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ID cards go Total Force green



Article  
ID cards go Total Force green
[11/9/2004]

Source: Army Family Publication

In a step toward achieving integration of the active and reserve military components, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced that identification cards for all Active component and Reserve active status U.S. military personnel will now be the same color -- green.

This initiative will be phased in within two to five years beginning as early as June. Reserve active status forces ID card will change from red to green. Reserve active status forces include members of the Selected Reserve, the Individual Ready Reserve, and the active Standby Reserve. Only the color of the card held by these members of the Reserve components will change. There will be no associated changes to current service benefits, privileges and entitlements, unless a change in status occurs.

The change responds to a pledge made by Cohen in a policy memorandum to eliminate "all residual barriers - structural and cultural" to effective integration of the Reserve and Active components into a "seamless Total Force."

Implementing instructions from the services must be coordinated and published prior to issuing green ID cards to eligible Reserve members. The only ID card being affected is the DD Form 2 (Reserve). The color of all other Uniformed Services Identification Cards will remain the same.

All active status Reserve component personnel will be eligible to carry a green ID card, which will identify the member's Reserve component service in the upper right-hand corner of the card.

Considerations taken into account by DoD officials, when authorizing the change, include medical benefits and commissary privileges--two primary areas in which Active and Reserve personnel have different entitlements. An ID card alone does not automatically authorize access to medical benefits or commissary privileges, both of which will continue to require additional documentation to allow members of the Reserve components to receive them.

In commissaries, Selected Reserve personnel are entitled to 12 visits per year. With both active and Reserve component personnel soon to be carrying green ID cards, commissary personnel will be reviewing identification cards more closely. The commissary access card, used for validating Reservists' 12 authorized visits, will remain in place.

The red ID card has been the primary card used by members of the Reserve who are not on active duty or full-time National Guard duty. Red ID cards will continue to be issued to 'gray-area retirees' - members of the Retired Reserve who have not reached age 60. Family members of Reservists will also continue to receive the red (DD Form 1173-1) ID card. (Based on a report filed by ARNEWS.)

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