Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Individual Ready Reserves Failing to Show Up

posted by Jazz at 10/23/2004 08:47:00 AM


If you're going to release bad news, the tradition goes, do it on Friday night. In keeping with that practice, last night the AP reported that more than one third of the American military personnel who had been recalled from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) has failed to report for duty. The IRR is the term for people who have served their agreed upon terms of service in the military and received an honorable discharge, but didn't put in a full eight years. (Many people routinely enlist for two, four, or six years, with some serving additional time in the reserves.) I only did six years myself, but I'm far too long in the tooth to interest Uncle Sam now.

In all, 4,166 members of the Individual Ready Reserve have received mobilization orders since July 6, of which 2,288 were to have reported by October 17. The others are to report in coming weeks and months. Of those due to have reported by now, 1,445 have done so, but 843 have neither reported nor asked for a delay or exemption. That no-show rate of 37 percent is roughly in line with the one-third rate the Army had forecast when it began the mobilization to fill positions in regular and Reserve units. By comparison, the no-show total of 622 three weeks ago equated to a 35 percent rate.

That the Army has had to reach so deeply into its store of reserve soldiers is a measure of the strain the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns have put on the active-duty Army. When the American invading force toppled Baghdad in April 2003, the Army thought it would be sending most of its soldiers home within months. Instead, it has kept 100,000 or more there ever since. While the number of IRR Army soldiers who have failed to comply with their mobilization order has increased this month, so has the number who have asked for a delay or to be excused from serving.

This is something to consider for those still insisting that a renewal of the draft is "a myth" not to be considered.