reinstatement of old vets for the war?

I do hate to bring up a draft related question. Jeebus knows I am as sick of it all as the rest of you. However, I need to settle a debate with a friend and can find nothing on the subject. I do know the draft hype is just that, hype. But she claims that the the military is currently reinstating vietnam era vets. She says they are not currently being deployed but they are being considered active and could get called up at any time. :dubious:
I’;m not buying it, she won’t give me a cite. :dubious:
I’m thinking these guys would be 50yrs old or older. Come on!!! :smack:

BTW. I am asking for factual purposes only so I don’t want responses that would be better suited for GD. Thanks.

While I can’t specifically exclude Vietnam-era veterans from those who are being called up from the retired ranks, your friend does show a significant misunderstandning of what is going on.

When troops finish their commitment or retire from the military, they are placed in a reserve status for a period of time. While in this Individual Ready Reserve, they can be called back to service. These folks would generally have left the service within the past few years, NOT several decades ago. Here is one explanation (it’s a Reuters article, just happens to be on FR).

The Secretary of Defense COULD call back retired members of the military, but to my knowledge, such has not happened yet. So far as I have seen, all mobilziations for this sort have been from the IRR. Cite on retiree call ups.

And, to be clear, these authorities have nothing to do with the draft. The draft needs to be authorized by Congress. The draft applies to civilians. Calling up the IRR or Retired Reserves is a power exercised by the President and Secretary of Defense. They are not the same.

I think the only retired military subject to recall indefinitely are general and flag rank officers. I’m not sure this is still true but it formerly was the case that generals and admirals actually went on inactive status upon retirement and could be recalled whenever their services were required.

All other retired military are subject to Ready Reserve for a limited period only.

If a person joined the military at age 18 in 1975 (the end of the Viet Nam era) and retired in 1995 at 38, they would now be 47 years old, and will have been retired for 9 years. This places them in Category II, those retirees who have been out more than 5 years. The activation of retirees would be only in the case where no person trained in that particular job could be found in the Active or Reserve forces. Category I retirees would be reviewed for activation first, THEN on to Category II. So yes, it is possible that this COULD occur. They are NOT considered active until they ARE active. They are in the pool, just like I am (Major, Marine Corps, Individual Ready Reserve) and I would go WAY before they would.

David Simmons, the DoD Directive does not support your opinion. There are no age limits, and no restrictions mentioned about rank.

And the link from Ravenman is outdated, the DoD Directive from 1984 is superceded by the one from 1990 (linked above)

However, what IS going on is the active recruitment of Federal employees and former military to fill holes in Iraq. While they are not required to take the jobs, many are doing it for the money. The only cite I have for this are the two employees in my wife’s building that have decided to go. And yes, they were recruited, not actively looking for another job.

I guess my information is from a long time ago when the US didn’t get into a war every year or so and so many people weren’t needed.

Thank you. That clears it up. :slight_smile:

So, the implication is that once you’re a member of the military, then you are never 100% civilian ever again? That directive puts a lot of power in the hands of the Secretaries of the various Military Departments. How is it Constitutional? Is this something that a recruit agrees to when he/she signs up? Even if they were drafted?

If so, given that the directive supersedes one from 1984, is there a grandfather clause.

I doubt there is a Grandfather Clause, firstly, and secondly I don’t think the 84 and 90 versions are all that different.

As for Finagle’s second question, no, normal military folks who do one or two hitches are not on the books forever. A normal requirement is 8 years of service, maybe 4 active, 4 reserve. Or 6 total, with three and three. After that committment is up, the member is no longer obligated for squat.

This situation in the OP is for RETIREES, who still get a monthly paycheck from Uncle Sam. MY situation is I have not resigned my Commission in the Reserves. I could probably do that with a letter, but I have not. My committment is over, it was over in 1996, but I am still in a file drawer somewhere until I resign.

Folks who got out recently and are being recalled are still within that committment time. If this were happening in 1995, and I was wearing my hair long and getting fat (which I was in 1995), they could have called my long-haired-lard-assed butt back to duty, since I still had a year left until my full 8 year committment was up, even though I had gotten off active duty in 1992.

OK, so then “retired” has sort of a different meaning than in civilian life? E.g. that pension is sort of a retainer? And by accepting that pension, you agree to be in what is essentially a tertiary reserves program?


To pick nits, you cannot retire from military service after 20 years of active duty. Those of us in that catagory are in the Ready Reserves in an inactive status for ten years past our discharge dates. After those ten years, we are then transfered to the retired list. But everyone calls it retirement, and those with military service know what is meant. This was almost kinda explained by UncleBill and Ravenman above.

This does, however make us eligible for a recall to active service without our consent.

When the battleships (BB’s - Iowa, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and the one who’s name I can never remember) were pulled out of mothballs in the late '80s/early '90s (they were placed in an inactive status after the Viet Nam), the story goes that several gunner’s mates with BB experience were recalled to active duty to train the new crews, since there were no other 16-inch guns operating anywhere in the US Navy.

Yeah. What UncleBill said.

Sean Factotum: The other Iowa-class battleship is the USS Missouri (BB-63). It’s the one that the Japanese surrendered to Gen. MacArthur on in 1945.

Five-star generals and admirals (of which there are none, currently) remain on active service (with full pay) for life. Dwight Eisenhower had to resign his rank when he was elected President, since active-duty officers are Constitutionally prohibited from taking elected office. At the end of his term, his rank was reinstated. (cite)