Attrition: IRR Has Another Media Misadventure


September 6, 2006: The U.S. Marine Corps is using its IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) troops to limit the amount of time troops spend in a combat zone. Next to the army, the marines have spent the most time in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the army, with a much larger reserve (about 140 reservists for every hundred active duty troops, compared to only 58 for the marines) has sent a larger proportion of its force to the combat zones. But three years of combat in Iraq, and five in Afghanistan, has caught up with the marines. So they are calling up 2,500 of their IRR troops. Most people in the IRR are there for four years, to finish out the eight year obligation incurred when they enlisted (usually for four years of active duty.) The marines have about 58,000 troops in the IRR, which exists for situations like this. The marines are not calling up anyone in their first year of the IRR (that is, who just got off active duty). Marines being called up will have at least five months warning, before they begin 12-18 months of active duty. The marines are also encouraging, with some success, IRR and recently retired marines to volunteer for activation.
The mass media tended to report on this use of the IRR as something between fraud and involuntary servitude. Makes for a better news item that way.




You Can Throw Us A Rope!

Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd by plastering our site with ads. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close