If I may be allowed to bastardize a hallowed bit of techie jargon: Read The F*king Fine Print!
Bryan at Why Now? reminds us of a fact of life: when you enlist in the military services, you're in for at least 8 years. Period. What time of that 8 years is not spent on active duty will be spent as a Reservist, and I caution you, "reservist" does not mean "drilling a weekend a month and two weekends a year". If you are spending that time sitting at home with your thumb up your ass, you're still a member of the United States Army/Naval/Marine Corps/Air Force Reserve, and subject to recall at any time (there are a lot of Army Ready Reservists learning this the hard way, as I'm sure you've read).
In order to attract more people the military is now talking about a 15 month active duty tour. They want people to assume that you will only be required to serve 15 months and then you will be free.While I'm on the subject, let me remind you potential officers of something, by the way. When you move from active duty to the Ready Reserve, you must resign your commission at the end of your obligated service (i.e., your original 8 year commitment). If you don't resign your commission, you're still a reservist, and subject to call up. (I don't know what the rules are for enlisteds; I'm willing to be edumacated if any of y'all know better than me.)
READ THE FINE PRINT! You sign up for a total of 8 years of combined active and Reserve duty. The military has been calling up Reservists who have completed 4 years of active duty because of their Reserve commitment and are refusing to release people who have completed their entire 8-year term. If you sign the paperwork you belong to the military for a minimum of 8 years, not 15 months.
There was a 12-month National Guard program and many people who were in that are being retained well beyond those 12 months.
You are under penalty of criminal prosecution if you fail to fulfill your part in the agreement, but the government is able to alter their obligations at will. If they lie to you, a court will say that they are bad people, but you are required to do what they tell you to do. They don't recognize any restrictions on their power.
Len on 05.17.05 @ 09:53 AM CST