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Immediate Release

R&E Detachment Leverages Reservists' Civilian Expertise, Military Experience for S&T Innovation

A group of uniformed service members pose for a photo in front of flags.
Joint Reserve Directorate
The Joint Reserve Directorate at the conclusion of Pentagon meetings during the inaugural JRD Executive Session.
Photo By: Air Force Col. Reza Grigorian
VIRIN: 240410-D-IF881-6005

The Joint Reserve Directorate (JRD) hosted its inaugural executive session April 9 – 11 at the Pentagon. The session focused on defining specific objectives for the directorate to more effectively support the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD R&E) and other department organizations.

The session saw the organization update its mission statement to "Flexible force accelerating innovation" to more accurately articulate JRD's enduring mission. Formed in 2006, JRD is a reserve detachment in R&E composed of military reservists who use their civilian expertise to find solutions to the department's science and technology needs.

To align with its new mission statement, the directorate will focus on supporting three strategic initiatives in 2024: Research and Engineering, Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), and Office of Strategic Capital (OSC), with capacity to support additional priorities as needed. The JRD will measure its performance through implementing objectives and key results in the three focus areas and report progress to R&E's three Assistant Secretary of Defense offices.

"The urgency to innovate and transition new technologies must remain a high priority across the department, and the JRD has the expertise to achieve those goals," said Air Force Col. Reza Grigorian, JRD director. "The JRD works as a total force enabler with reservists who provide unique expertise to OSD leadership because of their experience with research, industry, and acquisition and the ability to strategically support the department with a pool of talented people. Our team has a broad set of skills that can pivot as we are needed across R&E."

Although the JRD is made of Air Force reservists, the detachment has included servicemembers from other components and is working to once more include more team members from across the services. Ideal candidates hold broad experience ranging from air and weapons platform lifecycle acquisition, directed energy, data analytics, hypersonics, artificial intelligence, space, venture capital and private equity, electronic warfare, and quantum computing, aamong others.

As the detachment's mission increases in breadth, it will seek out officers interested in science and technology, commercial, and acquisition is a priority. Reserve officers between pay grades O-3 through O-5, with technical, acquisition and business backgrounds are the primary target areas to join JRD.

"JRD members provide a unique blend of commercial, technical, and military expertise to accelerate R&E priorities across OSD," said Air Force Maj. Austin McKinney, JRD chief of strategic analysis. "It's imperative to continue recruiting the highest caliber Reserve officers into this elite team.  From short-term surge support to enduring partnership, the JRD delivers exquisite capabilities to R&E leaders through their distinctive backgrounds and knowledge. If you are a high-performing Reservist that is motivated by our mission, we want to hear from you."

One of those JRD members, Air Force Maj. Lindsay Cain, said one of the reasons she joined the JRD was that it offered her the chance to use her industry experience to be a military leader.

"In the Joint Reserve Directorate, I have the unique opportunity to bridge my civilian expertise with military service, forging a unique synergy that enriches both worlds," said Cain, who serves as the organization's chief of technology as assessment. "I am honored to be a part of such an exceptional team making a tangible difference."

The 2023 National Defense Science and Technology Strategy recognizes the critical role that individuals play in the defense of our nation as the country adapts to new threats and challenges.

"Our joint force is an important component to the acceleration of our warfighting capabilities," said the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology, Dr. Aprille Ericsson. "The JRD team is well-positioned to help us achieve the long-term goals of the department to deliver technology solutions to the warfighter. The JRD has been invaluable in supporting the R&E mission. Modernization of our science and technology is more important than ever with the rapidly evolving global complex challenges we face as a nation."

To learn more about the JRD, visit or email