About Innovative Readiness Training

  • Background
  • History of IRT Implementation
  • Guidelines
  • Instructions for Applicants

The purpose of the Civil-Military Programs is to improve military readiness while simultaneously providing quality services to communities throughout America. These programs are in keeping with a long military tradition, leveraging training to benefit both units and their home communities. They are strongly supported by The Department of Defense(DoD), Congress, the states and communities.

The military services have always brought to bear their extensive resources to help meet some of the country's civil needs. In recent years, DOD has realized the simultaneous benefits these civil-military programs can offer to military readiness. This document reviews the resurgence of these dual-benefit programs.

In the 1992 Presidential Campaign - then candidate Bill Clinton challenged Americans with his "Rebuild America" initiative. As President, he challenged the DoD to search for innovative programs, which would serve American communities in need and provide realistic military training benefits. He suggested three primary areas of emphasis which take advantage of the unique resources and capabilities of DoD -- health care, infrastructure support, and youth training programs.

Also in 1992, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) echoed the President by directing DoD's increased involvement to help meet domestic needs. The SASC Report on the FY93 Defense Authorization Act noted the opportunities for enhancing military readiness while assisting in meeting domestic needs: "The American people have made an enormous investment in developing the skills, capabilities, and resources of the Armed Forces. These resources, if properly matched to local needs and coordinated with civilian efforts, can be a useful contribution to addressing the serious domestic needs of the United States."

In June 1993, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs established the directorate for Civil-Military Programs. The energy behind this initiative came from President Clinton's call to "Rebuild America" and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1993.





The directorate of Civil-Military Programs was created in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. This directorate coordinates with the various contacts from the Armed Services and provides guidelines for the civil-military programs being conducted by both the Active and Reserve Components.

The director of Civil-Military Programs asked the Armed Services to develop programs that incorporate readiness training and community service. The ASD/RA asked the Reserve Component Chiefs to serve as a General Officer Steering Committee for Civil-Military Programs. The Chiefs were also asked to designate members at the Colonel/Captain level to serve on a Senior Working Group.

The Senior Working Group, chaired by the director for Civil-Military Programs, met regularly from late October through December 1993. The Group's work included:

  1. Looking at the armed forces' past experience with civil-military projects, both CONUS and OCONUS;
  2. Examining existing resources and capabilities upon which we might capitalize;
  3. Identifying parameters for new programs based upon this information; and
  4. Developing new ideas for potential programs through which our armed forces could address domestic needs while simultaneously enhancing readiness. The focus was on quality, not quantity.

The working group elected to concentrate initially on three areas based on the strength of the armed forces and the nation's domestic needs: education and job training; health and medical services; and civil engineering projects.

As part of this process, the following important considerations and objectives were met:

  • Coordination and approval from the Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries, General Counsel, Service Chiefs. The Working Group involved senior military and civilian leadership to ensure their continued involvement and support in meeting civil-military objectives.
  • Meet Mission Requirements and Unit Readiness. Careful coordination was required to ensure that civil-military projects supported units' wartime Mission Essential Task List (METL) with readiness as the priority focus.
  • Assure Peacetime Communications with Communities. Implementing civil-military programs requires extensive coordination, interagency and intergovernmental. Therefore, all civil-military programs were planned and executed at a state or local level, where they would complement state and local government needs while not competing with private enterprise.
  • Develop DoD Policy and Guidance. The divectorate for Civil-Military Programs, in concert with the Services, recommended broad policy and program guidance to satisfy the requirements in the legislation and to dictate how the program should operate.
  • Preserve Resources. All projects focused on legitimate and necessary military training while also contributing to the President's "Rebuild America" agenda.
  • Observe Statutory Framework. Each focus area involved a number of statutory provisions, both state and federal, which had to be considered. The program was implemented within the framework of existing statutes. Operation Alaska Road


Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) Program Guidelines from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs


These guidelines apply to any IRT project conducted under the authority of Section 2012 of Title 10, U.S. Code and DoD divective 1100.20, dated April 2004. A General/Flag Officer level signature is required on all project submissions. Each State and Organization have unique and specific legal requirements, therefore a legal review must be accomplished for each project to ensure that these legal requirements are satisfied. DoD and military leadership must ensure that they afford only the best support and services to the civilians they serve.


Civil-Military Innovative Readiness Training (IRT). This program is a partnership between requesting community organizations and the military, therefore resource support is a "shared" responsibility. Individual IRT Projects provide commanders another option to meet their mobilization readiness requirements, enhancing morale and contributing to military recruiting and retention. As in overseas deployments, these projects should be incorporated into future unit training plans and budgets.


Engineering, Medical/Healthcare/Human Services, Transportation


Department of Defense divective 1100.20, "Support and Services for Eligible Organizations and Activities Outside the Department of Defense," April 2004.


Approval to execute these projects is based on the following terms:

All IRT project submissions shall: (Note: the following 9 factors cover both guidelines (1-4) and requirements (5-9))

  1. Consist of activities essential to the accomplishment of military readiness training and offer incidental benefits to the community in which the training activities occur.
  2. Provide support and services that:
    1. (a) in the case of assistance by a unit, will accomplish valid unit training requirements; and,
    2. (b) in the case of assistance by an individual member, will involve tasks divectly related to the specific military occupational specialty of the member and fall within the member's scope of duties.
  3. Be conducted in a Federally-funded training status under Title 10 or Title 32, U.S.C. NOTE: The Federal Tort Claims Act applies to personnel operating within the scope of his or her duty for approved IRT projects for members in Title 10 or Title 32 status.
  4. Not endorse, or favor any non-governmental entity (whether profit or non-profit), commercial venture, religion, sect, religious or sectarian group, or quasi-religious or ideological movement.
  5. Identify a military officer responsible for conducting each project who will be responsible for: (a) Obtaining all required documents for package submission, and (b) Coordinating with other Service/Component POCs participating in the project (to include gathering final project costs for After Action Reports).
  6. Include certification of non-competition with other available public and private sector service organizations. This must be accomplished by the requesting official posting a public notice ad in a local newspaper for the minimum state required time for public notices. If any such commercial entity is identified by that publication, then certification is required to be provided by the requesting official that the commercial entity agrees to the provision of services by the Armed Forces.
  7. Include review and endorsement by the military:
    1. Staff Judge Advocate/Legal Officer
    2. Federal Budget Officer responsible for obligating and disbursing federal funding to verify that:
      1. supplies and equipment items are on the GSA schedule or local purchase and that the prices are fair and reasonable
      2. estimated cost for each project is delineated by Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and Pay and Allowances (P&A) for each service or Component participating
      3. fiscal accountability be in accordance with comptroller divectives
    3. Plans, Operations and/or Training officials
    4. Medical, Nursing, or Dental officials (if applicable) for regulation compliance
    5. Adjutant General of the project state(s)
    6. Inter-governmental agencies (if applicable) Include (if applicable): Appropriate Environmental Protection Documentation Coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers Land Use Agreements Identify emergency evacuation of civilians (if applicable) by other than military vehicles, except in the event of a life threatening emergency or other exigent circumstance as authorized by Military Service Regulation.

All Medical IRT project submissions shall:

1. Identify the Federal, regional, state, or local governmental Civilian Health Organization (CHO) governing entity that agrees to all medical/healthcare procedures and activities performed by military personnel. The CHO shall conform to all applicable federal, state, and local laws that regulate healthcare delivery within the state or territory, and all state practice acts specific to the participating healthcare professionals. Military personnel shall follow the military regulations specific to the healthcare professionals participating, however, if there is a difference between the state practice acts and military regulations, the strictest application shall apply to the military healthcare personnel participating.

The CHO Lead is to provide an on-site supervisor for each exercise.

  1. The CHO shall certify that these projects:
    1. Accommodate an identified underserved healthcare need that is not being met by current public or private sector assistance. (The CHO shall provide a description of the criteria they use to identify the medically underserved community and the specific services they require.)
    2. Are provided in a manner that does not compete with private sector medical/dental/healthcare assistance in the underserved area
  2. The CHO verifies and documents the responsible agent (whether military or civilian) ensuring compliance for each operational site for the following:
    1. Medical handling and disposal
    2. Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA)
    3. Credentialing and Privileging of Military Health Care Provide to include Basic Life Support and, if applicable, Advance Trauma/Cardiac requirement - The strictest requirement applies
    4. Emergency evacuation of a "real life incident"
    5. Following-up care of patients for continuity of care
    6. Handling of patients' records for continuity of care and privacy act issues
  3. Be conducted when all participating military personnel:
    1. In divect contact with the patient population, use universal body substance isolation precautions as developed by the Center for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health.
    2. Have completed required immunizations (to include the Hepatitis B series) IAW their service regulations.
    3. Have a current negative Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) test IAW their service regulations.


The DoD program sponsor is the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, responsible for policy and guidance oversight. 1. OASD/RA will not approve incomplete package submissions 2. Organizations may not conduct projects without OASD/RA approval 3. OASD/RA will provide Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) to organizations at the beginning of each FY after overall project approvals


OASD/RA may allocate supplemental funds to Service and Component Fiscal Points of Contact (POCs) Project Lead Agents are responsible for identifying all funds and Fiscal POCs to receive the funding. (NOTE: Services and Components cannot transfer the OASD/RA programmed Pay and Allowances (P&A) and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding from one Service/Component to another, therefore OASD/RA must be able to program to the correct source at the start of the fiscal year) Project Lead Agents are responsible for reporting total project cost to OASD/RA, using After Action Reports (AARs) as described, below. Services and Components are responsible for identifying a procedure that determines whether conducting the IRT project causes a &q significant increase in the cost of training" (DoDD1100.20, para D4b(3)).


  1. Forward to OASD/RA no later then 60 days after project completion.
  2. Participating units shall forward their AAR information to project Lead Agents no later then 30 days after project completion.
  3. Use the format for mandatory information: in the download files listed in paragraph H.
  4. Each service that received funding for a project must complete an after action report. A copy of each services' after action reports will be forwarded to OASD/RA, regardless if the service was lead or a participating service.


The OASD/RA POC for IRT is Colonel Damon Feltman at (703) 693-8618, DSN 223-8618, FAX (703) 697-6072, email: damon.s.feltman.mil@mail.mil

IRT Step by Step Instructions for Applicants

Step 1: If you are not familiar with the Innovative Readiness Training program, your first step is to read under "General Information" the Background, Implementation, Guidelines and IRT questions and answers.

Step 2: For military applicants, review the policy memoranda and service instructions links.

Step 3: Military Applicants review the electronic submission instructions.

Step 4: Civilian Applicants provide all data necessary for the military service to fill out an initial request form and other required documents.

Step 5: Military service processes the application in accordance with its department's submission policy/procedures. (See Service instructions)* *Note: All IRT submissions are due to OSD/RA no later than February 28 each fiscal year for the subsequent execution year. (Example: 28 Feb 2013 for FY14 projects). Community applications are due to OASD/R NLT May 1, 2014 for FY2016.

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