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Army Retirement Services Office 61st anniversary

WASHINGTON (Nov. 14, 2016) -- Today, the Army Retirement Services Office, known as RSO, commences its 61st year of service to retired Soldiers and their Family members; RSO leadership and staff remain committed to providing them access to resources and support services regarding military retirement matters.

Since 1955, the Army Retirement Services Office has administered Army programs worldwide to prepare Soldiers and their Families for retirement, assist survivors of Soldiers who die on active duty, and to sustain an enduring connection with retired Soldiers, surviving spouses, and their Families until death. The retirement services offices assist retiring and Retired Soldiers and Family members with military retirement-related matters, and are located at most Army installations and all Army Reserve Regional Support Command headquarters and National Guard joint force headquarters.

The Army RSO contributes to the Army's current and future readiness missions in part by taking care of the department's retired Soldiers and their Family members. Additionally, the RSO empowers retired Soldiers to assist currently serving Soldiers and their Family members with various benefits and support related matters, sustain the Army's connection with local communities across the nation and inspire future generation toward military service in the Army.

"Competent armies are not at all easy to generate; it takes considerable time," Gen. Mark A. Milley, the 39th chief of staff of the Army, said in the October 2016 edition of Army Echoes.

"Your Army stands ready today to defend the United States, and we will be ready in the future, as we have since 1775. [However], we cannot do it alone. We need you, our retired Soldiers and veterans to continue to share your stories about the strength of the nation -- the United States Army," Milley said.

In 2012, the Army Retirement Service Offices re-aligned under the Army's Soldier for Life program that has the mission to enhance all Soldiers access to health and wellness, education, transition and retirement services/programs. The Soldier for Life program represent the department's holistic shift in how Soldier support services are focused in all phases of the Soldier lifecycle, which includes a Soldier's initial entry, service career, transition period to civilian life and while in veteran and/or retirement status.

"Individuals who retire from military service are often referred to as retirees in the civilian and military communities; however, they are not retirees…they are retired Soldiers," said Mark Overberg, director, Army Retirement Services.

"The Soldier for Life mindset says that once you're a Soldier, you'll always be a Soldier," Overberg said. "We'll never take the title 'Soldier' away from these individuals as they have earned it."

The current total Army end strength is more than one million Soldiers. Not all Soldiers currently serving in all components will reach retirement. In recent years, Army RSO has recorded only about 10 percent of enlisted Soldiers and about 30 percent of Army officers will remain in the Army until retirement.

Though Soldiers will eventually become veterans and/or retired Soldiers, they will always be a key component to the Army mission, according Col. Adam Rocke, director, Soldier for Life Program.

"Your mission and uniform will or has changed, but you're still a Soldier. We still need you," Rocke said.

"The Army has two missions for its retired Soldiers: to "hire" and to "inspire", he added.

According to Rocke, the Army needs veterans and retired Soldiers to continue encouraging companies and communities to hire a Soldier or refer him or her to someone who can and inspire future generations toward military service.

"Use your personal network to identify positions that need the leadership skills, values, and technical expertise you know Soldiers possess," he said. "When you find a position, contact your local American Job Center (www.veterans.gov) to get the position in the hands of veterans and retired Soldiers seeking work in your local area."

"Your Army service taught you to work hard, to plan, and to dedicate yourself to a cause larger than yourself. Americans hold you in high esteem because of this. We're asking you to use your experiences and your position in the civilian community to continue inspiring Americans…to follow in your Army footsteps," Rocke said.

Veterans and retired Soldiers who know of potential applicants for the Army may find their local recruiter at http://www.goarmy.com/locate-a-recruiter.html.

For more information about the Army Retirement Services Office or the Army's Soldier for Life program, click the following link: https://soldierforlife.army.mil/