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Marines to recall troops to active duty
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer 20 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - The Marine Corps will soon begin ordering thousands of its troops back to active duty because of a shortage of volunteers for
Iraq and Afghanistan — the first involuntary recall since the early days of the war.
Up to 2,500 Marines will be brought back at a time, and there is no cap on the total number who may be forced back into service as the military helps fight the war on terror. The call-ups will begin in the next several months.
The number of troops in Iraq has climbed back to 138,000 — the prevailing number for much of last year. Troop levels had been declining this year, to a low of about 127,000, amid growing calls from Congress and the public for a phased withdrawal. Escalating violence in Baghdad has led military leaders to increase the U.S. presence there.
This is the first time the Marines have had to use the involuntary recall since the beginning of the Iraq combat. The Army, meanwhile, has issued orders recalling about 10,000 soldiers so far, but many of those may be granted exemptions.
Marine Col. Guy A. Stratton, head of the manpower mobilization section, estimated that there is a current shortfall of about 1,200 Marines needed to fill positions in upcoming deployments.
Some of the military needs, he said, include engineers, intelligence, military police and communications.
As of Tuesday, nearly 22,000 of the 138,000 troops in Iraq were Marines.
The call-up will affect Marines in the Individual Ready Reserve, a segment of the reserves that consists mainly of those who have left active duty but still have time remaining on their eight-year military obligations.
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I hope you can find some way to work a piece on the newly announced USMC IRR Recall into the rotation. This is telling given a number of factors:
1) The USMC has a relatively small IRR pool and this 2,500 is a big chunk of it;
2) The USMC has been especially stoic about its retention mission ... observers point to a big drop off in the USMC's already low reup rate;
3) The President signed this IRR recall order on 7/26/2006 without even making an oblique call to military service since July 2005. A sole exhortation for CAREER service in July, 2005 at Ft. Bragg hs been his only "call to service;
4) The USMC has been especially hard hit by combat losses and this portends a grave NCO shortage in key MOSs
Well, Bush knows he'd lose both houses if he called for people to fight in Iraq. It's cowardice.
posted by Steve @ 12:10:00 AM