states," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Melton of Springfield, Illinois, training technician in the Individual Training Branch (G3/7). "We have to stay on top of the packets and process applications."
Melton called multiple states to use allocated school seats. Other states gave unused seats to Illinois, allowing Illinois to send more Soldiers to school.
"This is a team effort between the G3, G1 and the major subordinate command's," said Master Sgt. Christopher Anderson of Dixon, Illinois, the quota source manager for the G3. "It's challenging to get to number one in the state; it is a committed effort in proper manning."
While Illinois is currently number one, the numbers can fluctuate easily, as Soldiers move units and change jobs.
"We try to get the Solders trained as soon as possible," said Melton.
To be effective it is important the Soldiers know their jobs and are DMOSQ.
"We must be committed to ensuring our Soldiers are highly trained," said Lt. Col. Stanely Manes of Springfield, Illinois, chief training division.