The military is not calling back discharged and retired individual soldiers. They are dipping into the Individual Ready Reserve. There is a big difference between calling up IRR soldiers and recalling retired or discharged soldiers.
When you sign a contract to enlist or get a commission, it is generally for EIGHT years. You perform four years of Active Duy, then you have four left in the Reserves or National Guard. The branch of the Reserves and National Guard that does not have soldiers perform monthly or annual training is the Individual Ready Reserve. It's usually where the dead weight is put - where those who don't add value are placed to finish out their obligation. For instance, if you had a work conflict with your Reserve committment, you would be placed in the IRR to finish out your committment. If you were consistently absent from the monthly weekend training, you would get placed in the IRR.
Everyone in the IRR should know that they can get called to service just like any other Reservist.
There are no indications that the military is calling up 7,500 retirees or formerly discharged soldiers - people like me with a DD214 Form indicating termination of service. They are calling up Reservists and National Guardsmen who are in a pool of soldiers in the IRR. It's a resource that can be tapped and it's not a shock to many Reservists or Guardsmen.
I've seen the story below at AP. Here is the Fox News version:
Old Soldiers to Be Called to Action Tuesday, June 29, 2004During the Gulf War in 1991, several doctors were pulled out of retirement to serve during the duration of the war. So, recalling retirees is not entirely uncommon. But, clearly, the article indicates that the media believes that soldiers in the IRR have been retired or discharged.
WASHINGTON — As many as 7,500 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan, Army sources told FOX News Tuesday.
In a new sign of the strain the insurgency in Iraq has put on the U.S. military, Army officials said the call-ups will begin in July and run through December.
It will be the first time the Army has relied on the Individual Ready Reserve, as this category of reservists is known, in substantial numbers since the 1991 Gulf War...
Can't the AP or Fox hire more military guys to fact check (their ass) or do they have to rely on us MilBloggers.
Update: It appears that the AP has adjusted their story. Fox and Reuters are still running the original.
Update 06-30-04: Sgt. Stryker has more.
Link to the breakdown of the Army Reserve forces.