Managing Agency U.S. Department of Defense

Program Description

The Innovative Readiness Training Program (IRT) (10 U.S.C. 2012) contributes directly to military readiness and provides realistic training in a joint environment for National Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty members, preparing them to serve during a national crisis at home or abroad. These engineering, health care, diving, and transportation projects provide hands-on, mission-essential training while simultaneously providing renewal of infrastructure and health care to communities throughout the United States and its territories. The program provides complex and challenging training opportunities that can seldom be found outside of a national crisis while providing a critical link between the military and civil society.

General Program Requirements

The following organizations and activities are eligible for assistance:

  1. Any Federal, regional, State, or local governmental entity.
  2. Youth and charitable organizations specified in section 508 of title 32.
  3. Any other entity as may be approved by the Secretary of Defense on a case-by-case basis.

***DOD Note (Tribes participate in this program yearly)

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Applications go through a multi-step process:

  1. Eligibility Determination: United States Code Title 10, Section 2012, and Title 32, Section 508, specifies that Federal, State and Local governments, along with certain non-profit organizations have automatic eligibility for assistance. All other applications will undergo a legal review to determine applicant eligibility.
  2. Application Validation: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (OASD(M&RA)) validates that eligible applications contain all required information.
  3. Service Review and Support Applications: IRT is a voluntary program for military units. Services are not required to respond to validated applications. Validated applications are forwarded to Service IRT Program Managers (PMs). Services review the event for unit and individual training opportunities and forward their supporting applications to OASD(M&RA) via their PM and Service Secretary. Services identify if their application is "self-funded," meaning the unit will use its own appropriated funds to support project execution, or requires supplemental funds from OASD(M&RA). Services also identify if their application covers all or part of the original civil/governmental organization's requirement.
  4. Funding Decision: Following review of Service responses, OASD(M&RA) determines which validated Service support applications will receive supplemental funds. The amount of supplemental funds made available to a project is contingent on annual IRT budget levels from Congress and may be adjusted in response to issues outside of OASD(M&RA) control (i.e., Continuing Resolutions, Sequestration, etc.). NOTE: Validated civil/governmental applications that have received validated Service support applications are not required to receive OASD(M&RA) funds, and awarded funds may not fully support original project requirements. OASD(M&RA) funds are given to military units, not the civil/government organization, and may be reduced or cancelled during the year of execution due to DoD requirements.
  5. Notifications: Civil/Governmental organizations projects selected for support will be notified by either a OASD(M&RA) or Service IRT Program Manager. Notifications from any other source should not be considered authoritative. Reference the IRT website ( for a current list of Program Managers.

The IRT timeline starts approximately 18 - 24 months before military personnel arrive. In the following example, assume that the project is requested to execute in Fiscal Year (FY) 16:

  1. Community applications due to OASD(M&RA): No later than 1 May 14
  2. Eligibility determination and application validation: 2 May - 31 Oct 14
  3. Service review and support applications: 1 Nov 14 - 28 Feb 15
  4. Review of service applications: 1 Mar - 31 Jul 15
  5. Funding decision: No later than 1 Oct 15 (beginning of FY 16)
  6. Notifications: No later than 31 Oct 15
  7. Project execution window: 1 Nov 15 - 30 Sep 16

Program Contact Information

Col Mandy Birch
Deputy Director for Civil-Military Training Policy

Additional Information

Current Method of Tribal EligibilityProgram not Specific to American Indians and Alaska Natives, but they are eligible
Can the funding from the program be renewedYes
Funding TypeMandatory
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Non-Tribal Entities
Matching Funds RequiredPossible – For construction projects, all materials are supplied by the requesting organization. For medical projects, required space for patient visits is supplied by the requesting organization.
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)5,000+ annually
Length of ProgramThe program is subject to annual Congressional appropriation inside of the Civil Military Program appropriations.
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?Yes
Tribes Funded by this ProgramNot applicable. Tribes and tribal organizations receive incidental benefit from the program. Funds do not go directly to tribal entities.

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