Paramilitary: June 11, 2004


So far, the U.S. Army has only called 239 of its Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) troops to active duty. IRR troops are rarely called to active duty. The IRR was set up decades ago to provide an emergency reserve of trained troops in the event of war. Those who have served an enlistment, are automatically put in the IRR for however long it takes to make their total active and IRR service eight years. Since these people were recently in the service, the logic was that they would still remember most of their military training if called back within a few years. Historically, this has worked. 

Currently, there are 118,000 men and women in the IRR. The army has identified 6,500 of them as possessing skills that are in short supply and is considering activating them. The only problem is that members of the IRR rarely tell the army when they move, even though they are obliged to. The army has never made an issue of this, if only because they have rarely called on anyone in the IRR. But now they are finding that nearly half the addresses they have, for the IRR people they are looking for, are no good. The army is trying to get access to IRS records in order to find the current addresses.


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