IRR Call-Up Allows Army to Build, Deploy Cohesive Teams
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 16, 2004 The Army's call-up of Individual Ready Reserve soldiers will allow that service to keep cohesive teams in the National Guard and Army Reserve together, the service's No. 2 general said July 15.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel that the activation of several thousand IRR soldiers will allow that service to "fill critical billets and spaces in the units we call up for our rotation for Operation Iraqi Freedom 3 and Operation Enduring Freedom 6."
Cody said letters went out July 6 to 5,674 members of the IRR, soldiers who have completed an active-duty enlistment but still are within eight years of when they entered the military. All enlistees agree to an eight-year commitment, usually served in a combination of active, reserve-component and IRR service.
Of those who received the letters, Cody said, roughly 4,000 will be brought to active duty. Most of those will be in the specialties of military intelligence, engineers, truck drivers, and other "combat service support" forces, he said.
He explained that having access to IRR soldiers allows the military to fill holes in units without having to call up other units simply to make up for shortfalls "so we have less disruption across the force," he said.
The general said Army leaders recognize a high number of deployments causes "stress and strain" on soldiers and their families. "We're doing everything we can to kind of smooth that out," he said.
Families of activated IRR soldiers bring another set of issues. Generally, they have no access to support systems in place at military bases or through reserve-component family-readiness groups.
"We know it is going to be more challenging for them because they're, in most cases, away from posts, camps and stations," Cody said. "And so we have procedures in place and processes in place to make sure that we take care of their families as we deploy their soldiers."