Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » May 2004 » More scary news....

[« And also at The Village Gate....] ["Criminals are stupid. That's why they get caught." --Jon R. Waltz, Professor of Law, Northwestern University, August, 1979 »]

05/18/2004: More scary news....

this from Daily Kos: Inactive reservists to be called up. Quoth Kos:

Nick Confessore writes in Tapped:
A friend of mine who is currently an inactive Army reservist forwarded me some memos he received regarding future mobilizations -- memos that indicate that we are not far from some kind of conscription in the next few years. According to my friend, recruiters are telling inactive reservists that they're going to be called up one way or another eventually, so they might as well sign up now and get into non-Iraq-deploying units while they still can. There's also a "warning order" -- i.e., a heads-up -- from the Army's personnel command that talks about the involuntary transfer of inactive reservists to the active reserves, and thus into units that are on deck for the next few Iraq rotations.
Nick is unsure of how the inactive reserves work. Here's how it worked during my time in service -- every enlistment was for eight years. The only variable was how many years you were active duty. In 1989, when I enlisted, the options were two, three and four years. I believe the two-year enlistment option has since been eliminated.

In any case, you would finish off your active duty service, and would be "inactive" for the remainder of that eight year term.
Kos has it pretty much correct; here's how I understand it. "Active" reservists (when I was in the Navy, IIRC, these were called the "Selected reserves" and designated as "USNR-S1" or "USNR-S2") are what we normally think of as "reservists" (National Guardsmen and Air National Guardsmen count in this context, too, since they are part of the Army and Air Force reserve components). They are the "weekend warriors" who drill once a month and then do two weeks of summer training as well. "Inactive" reservists (when I was in the Navy, these were the "Ready" reservists" and designated as "USNR-R") are people who did their time on active duty, as Kos describes above, and are completing their military commitments on inactive duty. Inactive duty basically commits the "inactive" reservist to one military duty: to obey a recall to active duty if orders are received. Because inactive reservists don't train, they can be considered "the bottom of the barrel" of the reserve components: as (relatively) recent releases from active duty they can be considered as having some of their military skills, but given that they don't train, obviously they are going to lose those skills over time (particularly those inactive reservists who were in strictly military specialties like combat arms or combat support branches; inactive reservists who use the same skills in their civilian jobs--like, say, doctors and other medical personnel--are obviously less apt to lose the skills that make them valuable to the services). If the services are seriously considering a call up of the inactive reservists, a draft may well be too close behind.

I should mention that by describing them as "the bottom of the barrel" of the reserve components, that I don't mean this pejoratively, but simply as a description of their utility to the services. Inactive reservists will be a bit less valuable to the services since they are farther removed from their service time, and may need "refreshers" in both their military job skills and in matters of military behavior and discipline. I should know; in the years after my own active time in the Navy ended I waited out the remainder of my military obligation in the Ready Reserve (USNR-R).

Len on 05.18.04 @ 01:52 PM CST

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