Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Drew Weapons Today

Today we did draw weapons and cleaned them. It has probably been six years since I have held an M16. It was sort of fun to go through the parts of the weapon and take it apart to clean it. We had a little refresher course on how the weapon works and I was thankful for that. Something happened with the ranges we were supposed to go to to qualify on the 8th and 9th. Now we are pushed back to Friday the 10th. This isn't so bad except we only have reservations in the hotel until the 10th. What this means is that if we qualify on Friday and don't get our orders out of here for Friday we will have to move into the trailers for the weekend. In fact they had us draw linens for our bunks in the trailers today. In the grand scheme of where we are going to end up, the trailers aren't so bad.

I mentioned that there was another group that came in over the weekend. They were expecting around 100 people and less than 50 showed up. We are a week ahead of them inprocessing so we are separated from them. We did have one brief with them today when we met with a Major from JAG. She, the Major, went over some legal stuff and preliminary Rules of Engagement (ROE). During this brief the other group was very vocal about how unfair they thought the recall was and how upset they were with it. At one point one of them asked what would happen to them if they just left. The Major said they would be considered AWOL, then after 30 days they would be considered deserters. Apparently this is how they are handling the people that don't show up to begin with.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the recall that is going on it goes something like this. About the middle of July 5600 people who are in the status of IRR (individual ready reserve) were authorized to be recalled into the Army. The callups are going to be phased between August and December to be able to process that many extra soldiers back into the Army. There are a few ways people could be in the IRR. First, when you enlist you must enlist for 8 years. However many years you do active you must fulfill the balance either in the reserves or in the IRR. Second, If you don't do 20 active years but still want to receive a prorated retirement you can transfer to the IRR and do certain things each year to earn retirement points. These things can include correspondence courses, Reserve drills, and various other military type things. If you asked any IRR Soldier if they ever thought they would be recalled I think 99.9% of them would have said never in a million years. Guess we wouldn't be good gamblers.


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