U.S. Army Reserve Helps Kids and Parents Navigate the Unique Lifestyle of Service – Interview
April is the Month of the Military Child
There are more than 1.6 million children whose parents serve in the U.S. military, and they face many unique experiences because of their parents’ service.
While military members include Soldiers in the Army Reserve
who serve at home and around the world, we often forget about the families and children serving alongside them. The Army Reserve recognizes military children feel some of the same experiences as their Soldier parents, like the challenges of relocations and deployments.
For example, on average, military families move every two to three years, impacting children who are forced to change schools and navigate new friendships and support networks.
The Army Reserve helps families become and stay resilient.
by offering several programs and services, including before and after school programs, summer camps, health and nutrition classes, and youth sports. One program in particular, Army Child and Youth Services has been helping Army Reserve families since its inception in 1980. Over the years, it has grown into a nationally acclaimed model for quality childcare while supporting Soldiers and their families.
Through these specialized programs and trained staff, the Army Reserve continues to anticipate and address the evolving needs of Soldiers and families to ensure each member is healthy, self-reliant and has the best opportunity to thrive.
Join me in a recent interview with Colonel Shannon Horne,
Chief of Public Affairs, U.S. Army Reserve, to learn more about how the Army Reserve is supporting its Soldiers and their children as they navigate a unique lifestyle of service. COL Horne is also a mother of five children, who all currently serve in the military, and will share parenting tips and tricks she’s learned along the way.
Listen to the entire interview here: Army Reserve Military Child – Michigan Mama News – YouTube
Colonel Shannon Horne is currently the United States Army Reserve Chief of Public Affairs. In this role, COL Horne manages internal and external communications for the 200,000+ Soldiers, Civilians, and families of the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR).
COL Horne strives to inform both Soldiers and the public about the power of effective communication. As a USAR Public Affairs advisor, Horne seeks to motivate more Reserve Soldiers to join the Public Affairs community while encouraging commanders to utilize their PAOs in creative and innovative ways. By doing this, all Soldiers may tell their story and why they took up the challenge to join the Army Reserve.
Prior to being named the Chief of Public Affairs, COL Horne was the Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) for the Office, Chief of Army Reserve (OCAR). In this role, she managed the OCAR daily operations, 300+ personnel and policies, as well as the HHD section with awards and personnel actions.
In 2020, COL Horne returned to active-duty status from the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) program, as the USAR Mission Command Division Chief, where she represented Army Reserve Senior Leaders in three-star level meetings. In that role, she assessed current and future Department of Defense modernization efforts and their Army Reserve equity.
As a ‘weekend warrior’ from 2016-2022, COL Horne was the West Point Admissions Reserve Affairs OIC where she managed more than 80 Military Academy Liaison Officers (MALO) in the Active Reserve, Inactive Reserve and National Guard spread around the world. She also managed a force of over 650 admissions volunteers and ran two major annual programs, the Summer Leaders Experience (SLE) and the Field Force Forum. The SLE program directly affects the Army Accessions mission by actively recruiting and mentoring America’s youth who are interested in the ROTC and West Point commissioning programs. Because the SLE program utilizes more than 60 West Point cadets, the MALO staff directly impacts the USAR by encouraging cadets to serve in the Army Reserve after their active-duty service obligation.
As a major, Horne transitioned to the Public Affairs functional area and graduated from the Defense Information School (DINFOS) in 2007. COL Horne served as a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for FORSCOM and SOUTHCOM. With SOUTHCOM, she traveled to Germany, Belize, GITMO and rapidly deployed to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. As a PAO, Horne has briefed and advised many generals, written hundreds of talking points, compiled daily statistics for media release, and managed many global news segments. She was also responsible for designing a Public Affairs force management program utilized by FORSCOM Public Affairs.
COL Horne moved to the IRR in 2000 and served as a MALO for West Point. She has continued to work in this capacity, even as she later transitioned to the Selected Reserve and back to active duty. As a MALO, she has mentored more than 150 young adults who have gone on to serve in the Armed Forces.
COL Horne graduated from West Point in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a concentration in Psychology.
One of her exceptional accomplishments includes redesigning the pregnancy company physical fitness program, as a new 1LT, when she was pregnant with her first child. This initiative gained the attention of the 3rd ID Division Commander, who then asked Horne to implement and oversee her program as the 3rd ID program of record, involving 300 pregnant Soldiers. Her program went on to inspire other division level pregnancy PT programs that are still active today.
COL Horne has been married to Mr. Paul Horne for 26 years. Together they have five children who all serve in the military. Colby, 24 (USAR, EN LT); Kirby, 23 (USA, FA LT); Darby, 21 (West Point cadet); Abby, 20 (USAFA cadet); and Toby, 19 (AROTC cadet).
*Interview courtesy of: U.S. Army Reserve