The former chief of staff for the U.S. Army Reserve Command recently transitioned to the Selected Reserve.
Brig. Gen. Robert Cooley served as chief of staff for roughly 18 months, initially assuming the role in April 2020. He was responsible for the Army Reserve Headquarters-Fort Bragg (North Carolina); Army Reserve Staff-Fort Belvoir (Virginia); and Army Reserve Staff-Fort Knox (Kentucky).
“This [move] allows the organization and I to best determine the next creative opportunities to leverage my many decades in uniform with equally expansive civilian and international experience,” said Cooley.
Cooley is a 1989 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. His first active-duty assignment was as a Field Artillery Fire Direction Officer for Fox Battery, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
“It was there I met the first of a long line of tremendous soldiers and non-commissioned officers who were all great Americans who volunteered to put their individual needs second to being part of something greater than self,” he said.
Cooley left active duty and went into the civil affairs career field as a member of the Army Reserve. He served on multiple combat tours during the Global War on Terrorism to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I have served most of my Army Reserve time as a civil affairs officer, and this too has been amazing,” Cooley said. “The ability to make a tangible and sustained difference during multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan remains extremely rewarding.”
“These days remain uncertain and unknown. The complete professionalism found in the Army provides our families, communities and nation confidence in what comes next. We are a learning organization, and we do not waver from taking care of our people,” he stressed. “We deliver deterrence around the world every day. This is not easy duty, but one we are proud to be a part of each day.”
The Selected Reserve is the most readily available group of Army Reserve soldiers. The Selected Reserve is comprised of Troop Program Units, Active Guard and Reserve soldiers, and Individual Mobilization Augmentees. In the event of an emergency, all members of the Selected Reserve can be mobilized.
“Each officer, NCO and soldier, whether transitioning from the active component or a mid-career Army Reserve soldier, lives and follows a different life path,” said Cooley “No two pathways are the same, but all require earnest effort and thorough consideration. These paths have peaks and valleys.”
When asked the benefits of transferring to the Selected Reserve at this point in his career, his answer was simple: “I am humbled and look forward to continuing to serve this great Army team and our nation.”
“The Army Reserve is a very different model than active duty. In the Army Reserve you can have a full-time civilian career or attend college full time and apply some of the things you learned in reserve service and vice versa,” he added. “It is a symbiotic relationship that allows us to deliver incredible capacity domestically and overseas when asked. Be a contributing soldier for life. It makes a difference.”
Cooley’s successor is Maj. Gen. Michael D. Roache, who previously served as the Deputy Commanding General for Sustainment of Eighth Army, headquartered in Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea.Read comments