Saturday, October 06, 2007

Big Army Pisses on Reserve Component Troops 
There's just no other way to frame this.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (NBC) -- When they came home from Iraq, 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed longer than any other ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as part of President Bush's surge.

1st Lt. Jon Anderson said he never expected to come home to this: A government refusing to pay education benefits he says he should have earned under the GI bill.

"It's pretty much a slap in the face," Anderson said. "I think it was a scheme to save money, personally. I think it was a leadership failure by the senior Washington leadership... once again failing the soldiers."

Anderson's orders, and the orders of 1,161 other Minnesota guard members, were written for 729 days.

Had they been written for 730 days, just one day more, the soldiers would receive those benefits to pay for school.

"Which would be allowing the soldiers an extra $500 to $800 a month," Anderson said.

The Pentagon bureaucrats who amended their orders knew exactly what they were doing, and why. How do I know? Because they routinely pull this shit on shorter tours, too: Orders to temporary assignments are routinely cut for 179 days, because at 180 days, the government has to spring for money to fund a PCS - a Permanent Change of Station. Short of 180 days, the tour is considered Temporary Duty, or TDY.

Reserve component soldiers on ADSW tours (Active Duty, Special Work) are frequently put on a series of 179-day tours, with short breaks in between, to avoid this.

When I took my commissioning oath as an officer, I swore to defend our constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that I took this obligation freely, without any mental reservation, or purpose of evasion.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that that "purpose of evasion" clause work both ways, when it comes to our reserve component warriors returning from a 22-month long tour.

The warriors should have overruled the bean-counters on this one.

Scratch that. The warriors should have wrong the bean-counters' necks.

You watch what the replacement cost is going to be as we recruit, bonus and train new soldiers to replace the ones that say "f-ck the Army" and quit after that slap in the face.

I'll guarantee you it's going to be more than the difference between Active Duty and Reserve Component GI Bill for this unit.

Splash, out


There's a much more important reason to be one day short of 730 days.
Remember that under the current mobilization authority if a reservist is called up for 730 days (2 years), then he/she cannot be mobilized again. But if they were on active duty for only 729 days, they can issue orders again tomorrow if necessary. I bet this is more about having the flexibility to send them back to Iraq again rather than trying to shave a few bucks off GI bill costs.
Not that the media would ever make mistakes on a story about the military, but I'm confused.

As I understand it, the brigade was alerted in July 2005, mobilized in September, deployed to Iraq in March 2006, and returned after 16 months.

Would they have remained on active duty to use up accumulated leave or something to get close to the 730 days or what? Or would demobilization have taken 2 months?

If this was a bureaucratic screw job, I'm wondering how they only got just under half the brigade.

I'm not saying these people didn't get screwed, I'm just wondering what the whole story is.

By the way, that 179 day thing has been going on forever. B-52 units deploying to SEA for Vietnam come to mind, 179 day TDY's to avoid giving people credit for an overseas tour.

USAF 66-74
Perfect. Someone was awarded for their "creative problem-solving skills" for this. Incredible myopic leadership traits of officers sprinting through their assignments and leaving crap like this for others to fix on their tour. The Balkans and Sinai tours cemented this personnel-wanker's scheme into the operators' methodology (along with contractor-dependant logistics). Tours were never tied to any operational need, but rather a bureaucratic imperative.

Oh, and try this stunt with a split purchase and see what happens.
A friend of mine in the OK guard was mobed with this unit and stayed with them from the begining to the end. From what he's told me some of the MN guys were able to get their orders extended to make the 2 year mark and the MN legislature also provided them with more benefits educational and others. However, solders that deployed with that unit from other states didn't recieve those extensions or benefits provided by MN. In short he got bent over and dicked after being stuck with them the entire time.

He's one of the ones that Jason talked about thats ones that going to "say "f-ck the Army" and quit after that slap in the face." He'll only reup for 3 years to say out of the IRR. Its really sad what the Army will do to save a buck here and there.
Well, obviously, Minnesota's not going to be granting benefits to people who aren't Minnesotans. But they weren't on a state mission to begin with. They were on a federal mission. Any benefits that accrue should be funded with federal dollars.
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