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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Individual Ready Reserve

Could someone please point out if I'm missing something here?

I've been reading now and then about the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). It seems that every story on this topic goes something like this:

Former soldiers slow to report

By Tom Squitieri, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Fewer than two-thirds of the former soldiers being reactivated for duty in Iraq and elsewhere have reported on time, prompting the Army to threaten some with punishment for desertion.
From that opening paragraph (and indeed every paragraph except the last one) it appears that the US Government is calling up individuals who are literally Former Soldiers. But here's how the final paragraph of this particular story defines the IRR:

Ready reservists are soldiers who were honorably discharged after finishing their active-duty tours, usually four to six years, but remain part of the IRR for the rest of their original eight-year commitment. The IRR call-up is the first major one in 13 years, since 20,277 troops were ordered back for the Persian Gulf War. (emphasis added)
It seems to me that these guys got a pretty good deal. The signed up for 8 years. They served 4-6 on active duty and then were let go with the understanding that if they were needed they would come back. This allowed the soldiers to get on with their lives, albeit with the chance that changing circumstances would require that they finish out their the terms of their original commitment. The alternative would have been for the military to hold on to these guys (and girls) until they had completed their full 8 years. This scenario has the dual drawbacks of forcing soldiers to stay in the Service when they'd rather be doing something else and forcing the government to pay them when their services are not needed.

There are two issues I have with this situation. The first is that some of these individuals are resisting the call to return. I completely understand their motivation. Being called back up is a huge hassle, puts a serious dent in whatever you're doing to earn a living, and is potentially dangerous. However, as I understand it, they agreed to these terms.

The second issue I have here is that the Media seems intent on presenting these soldiers as victims of the Big, Bad, US Government. They continually refer to individuals in the IRR as "former soldiers." I would argue that this is a very misleading label. Perhaps a more accurate and honest term would be soldiers on extended leave or (will wonders never cease) they could be referred to as members of the IRR, who were allowed to reenter civilian life with the understanding that if called up, they would go.

Am I missing something?


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