Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 19, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

MISTAKE?...OR RECRUITING HOAX?....Yesterday I reported that members of the Individual Ready Reserve colloquially referred to as "inactive" reservists had received a memo saying that about 30,000 of them would be involuntarily transferred to active reserve units for future deployment to Iraq. Today, via James Joyner, I see that the Army is now saying it was all just a mistake:

The consequence of the error appears to be a sharp increase in enlistments in Oregon and elsewhere by reservists who feared being assigned a unit without their consent. They face possible deployment to the Middle East.

Army Reserve officials said the order issued in early May prompted a flood of calls from confused veterans, who are among the estimated 118,000 reservists on inactive status. The Pentagon is not yet forcing re-enlistments but is "screening" inactive reservists for possible call-up, a spokeswoman said.

....Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, commander of the Army Reserve, declined comment on how the mistake was made, a spokesman said. How the mistaken order was issued is a mystery, said Steve Stromvall, the civilian public affairs director for the U.S. Army Reserve Command in Atlanta.

"God only knows at this point where the miscommunication started," he said.

A mistake? This memo was sent out a week ago ostensibly after a May 7th "teleconference with OCAR RTD" and contains specific dates, plans, and numbers. That's a helluva mistake.

I'm really not sure what the story is here, but I'll let you judge for yourself. I've reproduced the entire memo below; you can click to see the whole thing and decide whether or not it looks like a "mistake."

Kevin Drum 10:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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