Paramilitary: September 27, 2003


The U.S. Army has ordered all 410,000 troops in the Army Reserve to prepare for mobilization. Not everyone is being ordered to active duty, but the new orders make everyone aware that the army reserves are now on a wartime footing. That means that all training is cancelled unless it has something to do with preparing for activation, especially if service in Iraq is required. Because of the new 12 month tour of duty for reserves in Iraq, this means about 15 months of active duty. This is because the 12 months is time actually in Iraq, not the time getting ready and getting back. This alert also applies to the 430,000 troops in the National Guard, although they remain under the control of their state governments until mobilized (or "federalized"). This new order also calls for commanders to quickly identify those under their command who are not fit (physically, or in terms of training) to go overseas and either fix the problems or try and get someone else to fill those jobs.  The American reserve system has never been used this extensively since it was established after World War II. The National Guard, however, has been called up in large numbers three times in the last century (Spanish-American war and the World Wars.) As a result of a mobilization this extensive, unexpected problems will probably be abundant. The actual number of reserves on active duty will not go up much (in fact, it has been dropping for the last two months), as the newly mobilized men are being used to relieve troops who were sent to Persian Gulf  last Fall.


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