"When Baghdad fell we thought that this was not going to be a prolonged battle"

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We're winning the war(s)? Tell it to the Marines…..From the Boston Globe:

Up to 2,500 Marines will be recalled to active duty to make up for a critical shortage of specialists to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps said yesterday, the first time since the invasion of Iraq three years ago that Marine commanders have taken the extraordinary step of drafting back into uniform those who have left the ranks. The former Marines, who had been trained for positions ranging from military police to combat engineer, will be returned to service for up to 18 months and are expected to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in 2007…..
The Corps has met its recruiting goals, has been able to retain a sufficient number of seasoned combat veterans, and has been authorized by Congress to increase its overall ranks, but says it is short about 1,200 specialists in engineering, military police work, communications, and intelligence operations.

Slate's explainer talks about the "individual ready reserves" system that allows this Marine recall.

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  1. Maybe they should look to private contractors.

  2. Anyone not aware that when they enlist they are making an 8-year commitment is either a liar or stupid. Most likely, this is just used to drum up outrage, which is all well and good, but pointless at the same time. Especially with this article using loaded language such as “drafting.”

  3. jf,
    The IRR isn’t exactly emphasized by recruiters.

  4. I once had a recruiter tell me: “The individual ready reserve is just an emergency option, and the only time it would be used would be if we were seriously losing a war.”

    So at least he was telling the truth about one thing…

  5. I can’t remember who told me that IRR enactment was for “emergencyish” situtations but I do remember is was not my recruiter. I think it was on an exit interview or in the documents I received when I was discharged.

    Just because they are “short” some MOSs should not be a legitimate reason to activate. That’s why you have recruiters.

    But hey, no one has ever accused this administration for failing to do what it wants.

  6. TNT,

    Perhaps, but when I enlisted in 1993, I made sure I read all the paperwork, and it wasn’t exactly hidden that enlisting was an 8-year commitment.

    Also, recruiters lie every day. Mine told me that Basic Training would include a lot of volleyball and softball games. At least I wasn’t promised that in the paperwork, but it was crystal clear that enlisting included serving the remainder of the 8 years in the IRR.

  7. The Ready Reserve is comprised of military members of the Reserve and National Guard, organized in units or as individuals, both of which are liable for recall to active duty to augment the active components in time of war or national emergency as provided by law (10 USC 12301(a) and 12302).

    So which is it JF? Are we still at war with Iraq or has it become our new national emergency?

  8. Well Davebo they are being recalled as an “active component in time of war”. No doubt about that.

    My problem is with honesty. The government and upper echlon of the military claim not to be over stressed or low in numbers. They say they need more com and eng guys. So why not bump up the billets for those MOSs. You can have lots of new operators in under 6 months. If you don’t have a recruiting problem, which the Marine Corps says they do not have. I don’t think those MOSs are being killed off at a faster rate than the Marine Corps can produce. So why activate?

    The government just fails to be honest.

  9. My dad was recalled by the corps from IRR to active duty.

    ‘course, that was in 1950.

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