Marines to Alert 1,800 Individual Ready Reservists for Reactivation
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 26, 2007 Over the next week, 1,800 Individual Ready Reserve Marines will receive notice from the Marine Corps that they are needed in Iraq, an official announced today.
Marine Lt. Col. Jeff Riehl, Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs spokesman, told reporters at the Pentagon today that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates approved the notification March 23, and the letters are being mailed today.
All enlistees in all services incur an eight-year commitment in some capacity, generally a combination of active or reserve duty and then IRR service. The Marine Corps can call up to 2,500 Marines from its 60,000-member IRR pool to involuntary service at any one time, following a July 26 authorization from President Bush.
To date, the Corps has recalled 69 IRR members under this authorization, and today’s announcement represents the largest involuntary recall in the Marine Corps since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
From the 1,800 IRR members notified, Riehl said, Marine Corps officials expect 1,200 to re-enter active duty, including 1,067 sergeants and 133 captains. The ratio of notified IRR Marines to those expected to reactivate is 1 and a half to 1, as some Marines will be unable to fulfill their orders due to various mitigating circumstances, he said.
“We’ve adopted the philosophy of ‘do no harm to the Marine,’” Riehl said. “So if a Marine comes aboard during the muster and they have family issues, medical issues (or) they cannot be activated for that timeframe, we have a delay, deferment or exemption process.”
In addition, the service is excluding Marines who are in their first year of IRR service. Only Marines in their second or third year of IRR service are being involuntarily recalled, Riehl said.
The service is targeting Marines in aviation maintenance, logistics support, combat arms, motor transportation, communications, intelligence and military police -- career fields that are experiencing personnel shortages, he said.
“We’re doing this to help beef up the forces in the shortfalls that we have,” Riehl said. “Marines who receive notifications will be instructed to muster April 10-30 at the Mobility Command in Kansas City, Mo., and they will report between Oct. 9 and Oct. 20 for one year of additional active duty, Riehl said. Unit deployment dates will be in early 2008, he added.
The service has set up a Web site, https://mcmps.manpower.usmc.mil/MCMPS/GIDA/, to allow IRR Marines and recent retirees to volunteer for war on terror assignments.
The breakdown of military occupational specialties for the 1,200 IRR members is:
-- 361 Aviation Maintenance
-- 225 Logistics and Support
-- 223 Infantry, Tanks and Artillery
-- 178 Motor Transport
-- 97 Communications
-- 95 Intelligence
-- 21 Military Police