Massive Reserve Callup

Date Published: 12 May 2004

Massive Reserve Callup

I got a memorandum yesterday from a local career counselor sergeant that had some very interesting news in it:

"This office has received official notification that all current members of the IRR will be involuntarily transferred to a troop program unit. First priority will be to transfer soldiers to mobilizing units. Second priority will be to fill the remaining units not currently deploying. This is not any type of recruiting or sales gimmick, this will be happening starting May 18th 2004 through 1 June 2004." All current members of the IRR. That's huge. I'm not sure when the last time was that everyone in the IRR was activated; perhaps not since Vietnam (although I know Desert Storm did use a lot of IRR soldiers, so maybe this happened in '91 as well, but I don't think so). According to my copy of the Army Reserve Almanac 2004, the number of people in the Army Reserve as a whole has beem dropping steadily over the last 10 years, so it's little surprise that our non-reserve forces have also been depleted and cannot meet the current demand alone. I would not be at all surprised if some time soon (but after November's election, naturally) the government institutes mandatory service for all citizens (which I would favor as a permanent requirement, a la Switzerland, Israel, Germany, etc.) or simply a military draft (which would be temporary, I'm sure). I don't have numbers for active component, but for the reserves, the Department of Defense total reserve force(including Ready Reserve, Selected Reserve, Standby Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve(IRR), and Inactive National Guard(ING) in 1994 was 1,804,936. In 2003 it was 1,175,666 -- a drop of over 34%.

In September 2003, the total IRR consisted of 276,930 soldiers, including 117,405 in the Army Reserve component. Another 57,822 are in the Marine Corps,a nd 64,699 in the Naval Reserve. I'm not sure if the entire IRR is in fact being ordered into service, but if that is true, that's a lot of people.

Steve Smith

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Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.