Thursday, December 21, 2006

Broken Army 
Don't have time to comment extensively right now. But don't miss this article on the strain being undergone by the reserve components.

The discussion is very enlightening, too.

I'm at the decision point now. About 14 years of service in, it is extremely difficult for me to continue drilling. I relinquished my command last month (a very wrenching and depressing passage for me, even though it happens to all officers), and am now between billets.

I will concur that the pressure to leave the military is intense - and a former employer crossed the legal line with me last year, all but threatening to fire me if I kept getting called up for hurricane duty.

Notice I said "former."

Now I work in a very small business and have to factor that into the decision whether to keep drilling, or transfer to the Inactive Guard or IRR.

Now, after years of HHC duty, I'm feeling incredibly burnt out, but that will pass, I'm sure.

This stuff has a way of getting into your blood.

Splash, out


Hi Jason, I was pretty burnt-out by the time I retired from the Navy at 23 years, but no sooner was I a civilian, than I started missing the service. Now, at 60, I'm way too old for even Reserve duty, but I am in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The pay is zero, but when I suit-up and rescue some fisherman who's run out of gas 40 miles out to sea, I get a little bonus that no amount of pay could match. Being in the Auxiliary has put a bounce back in my step that was missing for many years. Whether you leave the Guard, or not, make sure you do something to nurture your inner "sheepdog."
I just re-enlisted 6 months ago, shortly after arriving in country. Too late for second thoughts, obligated now for at least 18 years total.

But I don't know. Had I thought then that the general public would turn so feckless, that we might actually be going to abandon the Iraqis (and if we abandon them we will abandon the Afghans too), I'd certainly not have been so eager.
My pressure comes from my BDE commander. He has us drill 3 weekends a month plus four hours per week on conference calls. I had one hundred days on active duty last year. And I am in the Reserve not the Guard. He wants CSMs who can devote full time to the Reserves which defeats the purpose. One BN CSM is AGR and he wishes we all were. BDE CSM will retire in 2 months after 22 years. Can't take the strain.
Perhaps a time-out period of IRR time is what's needed for you to recharge, if you're feeling the burnout.

It does get in your blood; I transferred to the Retired Reserve last year after 24 years combined Regular/Reserve/Deployed.

And I do miss it sometimes.
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