June 30, 2004

BLACKFIVE WRITES that journalists are making fools of themselves via their ignorance of things military:

The military is not calling back discharged and retired individual soldiers. They are dipping into the Individual Ready Reserve. There is a big difference between calling up IRR soldiers and recalling retired or discharged soldiers.

When you sign a contract to enlist or get a commission, it is generally for EIGHT years. You perform four years of Active Duy, then you have four left in the Reserves or National Guard.

He dissects a number of stories that get it wrong. You know, this kind of thing might have been excusable before, but we’ve been at war for going on three years. You’d think somebody would have bothered to learn this stuff.

UPDATE: Here’s a related post from SgtStryker.com.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Rob Matteo emails:

Kudos for your post from Blackfive and Sgt. Stryker. I am a retired Army Officer and the minute I started hearing the reports of a “backdoor draft” etc. I knew that once again, the press has no clue on all things military. Any soldier would know there is a huge difference.

How is it possible that there is no editor or writer who has ever served in the miltary? Not very representative of our society I’d say.

They’ve got a diversity problem.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Shaun Evans emails:

It is bad that no journalists have served in the military. But it is
inexecusable to go to press with a story that could have been corrected
with a 15 second google search (including typing the query): Link

Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), a manpower pool in the Ready Reserve,
primarily consists of: Individuals who have had training, have served
previously in the Active component or the Selected Reserve, and have
some period of a military obligation remaining. IRR members are in an
active status
, but do not perform regularly scheduled training.

Indeed. It’s almost like they want to get it wrong. Meanwhile Dan Williams emails that the confusion is widespread:

It’s not just the media getting it wrong. Teachers and parents are taking in the info and passing it to teens. I’m a scout master and deal with a lot of teen boys. Many seem to be convinced that the draft is coming back and the Bush admin is going to draft them all into the military.

I try to explain the politics to them when I get the chance, but it’s far more complex than they expect politics to be.

Charles Rangel with his Draft bill ain’t a Bushie.

And everybody’s happy about that, at least . . . .