07/22/2004: Interesting rationale....
Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway calls our attention to a story about Individual Ready Reserve callups, which notes that "along with intelligence analysts, human resources specialists, insect experts, construction workers, truck drivers, healthcare providers, morticians and scores of other occupations" being recalled to active duty, the Army is recalling "two trumpet or cornet players, two French horn players, one trombonist, four clarinet players, three saxophonists, one electric bass player, one percussionist and one euphonium player".
Melanie's take is that the IRR callups are a backdoor draft, and I'm not disposed to argue much, and she further notes the probably disproportionate adverse career impact on recalled musicians as opposed to those in other occupational fields:
The service bands function as a sort of relief valve for the music business, a place where you can go to get some experience before heading out to orchestra auditions. The people being recalled are likely to be called out from orchestras or other hard fought professional situations, if they are still in the profession. Quite frankly, the competition for work is so stiff that most people leave the profession within a couple of years after leaving the bands, unless they are able to come up with a playing job immediately. 90% of the people who graduate from music schools and departments and conservatories on wind and brass instruments will end up in another field.But it was this little comment that caught my eye:
Gen. Richard Cody, the Army vice chief of staff, told the House Armed Services Committee July 7 that the IRR call-up is focusing on combat service support because ''that's where the stress and strain is.'' Cody noted that among the units being stressed ''quite a bit'' are bands, because ''as you know, our bands do an awful lot of our burial services.''Given that the bAdministration has gone to great lengths to keep us from noticing that a buttload of Americans have died over there, I won't be surprise if Gen. Cody's little slip o'the tongue there doesn't result in his reassignment to a supply headquarters in Antarctica, or some other such highly desirable billet.
Len on 07.22.04 @ 12:33 PM CST