09 January 2006

Individual Ready Reserve Not So Ready

There are various components of the Army's non-active duty forces. One is the Individual Ready Reserve, which is less often mobilized than either the rest of the Army Reserves or the Army National Guard. Efforts to call up this part of the force started in the summer of 2004. Upon receiving call up orders issued to about 5,700 people, "nearly half of whom have requested a delay in returning, asked to be exempt or simply ignored their orders." About 20,000 people with this status were called up in the 1990 Gulf War, the last time reservists with this status were called up.

As of Dec. 11, the latest date for which the Army had figures, 3,954 IRR soldiers had reported for duty. In addition, more than 1,600 had been excused from duty and 463 had been sent orders but not yet reported. Of those 463, the Army has been unable to locate 383. The other 80 are the ones who now face discharge.

The Army has considered criminal absent without leave charges, bad conduct discharges and dishonorable discharges, but settled on a more lenient scheme where soldiers who have been located but failed to report to duty will be discharged from service (i.e. kicked out of the Army Reserve) and face at worst an "other than honorable" discharge (which voids many veteran's benefits), although some may receive honorable or general discharges which allow the individual to receive veteran's benefits. For someone not wanting to throw their life and career away by going to Iraq, this is a pretty good deal.


Melissa said...

Did you know that the army has called 900 army IRR's (Individual Ready Reserves) Sept 2006. My husband is one of them. This is crazy and I cant find any info online or in the news. He is looking to file for an exemption b/c he's currently pursuing an MBA, but I hear the army is so strict and nasty...unless you're dying they wont give you an exemption. What do you think? My husband has already served in Iraq for a year back in 2003. I am afraid of what could happen if he just doesn't go...could they come to our house and take him..have there been any incidents like that...I have no idea. But it's obvious that Bush has lost his mind.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that people are talking about this. My friend was called up just yesterday and we are not sure what the consequences will be of not reporting. Can you tell me what happened to your husband, if anything? Thanks...

Anonymous said...

You have 2 weeks to call the number listed on the orders and request Delay and Exemption paperwork.

From the time you speak to the people at Delay and Exemption you have 2 weeks to provide them with the needed paper work (they will send you a list).

You can request an extension to submit your paper work to the Delay and Exemption team, but you need to word your request well and don't ask for more time than what you'll really need to complete your case.

I was informed at any time during this process you can inform them if you no longer want to participate and they will discharge you with an other than honorable discharge.

I am currently trying very hard to avoid the other than honorable - but at least I know I have that to fall back on rather than loose my house due to a loss of wages.