They Keep Pulling Me… Back… In!

June 3rd, 2004  |  Published in Uncategorized

Maybe the wave of unpleasant surprise and unhappiness that a threatened IRR callup produced is what caused the Army to extend the stop-loss instead:

Thousands of soldiers who had expected to retire or otherwise leave the military will be required to stay if their units are ordered to Iraq or Afghanistan.

The announcement Wednesday, an expansion of a program called “stop-loss,” affects units that are 90 days or less from deploying, said Lt. Gen. Frank L. “Buster” Hagenbeck, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel.

So, in other words, Private Joe Snuffy, who thought he was getting out and going home in a week but whose unit has just come down on orders for a rotation in Iraq some time in the next 90 days is not only not getting out and getting on with his life, he’s going back over to the sandbox until his whole unit does a tour and gets to come back.

We can leave Private Joe Snuffy aside for a moment, though, because the chances are good that anyone named Private Snuffy probably hasn’t done the full eight years of combined active and inactive ready reserve time an enlistment contract entails. To a certain extent, he’s just getting his IRR mobilization card pulled before he ever gets to experience the pleasure of not worrying about whether his sideburns are more than halfway down his ear. Where this starts being a crying shame is with the people who have done not just four years of active duty, but anywhere from eight to 20 years, who won’t be allowed to retire or separate. They’ve done their time, and it just doesn’t matter. They’re about to do more.

Food for thought for the potential recruit in your life: Once they’ve got you, they’ve got you, and “fair” doesn’t enter into it. This oughta make for some interesting question and answer sessions in more than a few recruiter offices.

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