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June 3, 2004

They Keep Pulling Me... Back... In!

Posted by Mike on June 3, 2004 5:53 AM

Maybe the wave of unpleasant surprise and unhappiness that a threatened IRR callup produced is what caused the Army to extend the stop-loss instead:

Thousands of soldiers who had expected to retire or otherwise leave the military will be required to stay if their units are ordered to Iraq or Afghanistan.

The announcement Wednesday, an expansion of a program called "stop-loss," affects units that are 90 days or less from deploying, said Lt. Gen. Frank L. "Buster" Hagenbeck, the Army's deputy chief of staff for personnel.

So, in other words, Private Joe Snuffy, who thought he was getting out and going home in a week but whose unit has just come down on orders for a rotation in Iraq some time in the next 90 days is not only not getting out and getting on with his life, he's going back over to the sandbox until his whole unit does a tour and gets to come back.

We can leave Private Joe Snuffy aside for a moment, though, because the chances are good that anyone named Private Snuffy probably hasn't done the full eight years of combined active and inactive ready reserve time an enlistment contract entails. To a certain extent, he's just getting his IRR mobilization card pulled before he ever gets to experience the pleasure of not worrying about whether his sideburns are more than halfway down his ear. Where this starts being a crying shame is with the people who have done not just four years of active duty, but anywhere from eight to 20 years, who won't be allowed to retire or separate. They've done their time, and it just doesn't matter. They're about to do more.

Food for thought for the potential recruit in your life: Once they've got you, they've got you, and "fair" doesn't enter into it. This oughta make for some interesting question and answer sessions in more than a few recruiter offices.


Stop loss is a fact of military life and it affects every soldier that is ready to leed a normal life. now there are those soldiers like Pirvate Joe Snuffy, a bad apple in the bunch. However, there are those troops how have done more then their share, like the NCOs who have done everything right and have earned thier freedom. Now, when i said NCO, i mean the team leaders, squad leaders, platoon sergents and first sergents that have gone to combat in all the worse place the US has been, not the guys who site behind a desk 8 hours a day and brag about how tough it was to fire a rifle. i am talking about the guys that play in the mud and go back for more and lie back and take a nap in it. now, i am one of these sergents and have really bad english so i can not spell worth a F*#@ and speak my mind no matter where i am. so, my unit has been through two stop-loss and let me tell. it drags the morale of the soldiers down into the mud. guys that have made plans to go home see there families, girl friends and what ever are now forced to go back to a combat zone and fight for the country once again. now you might be saying boo-who, but if you don't agree that stop loss sucks, then you are 1) an officer who can quit when ever you like or 2) a damn liberal hippie who hates voilence 3) a snot nosed rich kid who at the age of 25 can't tie your own shoes. what is my point, that my friend died in IRAQ because he was on stop loss. IF, and i mean IF he didn't go to IRAQ, he would still be alive with his wife and child. this friend served with me in Afghanistan as well, 9 months in another s@#% hole of the earth. now, did he do his time? yes, yes he did and deserved his freedom from the military to be with his wife and child. now, how do you combat this, the leaders need to have a complete list of the all the soldiers that his unit is going to loss by date. and ensure that once that soldier is at least a month out from that date another soldier with enough time left releaves that soldier, that person, husband, brother, son, daughter, wife, mother, or what have you. this might ensure the morale status of the unit during operations while in garison or during over seas tours. Now if it is just before a major deployment, well the leaders should have planed for this ahead of time. but aparently, this isn't happening and hasn't happend in the past. it might be a stupid idea but giving the soldier the option to stay or leave might have results. depending on the soldier, most of the time they will stay, unless it is private joe snuffy who hates every thing the military stands for and will go to hell and back to make it difficult for his or her leaders. so in conclusion, soldiers have fealings, families and friends too.


Posted by: SGT K. at June 4, 2004 4:54 PM

Who was your friend Sgt K who died in Iraq?

Posted by: John Harders at July 6, 2004 4:27 PM