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Posted: 1/7/2005 7:16:55 AM EDT

Reservists may face longer tours of duty
Army leaders also consider allowing for more frequent call-upsBy Bradley Graham

Updated: 4:20 a.m. ET Jan. 7, 2005WASHINGTON - Army leaders are considering seeking a change in Pentagon policy that would allow for longer and more frequent call-ups of some reservists to meet the demands of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Army official said yesterday.


Reservists are being used heavily to fill key military support jobs, particularly in specialty areas, but Army authorities are having increasing difficulty limiting the active-duty time of some normally part-time soldiers to a set maximum of two years, the official said. He described the National Guard's 15 main combat units as close to being "tapped out."

To avoid pushing reserve forces to the breaking point, the official also said, a temporary increase of 30,000 troops in active-duty ranks that was authorized last year will probably need to be made permanent, especially if U.S. troop levels in Iraq remain high. He said significant troop levels may be required in Iraq for four or five more years.

The official declined to be named because of the political sensitivity of the troop issue and the lack of decisions. But he said that the Army probably will ask Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in the next several months to change the policy on mobilization of reservists. "It's coming," he told a small group of Pentagon reporters. "I think we're going to have this discussion this spring."

Debate over the shape, size of military
The news comes as the Bush administration confronts rising controversy over the shape and size of the U.S. military, particularly whether the active-duty and reserve forces are robust enough to meet the many demands placed upon them. Soldiers and their families are also expressing frustration at repeat deployments to Iraq and tours of duty that have already been extended.

About 40 percent of the 150,000 troops now in Iraq have come from reserve ranks. That number will grow to 50 percent in the fresh group of forces deploying at the moment — the third rotation of troops since the invasion in the spring of 2003. But with this rotation, the official said, the Army will have used all of the National Guard's main combat brigades.

Plans being drawn now for 2006 anticipate lowering the share of reservists to about 30 percent and relying more on active-duty soldiers. But even so, the Pentagon will continue to depend on reservists for such critical support jobs as civil affairs, engineers, medics and military police.

Under current policy, a reservist is not to serve on active duty for more than 24 months, although those months can be split among multiple deployments that occur over a period of years.

The change under consideration, the Army official said, would essentially make a reservist eligible for an unlimited number of call-ups but stipulate that no single mobilization would last more than 24 consecutive months. The official said the Army would attempt to use such expanded authority sparingly to avoid alienating soldiers.

Concerns over reservists' well-being
"We are concerned about the health of this all-volunteer force," the official said.

But any extension in deployments is sure to prompt grumbling — or worse — in an Army Reserve community that numbers more than half a million and has begun showing signs of serious stress. Both the Guard and the Army Reserve have reported significant shortfalls in meeting recruitment targets in the past few months. And earlier this week, an internal memo from the chief of the Army Reserve surfaced warning that his forces are nearing a breaking point.

Told yesterday of the Army plan under consideration, several defense experts said longer mobilizations could further erode the ability of the reserve branches to recruit soldiers and retain the ones they have.

"The reserves are already overstretched," said retired Army Col. Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of international relations at Boston University. "To change the rules will almost certainly backfire and accelerate the deterioration of the reserves."

Federal law on the mobilization of reservists already provides for call-ups of as long as 24 consecutive months. But in an effort to spare these part-time soldiers such continuous active duty, the Bush administration adopted a policy making the 24 months a cumulative maximum.

A change in this policy would require Rumsfeld's approval, the senior official said.

Expanded ranks?
Concerns about the Army's ability to sustain operations, particularly in Iraq against a persistent insurgency, have fueled calls by lawmakers and defense specialists to expand active-duty ranks.

So far, Rumsfeld and other senior Pentagon officials have resisted such appeals, questioning the long-term need and noting the considerable expense of adding troops. A permanent increase of 30,000 soldiers would cost about $3 billion a year, the Army official said.

The Army had hoped that an extensive plan announced last year to revamp its decades-old structure of corps and divisions and reshape brigades into more flexible, more uniform combat units would produce enough new efficiencies to avoid the need for a permanent increase in troops. But the senior official said it appears increasingly likely that the Army will need to keep the extra 30,000 troops, raising the total to 512,000.

"We're going to have to address whether we can get back down off the 30K," he said. "I don't think we will be able to."

He added that the issue would be a central focus of a broad review due this year of troop levels and weapons systems that the Pentagon conducts every four years. Financing a permanent increase, he said, would require an overall increase in the Army's budget to avoid deep cuts in weapons systems and other programs and ensure "the quality force that we need."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:19:25 AM EDT
A few year ago I read a book (fiction) named the "Forever War". The people in the book were military, and the idea was that they would go on a long term mission (a year or two), fight, come home for a few months or a year, and then get deployed again. The government kept picking on the same few soldiers, even though there were massive contracts and supporting civvie jobs, because they wanted to concentrate the really bad stuff on the back of a few unlucky souls.

Is Iraq, under Rummy, such a war?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:41:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 7:42:15 AM EDT by Gartchen]
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=542&e=4&u=/ap/20050107/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/reserves

WOW

I really think they are shooting themselves in the foot on this one.  I can imagine a year at a time on active duty, away from wife and kids.  But TWO years and more than once in 6 years?  That is really hard to swallow.  You might as well join the regular forces.

I think it is going to make it really difficult to get people to sign up, not because they do not belive in the cause - but just because how can you plan your life around this much uncertainty?  

School?  
Job?  
Marriage?
Kids?

It makes sense if you join the regular army - you know the plan for the next 4 or 6 years or so.  But under this plan - It seems you would not even want to plan your next trip to the grogery store- for fear it would be cancelled on a callup.

God Bless our troops and their sacrifices!

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:49:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gartchen:
God Bless our troops and their sacrifices!





AMEN to that!


I have supported this war and the troops. But I do NOT support the indefinite conscription of our reserves. That's not acceptable to me, and I don't think it will be acceptable to most of those who've supported the President and this war so far. It's time for the government to think of something OTHER than permanent forced service from part-timers with families.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:53:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gartchen:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=542&e=4&u=/ap/20050107/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/reserves

WOW

I really think they are shooting themselves in the foot on this one.  I can imagine a year at a time on active duty, away from wife and kids.  But TWO years and more than once in 6 years?  That is really hard to swallow.  You might as well join the regular forces.

School?  
Job?  
Marriage?
Kids?

God Bless our troops and their sacrifices!




HA HA!  you sound like the Air Force.  Again, the USN/USMC deploys several times a year EACH year.

As far as a 'normal life,' look over the past and you'll see our culture/customs change over time.  Your post --no offence-- seem to reflect the coming out of the 'ME' period and into the 'couch-potato' period.  

Unthinkable, but we may end up like the Isralies; a perpetual state of aggression or conflict.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:57:19 AM EDT
Hmm, when taken into consideration with THIS: www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=311664

things get more interesting.

To avoid the above scenerio, maybe we do need to try to shake things up in the leadership in theater.

Worth a try.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:00:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By junker46:

Originally Posted By Gartchen:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=542&e=4&u=/ap/20050107/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/reserves

WOW

I really think they are shooting themselves in the foot on this one.  I can imagine a year at a time on active duty, away from wife and kids.  But TWO years and more than once in 6 years?  That is really hard to swallow.  You might as well join the regular forces.

School?  
Job?  
Marriage?
Kids?

God Bless our troops and their sacrifices!




HA HA!  you sound like the Air Force.  Again, the USN/USMC deploys several times a year EACH year.

As far as a 'normal life,' look over the past and you'll see our culture/customs change over time.  Your post --no offence-- seem to reflect the coming out of the 'ME' period and into the 'couch-potato' period.  

Unthinkable, but we may end up like the Isralies; a perpetual state of aggression or conflict.




So you're comparing active duty units (USN/USMC) with Reservists? I think you just proved his point.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:01:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By junker46:


As far as a 'normal life,' look over the past and you'll see our culture/customs change over time.  Your post --no offence-- seem to reflect the coming out of the 'ME' period and into the 'couch-potato' period.  

Unthinkable, but we may end up like the Isralies; a perpetual state of aggression or conflict.



I am in the reserves, and I don't think it's too selfish or a couch-potato to oppose an idea that could have me serve 4 out of 6 years overseas on deployment.  I would spend more time in Iraq than at home!  
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:03:33 AM EDT
Not to appear insensitive but, didn't some NG units get activated in 39-40 and serve through the duration of the 2nd WW?  I'm sure they got way more than they bargained for too!
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:05:30 AM EDT
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:06:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARKAN_the_Tiger:
Not to appear insensitive but, didn't some NG units get activated in 39-40 and serve through the duration of the 2nd WW?  I'm sure they got way more than they bargained for too!



In the case of the two National Guard tank battalions from the West Coast states that got sent to the Phillippines in the summer of 1941 it did mean 4 years of service...
..in Japanese POW cages, and included going throught the Battan death march.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:07:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARKAN_the_Tiger:
Not to appear insensitive but, didn't some NG units get activated in 39-40 and serve through the duration of the 2nd WW?  I'm sure they got way more than they bargained for too!



Different conflict though.  Guard units are spending 12 months over in Iraq, and at the beginning of the conflict most active duty units were spending 6 months in Iraq.  My unit watched the 82nd Airborne move into our theater, and we watched them leave and go home.  

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:09:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 8:10:59 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By ARKAN_the_Tiger:
Not to appear insensitive but, didn't some NG units get activated in 39-40 and serve through the duration of the 2nd WW?  I'm sure they got way more than they bargained for too!



Different conflict though.  Guard units are spending 12 months over in Iraq, and at the beginning of the conflict most active duty units were spending 6 months in Iraq.  My unit watched the 82nd Airborne move into our theater, and we watched them leave and go home.  




They will be making up for it next time, because the next rotation is going to be 70% regular, simply because there are no more Reserve and NG units to send...
.. the Regular units are also the ones we want in place to be available to attack Iran if Iraq DOES go as we hope and quiets down after their elections.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:11:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.



If that's the case, than how come the active duty units don't spend as much time in theater as the Guard units?  If it's for the duration, everyone should stay for the duration.

Again, it's a different conflict than WWII.

Besides, the military has found that "for the duration" was not the best system to use.  Troops became burned out, and after about 180 days of fighting, most troops begin to suffer from poor morale to the point that it affects their ability to fight.  One of the reasons the military switched to the year rotations in Vietnam, which has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Read some of Stephen A. Ambrose's books, he writes about that.

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:14:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.



If that's the case, than how come the active duty units don't spend as much time in theater as the Guard units?  If it's for the duration, everyone should stay for the duration.

Again, it's a different conflict than WWII.

Besides, the military has found that "for the duration" was not the best system to use.  Troops became burned out, and after about 180 days of fighting, most troops begin to suffer from poor morale to the point that it affects their ability to fight.  One of the reasons the military switched to the year rotations in Vietnam, which has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Read some of Stephen A. Ambrose's books, he writes about that.




The Regular troops need to be avaliable for emergancies in other areas like Korea, Taiwan, or any place else terrorists might stick their heads up.  
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:14:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By ARKAN_the_Tiger:
Not to appear insensitive but, didn't some NG units get activated in 39-40 and serve through the duration of the 2nd WW?  I'm sure they got way more than they bargained for too!



Different conflict though.  Guard units are spending 12 months over in Iraq, and at the beginning of the conflict most active duty units were spending 6 months in Iraq.  My unit watched the 82nd Airborne move into our theater, and we watched them leave and go home.  




They will be making up for it next time, because the next rotation is going to be 70% regular, simply because there are no more Reserve and NG units to send...
.. the Regular units are also the ones we want in place to be available to attack Iran if Iraq DOES go as we hope and quiets down after their elections.



True, but this rotation has 50% of the Guard and Reserves.  The first rotation was 40%, the same with the second.  They've basically used all of the Reserves in the first two years of the conflict.  It's obvious that the policy will change and the Reserves will have to go again.

Another problem is that units that are highly desired in this type of conflict are mostly Guard and Reserves.  Something like 85% of the MP units are Guard and Reserve, same with a lot of the Civil Affairs and combat support (like transportation) which means those guys are going to get even more hosed.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:15:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 8:16:15 AM EDT by ArmedAggie]
The problem is they shifted more and more responsibility over to the reserves, much of it highly specialized, and planned for them to "augment" regular forces in times of crisis.  They thought they would save money by having part-timers.  Now they realize there's too much regular forces can't do without reserves.  And if you're gonna have the regular troops deployed you have to have those reserves to serve their function, too.  It is a money-saving scheme that is backfiring, and may destroy the reserves altogether.

Just another reason why we need to take off the gloves and play to win, so everyone can get home.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:19:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.



If that's the case, than how come the active duty units don't spend as much time in theater as the Guard units?  If it's for the duration, everyone should stay for the duration.

Again, it's a different conflict than WWII.

Besides, the military has found that "for the duration" was not the best system to use.  Troops became burned out, and after about 180 days of fighting, most troops begin to suffer from poor morale to the point that it affects their ability to fight.  One of the reasons the military switched to the year rotations in Vietnam, which has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Read some of Stephen A. Ambrose's books, he writes about that.




The Regular troops need to be avaliable for emergancies in other areas like Korea, Taiwan, or any place else terrorists might stick their heads up.  



So first, you talk about sending guys to fight a war "for the duration" but now we have to keep the active duty guys in reserve for emergiencies?  That seems a fairly silly policy.  When we fought in WWII, or in Korea, even Vietnam, we had the active duty guys do the fighting, the best trained, and best equipped.  So basically you are advocating having the Reserves stay in the war for the duration so the active duty guys can stay ready and alert for any potential troubled spots (like Iraq ins't one) back in the states?

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:23:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
The problem is they shifted more and more responsibility over to the reserves, much of it highly specialized, and planned for them to "augment" regular forces in times of crisis.  They thought they would save money by having part-timers.  Now they realize there's too much regular forces can't do without reserves.  And if you're gonna have the regular troops deployed you have to have those reserves to serve their function, too.  It is a money-saving scheme that is backfiring, and may destroy the reserves altogether.

Just another reason why we need to take off the gloves and play to win, so everyone can get home.



I agree with you.  One of the problems with the military, and specifically the Army is that it is still designed to fight one big war with the Soviets, rather than a bunch of small, "low-intensity" conflicts.  The reserves are designed to be called up to help stop the Soviets from running thru Germany in a all out, stand up fight.  

That's one of the good things that is going to come out of the Iraq policy, and that is some essiential combat time for our troops and our officers on how to properly fight the wars of the 21st Century.  Hopefully this will get some policy changes going, and we'll get a military that is better equipped to fight an insurgency like this, as I think this is what most conflicts will look like from now on (until China starts throwing her weight around of course)

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:26:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 8:27:53 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]

Originally Posted By guardian855:
So first, you talk about sending guys to fight a war "for the duration" but now we have to keep the active duty guys in reserve for emergiencies? That seems a fairly silly policy. When we fought in WWII, or in Korea, even Vietnam, we had the active duty guys do the fighting, the best trained, and best equipped. So basically you are advocating having the Reserves stay in the war for the duration so the active duty guys can stay ready and alert for any potential troubled spots (like Iraq ins't one) back in the states?


You miss the point.

You can't mobilize a reserve unit as a QRF.
It takes too long.

Here's the Marines' update on this policy:


2.  FIRST AND FOREMOST, I WANT LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS TO SHARE THE CONTENT OF
THIS MESSAGE WITH THEIR MARINES.

3.  SINCE THE BEGINNING OF GWOT, MY INTENT TO SUSTAIN THE FORCE HAS BEEN
CONSISTENT.  OUR FORCE MANAGEMENT POLICY IS BASED ON 12-MONTH ACTIVATION
W/7-MONTH DEPLOYMENT, FOLLOWED BY A PERIOD OF DWELL TIME AT THE RESERVE
TRAINING CENTERS IOT PREPARE FOR A POTENTIAL SECOND 12-MONTH ACTIVATION.
THIS HUSBANDING OF FORCES ALLOWS US THE FLEXIBILITY WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO
SOURCE OUR FORCES FOR THE SUPPORTED COMMANDER FOR LATER REQUIREMENTS THAT
MAY NOT FALL WITHIN A 24-MONTH PERIOD; WHICH IS THE STATUTORY RESTRICTION OF
CUMULATIVE ACTIVATION UNDER THE PRESENT MOBILIZATION AUTHORITY.
 
4.  IN FILLING A NUMBER OF REQUIREMENTS, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY
SOLICIT VOLUNTEERS FIRST BEFORE REACTIVATING MARINES.   THIS IS BECOMING A
VANISHING LUXURY AS OUR RELEVENCE IN THE TOTAL FORCE HAS BEEN FORTIFIED OVER
THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS FROM YOUR SUPERB PERFORMANCE.  IN MEETING THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEXT ROTATION OF OIF/OEF EARLY NEXT YEAR, WE WILL HAVE
ACTIVATED ALL OR PORTIONS OF AT LEAST 95% OF OUR SMCR UNITS.  IF YOU HAVE
NOT HEARD IT BEFORE, I WANT TO STRESS TO YOU NOW THAT REACTIVATIONS ARE
HIGHLY PROBABLE AS WE SUPPORT THE ONGOING EFFORTS IN THE WAR ON
TERRORISM.  HOWEVER, NO ONE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE MOBILIZED FOR MORE THAN
24 MONTHS OF ACTIVE DUTY.

5.  WHILE THE ORIGINAL OSD POLICY OF NOT REACTIVATING ANYONE HAD GOOD
INTENTIONS TO PRESERVE THE RESERVE COMPONENTS, IT HAD A VERY NEGATIVE IMPACT
ON UNIT COHESION THAT IS SO IMPORTANT IN A COMBAT ENVIRONMENT.  THE POLICY
HAS BEEN RESCINDED FOR USMCR UNITS IDENTIFIED TO BE ACTIVATED FOR THE OIF
04-06.1 ROTATION.  ADDITIONAL REACTIVATIONS WILL BE ADDRESSED ON A
CASE-BY-CASE BASIS.

6.  AS YOUR COMMANDER, I DEEPLY REGRET CHANGING THE WORD, GIVING SOME
MARINES VERY LATE NOTICE OF THEIR UPCOMING ACTIVATION, AND ADDING TO THEIR
STRESS AND THE STRESS ON THEIR FAMILIES.  HOWEVER, I ASSURE EVERY MARINE AND
SAILOR IN THIS FORCE THAT I KNOW THE VALUE OF KEEPING UNITS INTACT SO THEY
CAN DEPLOY AND TRAIN TOGETHER.  I AM CONFIDENT THAT YOU WILL OVERCOME THIS
CHALLENGE, AND THAT ALL HANDS WILL PULL TOGETHER AND SUCCEED ON THE
BATTLEFIELD.  

SEMPER FIDELIS. LTGEN MCCARTHY SENDS

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:31:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.



If that's the case, than how come the active duty units don't spend as much time in theater as the Guard units?  If it's for the duration, everyone should stay for the duration.

Again, it's a different conflict than WWII.

Besides, the military has found that "for the duration" was not the best system to use.  Troops became burned out, and after about 180 days of fighting, most troops begin to suffer from poor morale to the point that it affects their ability to fight.  One of the reasons the military switched to the year rotations in Vietnam, which has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Read some of Stephen A. Ambrose's books, he writes about that.




The Regular troops need to be avaliable for emergancies in other areas like Korea, Taiwan, or any place else terrorists might stick their heads up.  



So first, you talk about sending guys to fight a war "for the duration" but now we have to keep the active duty guys in reserve for emergiencies?  That seems a fairly silly policy.  When we fought in WWII, or in Korea, even Vietnam, we had the active duty guys do the fighting, the best trained, and best equipped.  So basically you are advocating having the Reserves stay in the war for the duration so the active duty guys can stay ready and alert for any potential troubled spots (like Iraq ins't one) back in the states?




That is exactly right and I am rather surprised you cannot see the logic behind this.  Reserve and Guard units need build up time to become efficient, you are not available in days like we need for a emergency.  Not to mention you are not equipped with the latest equipment.  Iraq IS a low intensity conflict and it is much better suited to Reserves and NGs than trying to make a forced entry into a hot, new location.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:31:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
The problem is they shifted more and more responsibility over to the reserves, much of it highly specialized, and planned for them to "augment" regular forces in times of crisis.  They thought they would save money by having part-timers.  Now they realize there's too much regular forces can't do without reserves.  And if you're gonna have the regular troops deployed you have to have those reserves to serve their function, too.  It is a money-saving scheme that is backfiring, and may destroy the reserves altogether.

Just another reason why we need to take off the gloves and play to win, so everyone can get home.



I agree with you.  One of the problems with the military, and specifically the Army is that it is still designed to fight one big war with the Soviets, rather than a bunch of small, "low-intensity" conflicts.  The reserves are designed to be called up to help stop the Soviets from running thru Germany in a all out, stand up fight.  

That's one of the good things that is going to come out of the Iraq policy, and that is some essiential combat time for our troops and our officers on how to properly fight the wars of the 21st Century.  Hopefully this will get some policy changes going, and we'll get a military that is better equipped to fight an insurgency like this, as I think this is what most conflicts will look like from now on (until China starts throwing her weight around of course)




Too bad the ones getting the most experience are the reserves and guard, which are "on the way out" instead of on the way up in the active duty system.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:36:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 8:40:11 AM EDT by guardian855]

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By guardian855:
So first, you talk about sending guys to fight a war "for the duration" but now we have to keep the active duty guys in reserve for emergiencies? That seems a fairly silly policy. When we fought in WWII, or in Korea, even Vietnam, we had the active duty guys do the fighting, the best trained, and best equipped. So basically you are advocating having the Reserves stay in the war for the duration so the active duty guys can stay ready and alert for any potential troubled spots (like Iraq ins't one) back in the states?


You miss the point.

You can't mobilize a reserve unit as a QRF.
It takes too long.




No, I didn't miss the point, it's just a dumb point.

We are fighting a war.  We don't have to wait for a troublespot to start up, we got one.  If you ask me where we need to send troops, or where I think Americans are going to start dying, I don't need the CIA, or intel, or a magic ball.  Give me a map, and I will show you where, and it's Iraq.  

I am not saying we should send everyone into Iraq, but relying on the reserves so much is going to hurt them.  They will be surprised when there are no reserves left.  The Guard is offerring $15,000 bonuses to anyone who will re-enlist, and they are below their target numbers by 30%.  I don't know a single person in my unit that has re-enlisted in the last year even with the $15,000 bonus, and the number of new people that have started in my unit is noticibly down.  The commander of the Reserves warned in a memo that they face a retention and enlistment nightmare, and that everyone is going to leave.  He even used words like nightmare.  I will find the article.  

I know there is a problem, but I am not sure what the solution is.  It's really hard to tell reservists that "you could potentially serve 4 of the next 6 years in a hostile country while you're active duty brethern is going for half that amount, just in case we need them"  It's a dumb policy, and it's going to cause them grief when the reserves disappear.


Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:37:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.



If that's the case, than how come the active duty units don't spend as much time in theater as the Guard units?  If it's for the duration, everyone should stay for the duration.

Again, it's a different conflict than WWII.

Besides, the military has found that "for the duration" was not the best system to use.  Troops became burned out, and after about 180 days of fighting, most troops begin to suffer from poor morale to the point that it affects their ability to fight.  One of the reasons the military switched to the year rotations in Vietnam, which has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Read some of Stephen A. Ambrose's books, he writes about that.




The Regular troops need to be avaliable for emergancies in other areas like Korea, Taiwan, or any place else terrorists might stick their heads up.  



So first, you talk about sending guys to fight a war "for the duration" but now we have to keep the active duty guys in reserve for emergiencies?  That seems a fairly silly policy.  When we fought in WWII, or in Korea, even Vietnam, we had the active duty guys do the fighting, the best trained, and best equipped.  So basically you are advocating having the Reserves stay in the war for the duration so the active duty guys can stay ready and alert for any potential troubled spots (like Iraq ins't one) back in the states?




That is exactly right and I am rather surprised you cannot see the logic behind this.  Reserve and Guard units need build up time to become efficient, you are not available in days like we need for a emergency.  Not to mention you are not equipped with the latest equipment.  Iraq IS a low intensity conflict and it is much better suited to Reserves and NGs than trying to make a forced entry into a hot, new location.




This may be true from an analytical standpoint.  I don't think that was the thought process at the top, though.  It is simply a way of finding the bright spot in the whole mess.  That's what disturbs me.

It's like a drunk guy running off the road and wiping out an old fence.  The bright spot is that someone needed to clear the fence anyway.  The downside is someojne still has to fix it.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:39:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:
I don't need the CIA, or intel, or a magic ball.  Give me a map, and I will show you where, and it's Iraq.  



Or one of the surrounding countries...
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:44:20 AM EDT
Boy, am I glad I got out when I had the chance to in October.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:46:15 AM EDT
news.ft.com/cms/s/1239fda6-6052-11d9-bd2f-00000e2511c8.html

General warns Pentagon of 'broken' reserve forces
By Peter Spiegel, Defence Correspondent
Published: January 7 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 7 2005 02:00

The US general who commands the army's reserve forces has warned the Pentagon that his units are now unable to meet their mission requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan and are "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force".


In a bluntly worded memo to the army's chief of staff on December 20, first disclosed this week by the Baltimore Sun newspaper, Lt Gen James Helmly said Pentagon policies governing the deployment of reservists were "dysfunctional" and were "eroding daily" his ability to create an effective force.

Although a majority of forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are active duty soldiers, more than a third have been drawn from the reserves and national guard, frequently for tours that have lasted a year or more. The heavy use has hurt recruitment for both the reserves and national guard, even as the active military has seen relatively stable re-enlistment.

Despite the heavy use of reserves in active duty, Lt Gen Helmly's memo did not request additional manpower; instead, it criticised restrictive policies that prevented him from managing, training and mobilising his units more effectively.

As a result, of the 200,000 soldiers in the army reserve, only about 38,000 were available for use; the rest were either currently deployed, recently returned from mobilisation, or awaiting training, he found. "Care should be taken to note that the numbers provided are dynamic and change constantly, almost always downward," Lt Gen Helmly wrote.

Among the policies most hurting the reserves, the general wrote, were requirements to leave "substantial amounts" of equipment for other forces and contractors in the theatre, and policies limiting the training soldiers could do when they returned from mobilisation.

He was particularly critical of a previously undisclosed policy that encouraged reservists to "volunteer" for deployment through special payment bonuses, saying it undermined morale and encouraged soldiers with "lesser responsible positions in civilian life" to repeatedly volunteer. He added that the Pentagon's failure to treat all reservists the same when it came to deployments would set the wrong precedent for future mobilisations.


Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:47:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kill-9:
Boy, am I glad I got out when I had the chance to in October.



You shouldn't say that around here, Kill-9, these guys are saying that you should be in theater for the duration, and not to complain when they deploy you constantly while you're active duty brethern stays home to prepare for the next fight.

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:50:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By kill-9:
Boy, am I glad I got out when I had the chance to in October.



You shouldn't say that around here, Kill-9, these guys are saying that you should be in theater for the duration, and not to complain when they deploy you constantly while you're active duty brethern stays home to prepare for the next fight.


You certainly are good at misrepresenting what people here say, AND the situation regarding active duty deployments.

Don't you think it would make for a better discussion, if you tried to avoid using such dishonest rhetoric?
I do.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:51:10 AM EDT
I'll be married in March - then deployed in May. Nice to way spend the first year or so as a married man. Oh well. I love it, I just hope the Mrs. will be able to handle it.

The NG's role has definately changed.... were hurting for people and if things keep going this way they won't be getting anymore enlistees. Just my opinion based on what i've seen.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:55:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kill-9:
Boy, am I glad I got out when I had the chance to in October.



That's what's gonna kill our reserves.  They're making the choice entirely too easy for the guys who want to serve but also have their other life.  It would be nice if the choice was still as simple as serving until the job is done.  Not anymore.  People realize that there may be nothing to go home to when they are finally done nowadays.  The freedom they're fighting for is the freedom for their civilian position to be "eliminated".
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:56:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By B-O-A-T-S:
I'll be married in March - then deployed in May. Nice to way spend the first year or so as a married man. Oh well. I love it, I just hope the Mrs. will be able to handle it.

The NG's role has definately changed.... were hurting for people and if things keep going this way they won't be getting anymore enlistees. Just my opinion based on what i've seen.



But, but, but they exceeded their recruiting goals...
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:11:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By kill-9:
Boy, am I glad I got out when I had the chance to in October.



You shouldn't say that around here, Kill-9, these guys are saying that you should be in theater for the duration, and not to complain when they deploy you constantly while you're active duty brethern stays home to prepare for the next fight.


You certainly are good at misrepresenting what people here say, AND the situation regarding active duty deployments.

Don't you think it would make for a better discussion, if you tried to avoid using such dishonest rhetoric?
I do.



Misrepresnting what?  

I said this policy of unlimited deployments is going to kill the Reserves, we have a Reservist who said "I am glad I got out when I did" based on this.  How did I misrepresnet anything?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:15:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 9:20:37 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By guardian855:
So first, you talk about sending guys to fight a war "for the duration" but now we have to keep the active duty guys in reserve for emergiencies? That seems a fairly silly policy. When we fought in WWII, or in Korea, even Vietnam, we had the active duty guys do the fighting, the best trained, and best equipped. So basically you are advocating having the Reserves stay in the war for the duration so the active duty guys can stay ready and alert for any potential troubled spots (like Iraq ins't one) back in the states?


You miss the point.

You can't mobilize a reserve unit as a QRF.
It takes too long.




No, I didn't miss the point, it's just a dumb point.

Yes, you did.
It's not "dumb", it's the way it is.



We are fighting a war.  We don't have to wait for a troublespot to start up, we got one.  If you ask me where we need to send troops, or where I think Americans are going to start dying, I don't need the CIA, or intel, or a magic ball.  Give me a map, and I will show you where, and it's Iraq.  

And you see no chance of a conflict opening up anywhere else, huh?
Or even within Iraq itself...
Active duty troops are spending MORE time in Iraq than the reserves.
Ask any Marine reservist.
There may be some who are headed for their second deployment, but ACTIVE units are going for their third or fourth.
I assume that the Army is doing likewise, but then it is the Army.



I am not saying we should send everyone into Iraq, but relying on the reserves so much is going to hurt them.  They will be surprised when there are no reserves left.  The Guard is offerring $15,000 bonuses to anyone who will re-enlist, and they are below their target numbers by 30%.  

Actually, they were short 10%.
The Army Reserve, the Marine Reserve, and their active duty counter parts ALL made their numbers, in terms of recruiting AND reinlistment.

I don't know a single person in my unit that has re-enlisted in the last year even with the $15,000 bonus, and the number of new people that have started in my unit is noticibly down.  The commander of the Reserves warned in a memo that they face a retention and enlistment nightmare, and that everyone is going to leave.  He even used words like nightmare.  I will find the article.  
The Guard is falling short of its goals, but NOT the Reserves.



I know there is a problem, but I am not sure what the solution is.  It's really hard to tell reservists that "you could potentially serve 4 of the next 6 years in a hostile country while you're active duty brethern is going for half that amount, just in case we need them"  It's a dumb policy, and it's going to cause them grief when the reserves disappear.

That's really not what they are saying.
It is a TOTAL of two years that is causing staffing problems for the reserves.

Here's the problem:

My unit got sent to Kosovo for a year, then in a few months, they got sent to Iraq for half a year.

If the next deployment comes up two years later (as it will), there will be some guys who have 18 months under their belts, already.
That means that according to current policy, these INDIVIDUALS can only go for 6 months -BUT THE UNIT IS DEPLOYED FOR A YEAR.
This policy would cause the units to be split up, and piecemealed to the Active units.
You can't take away haly the unit, midway through the deployment.
Unit integrity wopuld be lost, as would combat effectiveness.

As reservists, we need to be aware of the SPECIFICS of this policy, so as not to pass bad information on to the public and the men.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:19:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 9:21:41 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By kill-9:
Boy, am I glad I got out when I had the chance to in October.



You shouldn't say that around here, Kill-9, these guys are saying that you should be in theater for the duration, and not to complain when they deploy you constantly while you're active duty brethern stays home to prepare for the next fight.


You certainly are good at misrepresenting what people here say, AND the situation regarding active duty deployments.

Don't you think it would make for a better discussion, if you tried to avoid using such dishonest rhetoric?
I do.



Misrepresnting what?  

I said this policy of unlimited deployments is going to kill the Reserves, we have a Reservist who said "I am glad I got out when I did" based on this.  How did I misrepresnet anything?



You are claiming that:

"these guys are saying that you should be in theater for the duration, and not to complain when they deploy you constantly while you're active duty brethern stays home to prepare for the next fight."

That's simply not true.
No one is saying that. (other than to mention how it was in WWII, for reference)

Nor is there a policy of "unlimited deployments" being proposed.  That is also untrue.
And as I said in the above post, the Two Year Limit rule will do MORE damage to the reserves, than a few extra months deployed.
That rule will force units to be broken up.
THAT will destroy the reserves.

Splitting up reserve units was disasterous during the first Gulf war.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:29:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:
Nor is there a policy of "unlimited deployments" being proposed.  That is also untrue.
And as I said in the above post, the Two Year Limit rule will do MORE damage to the reserves, than a few extra months deployed.
That rule will force units to be broken up.
THAT will destroy the reserves.




The Army is not talking of a few extra months deployed, they are talking about unlimited deployments.

From the article that started this thread:
"The change under consideration, the Army official said, would essentially make a reservist eligible for an unlimited number of call-ups but stipulate that no single mobilization would last more than 24 consecutive months."

An Army Official used the words "unlimited number of deployments".  True he can only serve 24 months at a time, but there is no mention of how long a reservist would have before being called up to another 24 month deployement, hence a reservist could be deployed for 4 years in a six year period, maybe even more.  
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:35:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 9:47:13 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]
You're misrepresenting the reason behind the rule change.
Do you understand why they are doing it?

I explained it.
Read again....

"My unit got sent to Kosovo for a year, then in a few months, they got sent to Iraq for half a year.

If the next deployment comes up two years later (as it will), there will be some guys who have 18 months under their belts, already.
That means that according to current policy, these INDIVIDUALS can only go for 6 months -BUT THE UNIT IS DEPLOYED FOR A YEAR.
This policy would cause the units to be split up, and piecemealed to the Active units.
You can't take away half the unit, midway through the deployment.
Unit integrity wopuld be lost, as would combat effectiveness."


It is not about "unlimited deployments".  It is about keeping units together, rather than splitting them.

It has nothing to do with activating anyone for two straight years.


Under current policy, a reservist is not to serve on active duty for more than 24 months, although those months can be split among multiple deployments that occur over a period of years.

The change under consideration, the Army official said, would essentially make a reservist eligible for an unlimited number of call-ups but stipulate that no single mobilization would last more than 24 consecutive months. The official said the Army would attempt to use such expanded authority sparingly to avoid alienating soldiers



It is about keeping people on for a deployment, even though they've reached a certain number of months.
It concerns "cumulative time".

You REALLY should know this.  It's your duty.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:53:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By junker46:

Originally Posted By Gartchen:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=542&e=4&u=/ap/20050107/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/reserves

WOW

I really think they are shooting themselves in the foot on this one.  I can imagine a year at a time on active duty, away from wife and kids.  But TWO years and more than once in 6 years?  That is really hard to swallow.  You might as well join the regular forces.

School?  
Job?  
Marriage?
Kids?

God Bless our troops and their sacrifices!




HA HA!  you sound like the Air Force.  Again, the USN/USMC deploys several times a year EACH year.

As far as a 'normal life,' look over the past and you'll see our culture/customs change over time.  Your post --no offence-- seem to reflect the coming out of the 'ME' period and into the 'couch-potato' period.  

Unthinkable, but we may end up like the Isralies; a perpetual state of aggression or conflict.



You are wrong - if you think my post is a "ME" or Couch potato statement.  You do not know my situation or that of many of these people.  I know many - including myself - who would do some of this work for free.  But an uncertain commitment for 6 years puts in jepordy all the the ANG markets itself to be  Community, family, college and the like.  Citizen Soldiers.

It is the guard and reserve for a reason.  You missed the point of my post almost completely.  The point really is - they need to differentiate between Reserve, Guard and Active duty.  The lines are being blurred beyond recognition. If they continue down this path - it WILL ACTUALLY EXCLUDE (not by choice - but by life if you will) - many who would gladly serve their country in the gaurd.

again, bless our troops.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 10:01:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gartchen:


You are wrong - if you think my post is a "ME" or Couch potato statement.  You do not know my situation or that of many of these people.  I know many - including myself - who would do some of this work for free.  But an uncertain commitment for 6 years puts in jepordy all the the ANG markets itself to be  Community, family, college and the like.  Citizen Soldiers.

It is the guard and reserve for a reason.  You missed the point of my post almost completely.  The point really is - they need to differentiate between Reserve, Guard and Active duty.  The lines are being blurred beyond recognition. If they continue down this path - it WILL ACTUALLY EXCLUDE (not by choice - but by life if you will) - many who would gladly serve their country in the gaurd.

again, bless our troops.



Amen, Hallujah, Tell it to the Mountain brother, and a big +1

If people wanted to live like they were active duty in the Army, they would have joined the Army.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 10:02:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 10:04:54 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]
We'll see.

As we approach next year, the time will come, where every reservist who is still in his first enlistment term, will have enlisted AFTER 9/11/2001.
That means they will ALL have come aboard with the knowledge that there will be many deployments.
The Army and Marine reserves are making their numbers.  So all these new recruits and reinlistees are doing so WITH the knowledge, as well.  People are joining to do just what the Resrerves are doing.  It does them a disservice, to suggest otherwise.

The Reserves are changing, but then so are the Reservists.

The National Guard, on the otherhand, really has to get their shit together.
If morale is a problem in the Guard, but NOT in the Reserves.... THAT's a leadership problem.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 10:16:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:

Originally Posted By B-O-A-T-S:
I'll be married in March - then deployed in May. Nice to way spend the first year or so as a married man. Oh well. I love it, I just hope the Mrs. will be able to handle it.

The NG's role has definately changed.... were hurting for people and if things keep going this way they won't be getting anymore enlistees. Just my opinion based on what i've seen.



But, but, but they exceeded their recruiting goals...



lol. Sure they did, and they just found Jimmy Hoffa. Retention in my NG unit is so low that the state is considering merging us back with our parent unit. We can't get anyone in, and we can't get anyone to stay. lol.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:07:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 8:26:53 AM EDT by napalm]

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.




If this is true then we need to quit dicking around and develop a 'total war' mindset like was done in WWII.


If I knew I was going to be gone overseas in the military for 4 out of 6 years, I'd prefer to do so with an active duty unit. I'd most likely get better training and equipment.

I spent a little over 3 years in an active duty combat unit, and around 2 years in a National Guard CSS unit, and the National Guard experience left a lot to be desired.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 1:37:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By napalm:

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
Doesn't ANYONE remember the WWII slogan "For the Duration"?  

How long will we be gone?  For the duration.  In WWII a lot of men and women left the States in '42 and didn't come home until '45.  They were there for the duration.  We face a similar, if not worse, threat to our security as a Nation today as we faced in 1943.  "For the Duration" is here again.




If this is true then we need to quit dicking around and develop a 'total war' mindset like was done in WWII.


If I knew I was going to be gone overseas in the military for 4 out of 6 years, I'd prefer to do so with an active duty unit. I'd most likely get better training and equipment.

I spent a little over 3 years in an active duty combat unit, and around 2 years in a National Guard CSS unit, and the National Guard experience left a lot to be desired.



The political leadership has made the mistake of not officially declaring war and/or mobilizing the entire country to put it on a war footing.  
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:14:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 2:14:59 PM EDT by spm681]
As some one who is not military but has a wife in the Army Guard and a father who spent 38 years in the Air Guard I have a guestion for you guys who seem to know your shit.  It seems to me that this terror war is going to be going on for some time to come, with Iraq and Afganistan seeming to be the starting points.  From looking at this from a simple perspective at what point will someone Bush, Rumsfeld,  or congress come to the conclussion that we need more troops??  Or do we need more troops?  It seems we do.  I believe I have read on this forum that the heavy use of reserve and guard units was part of the plan when the military was drawn down in the 90's.  Is this plan working? In addition did the folks who put this plan together believe we would end up in the kind of war and wars in the future we are now facing.  Did the folks who cut back the military, use the reserve plan as an excuse to cut the military the way they did while at the same time thinking they would never have to implement it??

Last weekend my wife and I were talking to my father about a chance of her being deployed this spring and the current state of our states guard and in his opinion the guard is about two years away from some bigtime problems.

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