As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Here comes the draft

If you've ever served in the military and thought you were out, they're about to pull you back in:

The Army has begun screening about 17,000 inactive reservists to determine who would be available to be called to active duty if needed, a spokesman said.

The soldiers are members of the Individual Ready Reserve — reservists who are not formally attached to any specific unit.

What is the Individual Ready Reserve, you ask?

The Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) consists of over 118,000 trained Soldiers who may be called upon to fill vacancies in Army Reserve units and may replace Soldiers in Active and Reserve Units. Part of the Army's Ready Reserve, the IRR involves individuals who have had training, served previously in the Active Component or the Selected Reserve (such as a member of an Army Reserve unit), and may have some period of military service obligation remaining. Unlike new recruits, these are seasoned, experienced Soldiers who can contribute significantly to Army readiness. All Soldiers have a statutory eight-year military service obligation (MSO), which is established at the time of entry into military service (Active or Reserve).

In other words, anyone who's even sniffed the military at any time, ever. But these guys are scattered all over the country, and who knows what kind of records the Army keeps on those who have fulfilled their duty? So how are they going to find these reservists?

IRS May Help DOD Find Reservists

FORT WORTH, Texas - The Defense Department, strapped for troops for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, has proposed to Congress that it tap the Internal Revenue Service to locate out-of-touch reservists.

The unusual measure, which the Pentagon said has been examined by lawyers, would allow the IRS to pass on addresses for tens of thousands of former military members who still face recall into the active duty.

For it to become practice, Congress and President Bush would have to approve the proposal, which would involve amending the tax code.

According to this article, the IRR numbers over 280,000 members. Basically, when you enlist, you unwittingly sign an unbreakable 8-year contract, and can be asked back involuntarily at any time in those 8 years. About 7,000 people have been recalled since 9-11.

Involuntary conscription? That sounds familiar... so does burning a draft card...