So Called 'Critically Needed IRRs' Not Even Filling Open Positions
Date Published: 30 September 2004
I've been receiving an alarming number of emails recently from IRR-activated soldiers who are just now reaching their units in Iraq, only to find that the unit had no idea they were coming and has no slots open or jobs for them to do in their actual MOS. This was the case for several of my peers when I arrived in country -- there was myself and another Engineer officer, plus 6 Field Artillery officers all coming into country together in July. Of the 8 of us, the two engineers are the only ones doing jobs in their field. Three of the FAs are doing admin work and the other 3 are filling other 'excess' roles. I had thought perhaps this was because we were among the first IRRs to be called up (before the big 5600 announcement in June -- we got called in April), so the process wasn't spun up properly yet and they kinks in the system were still being worked out. Clearly, there's still problems here. It is particularly frustrating and devastating to morale for soldiers to be told they must involuntarily deploy here because there is a critical need, only to find that in fact the unit to which they have been assigned had no idea they were coming and has nothing for them to do, but they can't go home so they find them some 'busy work'.
If you're in this position or know someone who is, speak up! Comment here if nothing else, or better yet, send it up your chain of command and let your congressman know. Your chain of command might be able to find you something to do in your MOS (don't hold your breath) -- your congressman, given enough such letters, might inquire into HRC-St. Louis to find out why exactly they're pulling IRRs when there is no need for them. (yes, many are needed, as I feel I am, but many clearly are not).
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.