Most Individual Ready Reservists Reporting as Ordered
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2005 The Pentagon has released statistics disproving rumors saying thousands of reservists called up for active duty are refusing to report.
Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, the Army's top personnel officer, told reporters April 7 that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld provided the Army authority to involuntary mobilize up to 6,500 Individual Ready Reservists at any one time to assist military manpower needs in the war against global terrorism.
The IRR consists of former active duty or reserve troops with time remaining on their eight-year military service obligation who are no longer serving in an active or reserve unit. Hagenbeck said about 3,900 IRR members with high-demand specialties have been selected for active duty.
Contrary to some media reports, most of these troops are reporting in as ordered, Hagenbeck noted.
Fifty percent of selected IRR members have already reported for duty and are "moving out on assignment," Hagenbeck said. Others have asked for a delay or deferment of duty, he said, noting those requests "are being processed out individually."
About 546 selected IRR members haven't reported as of March 27, according to Army documents. The Army, Hagenbeck noted, is considering "all the possibilities" in dealing with IRR members who've not reported in.
Brig. Gen. Sean Byrne, the Army's director of personnel management who accompanied Hagenbeck at the briefing, noted there's a major initiative ongoing to transform how the IRR is managed.
As part of that initiative, Byrne said, the Army plans to track down IRR members who haven't reported for duty. "It's probably going to take us awhile to do it, but we are actively moving out on it," he said.