Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mobilizing the IRRs

I spent a lot of time on the Internet and the phone yesterday trying to determine if the Army is mobilizing the Individual Ready Reserves to active duty. Here's what I have found so far:

*The Marines have stopped mobilizing IRRs because it has exceeded its recruiting goal.
*A number of Congressional staff don't understand the difference between being in the active reserves or being an IRR.
*The Army's Human Resources Command is mustering 14,000 IRRs for one-day evaluations of health, fitness and other criteria. This is a departure from past practices.
*There are numerous websites dedicated to helping service men and women avoid an IRR mobilization.
*The Army is not pursuing soldiers under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if an IRR doesn't show up as ordered. But that could change.
*There is a cottage industry of attorneys who will help, for a fee, soldiers file for a mobilization exemption, mostly for health or hardship reasons.
*At least one Congressional staffer speculated that the Army is mobilizing the IRRs because of the expected ramp up in Afghanistan. But it was just speculation.

What we have not been able to determine is whether or not the Army is in fact mobilizing IRRs and whether or not the reserve career counselor is telling us the truth or trying to make his October recruiting/retention goals.

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