More Info on IRR placement SNAFUs
Date Published: 01 October 2004
LTC (ret) Weldon formerly a deputy G1 wrote me today to elaborate on where the problem usually lies for replacements who arrive to find that they have no position to fill:
HQDA and HRC St Louis do not assign individuals to positions within a theater, nor even at a stateside installation. Installations and theaters report projected vacancies and DA and HRC St Louis attempt to fill them. The problem lies within the theater and whoever is requesting personnel and validating the unit's requests. This, unfortunately, has for many years been the Army's weak link. They typically do not validate requests. If your unit shows a vacancy according to their MTOE, yet they are filling it with a soldier who is perhaps not of the correct grade or specialty, then when the soldier who fits the bill shows up the unit states that they don't have a shortage! Here is a good example of what I ran into in 1989. Ft Hood was placing LT's in CPT slots in a particular aviation brigade. They were showing that they were full up on CPT's, but short on LT's. I couldn't get assigned to Ft Hood because there were no vacancies. At Ft Ord, however, they reported that th ey were short CPT's so when I showed up they didn't initially have a job for me. Sound like the situation in Iraq? This is what happens when the G1 or J1 does not validate a unit's request and insure that they need what they are asking for. Also, it takes months to requistion a soldier out of the IRR and things can change by the time the soldier arrives.
Therefore, my recommendation is to work with the chain of command for the specific job and skill that is appropriate. As a last resort, I would write my congressman, but I would not expect a quick resolution.
Thanks for the opportunity to express this view.
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.