[R-G] U.S soilders don't show up for duty
aaron at istop.com
aaron at istop.com
Sat Oct 23 08:09:57 MDT 2004
Posted on Fri, Oct. 22, 2004
U.S.: Soldiers Failed to Report for Duty
WASHINGTON - More than 800 former soldiers have failed to comply with Army
orders to get back in uniform and report for duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, the
Army said Friday. That is more than one-third of the total who were told to
report to a mobilization station by Oct. 17.
Three weeks ago the number stood at 622 amid talk that any who refused to
report for duty could be declared Absent Without Leave. Refusing to report
for duty normally would lead to AWOL charges, but the Army is going out of
its way to resolve these cases as quietly as possible.
In all, 4,166 members of the Individual Ready Reserve have received
mobilization orders since July 6, of which 2,288 were to have reported by
Oct. 17. The others are to report in coming weeks and months.
Of those due to have reported by now, 1,445 have done so, but 843 have
neither reported nor asked for a delay or exemption. That no-show rate of 37
percent is roughly in line with the one-third rate the Army had forecast when
it began the mobilization to fill positions in regular and Reserve units. By
comparison, the no-show total of 622 three weeks ago equated to a 35 percent
Of the 843, the Army has had follow-up contact with 383 and is seeking to
resolve their cases, according to figures made public Friday. For the 460
others, "We are still working to establish positive contact," the Army said.
Some may not have received the mailed orders.
Members of the Individual Ready Reserve, or IRR, are rarely called to active
duty. The last time was 1990, when nearly 20,000 were mobilized. IRR members
are people who were honorably discharged after finishing their active-duty
tours, usually four to six years, but remained in the IRR for the rest of the
eight-year commitment they made when they joined the Army. They are separate
from the reserve troops who are more routinely mobilized - the National Guard
The Army anticipated, based on past experience, that about one-third of the
IRR people it called up would be disqualified for medical or other reasons.
The trend so far bears that out.
The Marine Corps, meanwhile, said Friday that a Marine killed in western Iraq
earlier this week, Sgt. Douglas E. Bascom, 25, of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
was a member of the Individual Ready Reserve. He was the first IRR Marine to
die in Iraq, according to Gunnery Sgt. Kristine Scharber, a spokeswoman at
Marine Corps headquarters in the Pentagon.
There are about 400 IRR Marines deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according
to Shane Darbonne, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Mobilization Command.
Army officials said they were uncertain whether any of their Individual Ready
Reserve members have been killed in Iraq.
That the Army has had to reach so deeply into its store of reserve soldiers
is a measure of the strain the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns have put on the
active-duty Army. When the American invading force toppled Baghdad in April
2003, the Army thought it would be sending most of its soldiers home within
months. Instead, it has kept 100,000 or more there ever since.
While the number of IRR Army soldiers who have failed to comply with their
mobilization order has increased this month, so has the number who have asked
for a delay or to be excused from serving.
The number who have requested delays or exemptions has grown from 1,498 (out
of a total of 3,899 mobilization orders) in late September to 1,671 (out of a
total of 4,166 orders) as of Oct. 17. A little over one-third of the requests
have been acted on, with 584 approved and 21 denied.
The Army said some withdrew their requests even after they had been approved.
It did not say how many.
ON THE NET
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