Time to mobilize the troops! Mobilization is a somewhat long and enduring process that everyone in the National Guard, Reserves, and Army has to go through. It is a necessary process because it allows the National Guard and Reserves members to complete training that active duty members do on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. This is also a time for leaders and soldiers to really get to know each other better. The unit will prepare for the overseas mission. It’s not a time to play Call of Duty or work on an overseas relationship. This is a time to really get in deployment condition and to complete any required online courses.
The Mobilize the Troops Process
The MOB process will normally take anywhere from 45 to 60 days to mobilize the troops depending on the mission and where it’s at. When I deployed in 2006 for Iraq, our MOB was at the US military base Ft. Hood, and it took 110 days. This was a convoy ops mission, and since my team and I were EOD, we had more certifications and evaluations than the infantry unit we deployed with. These were some of the worse days I’ve ever spent in the military. I have never had so many sign-in rosters get lost or misplaced. I completed the rollover egress trainer 3 times. At the time, we were just one of many units deploying from Ft. Hood, which meant there were many long lines in the DFAC, gym, px, and just everywhere. However, our time at MOB was much-needed for everyone. We would have never completed our overseas mission without it. I would like to thank all the cadre that were at Ft. Hood and that served as cadre over the years at MOB sites. You worked some very long hours with very little time off teaching and training soldiers to go overseas and come home safe.
My Experience at MOB
My experiences at MOB all in all have been great. What I learned at MOB was priceless. I learned things there that I would have probably never learned. The great thing about the cadre there was that they had recently returned from a deployment. For them, it was not just about taking us to the ranger and letting us sit baking in the Mississippi humidity. It was about teaching and passing on valuable information and experience about the enemy and the culture. These things really helped each of us, from the company commander to the youngest soldiers.
MOB is also a time for leaders to lead and for leaders and soldiers to get to know each other. You don’t truly know a soldier until around day 21. That is when their true character starts to come out. That is when you realize someone is a great leader or that some soldier should not be deploying. You find out who all the complainers and lazy ones are. You find out who you can really trust and count on to do a job without constantly looking over their shoulder.
Here is an example: My deployment in 2006 started in Ft. Hood. Our 1SG was not (I will keep this professional) the best 1SG. Well, he was soon relieved at MOB and replaced, which was lucky for us. We ended up instead with a very disciplined 1SG that changed a lot about our unit. We soon got our own identity and were noticed as one of the best units to ever MOB from Ft. Hood. That reputation followed us right through our deployment. We became known as “we’ll do it,” and we were known as that right up until we got home. I suggest that all leaders take this time at MOB to really learn everything about your soldiers. The last place you want to find out how mediocre or lazy a soldier can be is when you get overseas because then it is a little too late to pack them up and send them home. And then they will become a complete toxic distraction for everyone.