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June 30, 2004



The WSJ is guilty as well, their front page blurb parrots the "retired" fallacy as well.

Tom Bowler

I suspect the New York Times has it wrong with "made up of soldiers who were honorably discharged". Wouldn't that be a surprise. There is another distinction, which is "separated". In my Air Force experience I got my "separation" after four years of active duty, and Honoroble Discharge after another two years of inactive reserve, completing a six year commitment. I didn't find any mention of "Honorable Discharge" in the military pieces you linked to. Times have changed I'm sure, but a "discharge" always used to be the end of your military obligation. I'd be surprised if that changed.


When I was honorably discharged in
1975 my Green (active) ID was replaced
with a Red (inactive reserve) ID. The new ID
was valid for four more years. The inactive
reserve is quick response back-up in case
of emergency. It had no real military meaning.
But You're there if needed.

Eric Blair

The NYT is full of shit as usual.

Soldiers today typically sign a contract for 8 years. 4 years active duty, 4 years in the reserve. Reserve duty can be in Reserve units, where you have do drills and show up for training and stuff, or it can be in the Individual Ready Reserve, where you're just a name on a mobilization list.

In either case, these people have military ID cards--but of a different color than active duty personnel because they are reservists.

I got called up out of the IRR for the first Gulf War, and I was classified as RT-12, "Recent Training within 12 months" which meant that I had gotten out of my active duty unit within the last 12 months.

The Army is probably doing the same thing now, which I guarantee is pissing off those that are getting called up, because they are not in reserve units, and are not doing any training and want to be out of the military, but its not like they didn't know about it.

One used to be able to transfer from the reserves to the IRR, and if you didn't show up for your reserve unit for a length of time you were automatically tranferred, but I doubt that's happening now.


Tom and Eric are basically right, although in my day the transfer to the IRR also meant giving up one's military ID. I joined the Navy for six years of active duty, and on my last day of that (my EAOS), I surrendered my green military ID, and was not given another. I had served six active years, but still had two years where my name was on a computer somewhere in the "IRR." I was never contacted, never had to drill, but my honorable discharge did not get sent to me until after the IRR time was up.


A not-dishonorable discharge?

retired military

It has been a while and I dont know if the language has changed or that I have it exactly right but to my understanding.

Every male above 18 has a set amount of time they are obligated to serve their country. I believe that time is 6 or 8 years. Now we dont enforce this but it is still an obligation, hence the draft, etc. Folks who serve say 4 years and get an honorable discharge still have the remainder of the 6 (or 8) years that they owe the country. They understand this when they get their discharge (DD214) and it is clearly written in the enlistment contracts. Go to any recruitor station and they can explain exactly the terms. So say the term is 6 years (I believe this is correct). I serve 4 years and get an honorable discharge. I am still considered in the IRR for 2 more years. These are the folks (to my understanding of the newspiece) that are being recalled.

As I stated a recruitor would be able to explain it much more clearly and have the latest information on this subject. I am going strictly from memory and I have been retired for more than 5 years so my info could be wrong or outdated.

Danny R. Scarborough

To Whom It May Concern:

I enlisted in the Marines in Sept. 1978 on a Delayed Entry Program. I served approx. 5 days in the Reserves until I was notified by the recruiter for Active Duty. On Oct. 5, 1978, I was sworn in. Think about this:
I signed up for 3 years and was only an enlisted person. My rank never got above an E-3 although while on Leave at home I passed Time and Grade for E-3. I was supposedly Discharged on Dec. 23, 1982, but have never seen this discharge nor is there on on record signed by me. I believe my status now would be AWOL would it not? Since I have a unsigned DD-214?
I personally believe everyone needs to just leave John Kerry alone. He spent his time in the service for this country and whether or not he still had time to serve is just a mute point.
He would not have got us into this mess that our country is not if he had ran and was elected in office instead of Bush buying his way in just to get us in this war!
These are the facts people! Think back to the days of his father in office. What happened then and what was the outcome.
Bush ignored advice that was presented to his father, and look where it has got us.
I was there, I know!
I lost some close friends due to this situation the first time around!
Bush had our polls closed early just to get into office!
Don't believe me...ask Sen. Thelma Harper!
I voted to, but for what? Our votes did not count then and if Bush get back into office, they still won't!

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