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Passions in Poetry

National Guards and Army Reserves - Broken?

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iliana
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0 posted 04-19-2006 05:09 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I did some researching tonight to find out the current status of the National Guards and Army Reserves; e.g., how many troops serving in Iraq; what percentage of our forces is made up of those two sectors; deaths; casualties, etc. The closest I came to finding answers was at the Defense Dept.'s website and it was dated 2004, I think.  I did find this one which is recent but doesn't tell how many of those deployed are in Iraq:   WARNING: PDF file .  

Some statistics I found indicated the Guard and the Army Reserves were being very heavily deployed and have taken and are still taking higher percentages of deaths and casualties than other branches.  

Many things I read had to do with complaints that the Guard and Army Reserves were over-extended and "broken" as a result, and that those forces lacked either proper physical (medical) readiness due to lack of medical insurance (the Guard) and short call-up time, shortages of equipment or protective gear, financial hardships on the families left behind because of pay differential adding to stress, etc., etc., etc.  Most of those articles were a year old or more.  I couldn't seem to find anything current.  

It doesn't make sense to me that there are so many Guards and Army Reserves (Reserves in general, but mostly Army) in Iraq, if that is still the case.  Is it because it is the cheapest way to go or what?  Where is the rest of the military?  

My brother-in-law, a veteran National Guardsman, told me the other night, "This is a Guards' and Reserves' War."  Is that truly the case (it looks like it to me) and WHY?  There are six generals complaining publically now about mismanagement -- so this thread can go anywhere I suppose.  I do hope someone has answers to the questions I pose, though.  

Edit - fixed long link - Ron

[This message has been edited by Ron (04-19-2006 07:42 AM).]

Midnitesun
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1 posted 04-19-2006 11:47 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

I don't keep track of the stats, but can say for sure that the Oregon Guard has lost many men in Iraq and quite possibly Afghanistan.
I think it should be possible to obtain more current stats from a news media source than from state or federal government sources, or the military.
maybe try legacy.com

[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (04-19-2006 12:25 PM).]

iliana
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2 posted 04-19-2006 12:55 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Ron - Thanks for making the link smaller.  I did scan it for viruses just now and it appears to be safe.  

Kacy, ty.  Am having problems opening the link.  I can find mortality and casualty stats, but for the most part, I cannot find one big source that breaks out how many for each branch of Service lumped into total national tallies (by military branch).  What I find are total numbers of all military branches combined.    
Midnitesun
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3 posted 04-19-2006 01:15 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Jo, have you tried contacting your local major news media staff for help? They may already have what you seek.
iliana
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4 posted 04-19-2006 02:47 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Kacy, thanks but they were no help.  I did find this though http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx  . I've written to that site asking if they can break it down for me.  However, it still does not give totals of each separate branch of the military, specifically the Guards and Reserves (at least that I can find).  I'm specifically interested in knowing what backs up some of the articles I read saying that National Guard and Army Reserves are taking the biggest hits.  

But most of all, I want to know whether or not it is as my brother-in-law has said, the "National Guard's and Reserves' War" and why that is if it really is true.  
Midnitesun
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5 posted 04-19-2006 05:01 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Jo, maybe it has to do with comparing this to previous wars, where the National Guard and Reserves were not so heavily relied upon for frontline fighting? I could be wrong, as I don't follow military stats and actually avoid that specific research, but my gut-level feeling is this most recent American involvement in warzones  utilized a far greater percentage of the Guardsmen and Reservists than previous deployments. And it might be really difficult to gather accurate info since it comes from so many sources and not everyone updates regularly...for whatever reasons. I can't even imagine the current government being able to maintain accurate daily counts and totals, as it seems to have trouble finding its own tailend most days. ( yes, I AM jabbing here)
iliana
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6 posted 04-20-2006 12:54 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

No takers to the jabbing, Kacy....guess that means everyone agrees?!  LOL
Ron
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7 posted 04-20-2006 08:46 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
No takers to the jabbing, Kacy....guess that means everyone agrees?

Or, perhaps, no one else really cares?

National Guard, Army Reserves, Marines, Navy, Air Force . . . last I checked, Jo, they all had mothers, wives, children, and lives they feel are important. Their individual reasons may differ widely, but in the absence of a national draft, each chose much the same course to follow. And, of course, though the uniforms be different, they all serve under the same flag.

At the end of the day, no matter the arbitrary distinctions used to create divisiveness, the men and women of the armed services are marked more by commonalities than by differences.
iliana
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8 posted 04-20-2006 10:42 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Ron, are you saying that the use of such high rates of the Guards and Reserves serves like the draft?

I think service to our nation is an admirable thing no matter what I think about war -- just wanted to add that.  I guess my concerns focus on why these troops, who seem less prepared or equipped than the other forces?  I have to admit I have personal reasons to be concerned.  My son is being recruited heavily by both the  Guards and Reserves.  He is only 17 (they have been calling him since he was 14 years old) -- not even out of high school yet and they've already given him the ASFAB -- picked him up from high school and took him down to take the test.  They have convinced him that his chances of being called to active duty in Iraq are very minimal.  He believes the recruiters.  I think they are salesmen, and at this point I am wondering if he might not be better off to enlist in one of the full-time services.  

[This message has been edited by iliana (04-20-2006 12:27 PM).]

Balladeer
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9 posted 04-20-2006 04:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No takers to the jabbing, Kacy...

hmmm....some drive-by poster on another thread made a critical comment about low blows...hey, wasn't that you, Iliana? Guess when you or an agreer of yours does it, it's a fine thing then? You also made a comment about people who only like to argue about anything and here it seems you're piqued because no one will. Hard to follow the reasoning sometimes....
Not A Poet
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10 posted 04-20-2006 04:31 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

sometimes arguments are started that simply aren't worth the effort or wasted time.
iliana
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11 posted 04-20-2006 04:54 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I'm baffled.  I do not see what the argument is yet. True, I have not put a premise to argue, other than:  is the system broken?  

I have asked for some serious discussion about this topic, albeit for selfish interests, and to me the topic seems totally worth some discussion.  As a parent, I hope to point out all alternatives and help provide the best choices to my son (even if they are not followed) -- then at least, I will have done my job.  I put this post here because there are some very knowledgeable people about this subject, I think.  

The low blow comment in the other thread was aimed at picky little stuff that gets personal and to me seemed like a valid comment.  Things go that way in debates, from my experience and observation, (believe it or not I used to debate in high school) when an opponent is losing the argument for lack of sustantive facts.  

Maybe I should ask Ron to move this thread to Feelings or to the Lounge.  I put it here because I thought there might be an argument involving the recent developments with allegations by six generals of Rumsfeld mismanaging and one of those arguments might be the use of so many guards and reserves.  I am not saying that, but I suspected that might have come up.
Balladeer
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12 posted 04-20-2006 05:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

a valid comment? It was no comment at all..just a small hit and run statement -actually the second one of that thread. I assume you feel you are the one to judge what is picky and what is not.

when an opponent is losing the argument for lack of sustantive facts.  

If that is what you got from that debate, I doubt your debating career got past high school, with all due respect. Perhaps you should re-read it, if you care.

Rumsfeld? Where does that fit in? You begin a thread about the amount of reserves used in Iraq, state that is is for concern for your son, and then state it was designed to begin an argument involving six generals' criticisms of Rumsfeld?

one of those arguments might be the use of so many guards and reserves.  I am not saying that, but I suspected that might have come up.

Suspected - or hoped? You don't want to say Rumsfeld has anything to do with that decision but you hope that someone else will make that leap and you can jump in to agree with them. A new debate strategy?

Kenny Rogers said it best....know when to hold 'em, know when to fold. You gave it a shot...tried to get an anti-Rumsfeld debate going by having it backdoored in under the topic of reserve soldiers being used and it didn't take....and, instead of simply accepting the fact that it didn't work and moving on to another topic and another attempt, you chastise or try to LOL people who didn't take the bait. As Pete stated, sometimes it's just not worth the effort.
iliana
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13 posted 04-20-2006 06:44 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Balladeer, since you don't seem to understand my real concerns, I will not try to argue with you about anything.  I had no intention of bringing up Rumsfeld...it's something I thought someone else might interject since this was a broad topic and I really don't know all the sides of that.  (And yes, I folded the debate career with high school, you're right. )  I had sincerely thought that some of you veterans would have some opinions about the use of the forces, the way they have been used in the last several years (maybe more insight than I) that would help me understand things a little better as to whether it would be wiser for my son to go active duty or join the reserves.  I explained once before that I put it in this forum because I figured there were debatable issues related to that but I don't have anything much to say as far as that goes because I cannot find recent data (as I explained above).

I'll refrain from repeating any low blow comments in the future, if you will give me some insight.  And, if you think this thread belongs in a different forum, I would appreciate your letting me know that.  Thank you for commenting.  

[This message has been edited by iliana (04-20-2006 09:29 PM).]

Balladeer
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14 posted 04-20-2006 07:25 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Iliana, where you post depends on what you are trying to achieve. If your interest is in creating a debate, for example, the Alley is the place. If you are looking for information only, then perhaps another forum would suffice. I'm not sure any of us old veterans would have the figures of reservists used in past conflicts like Korea, Viet Nam, etc to compare them to the figures of Iraq but I suppose a search of Google or some other search engine may turn up that information.

No takers to the jabbing, Kacy....guess that means everyone agrees?!  LOL

If you were sincerely looking for information only, I doubt you would have used that comment so, yes, I think you posted your thread in the right place. As far as your son is concerned, all I can remember from my military days is that there were no guarantees and it was basically the luck of the draw....not comforting words for mothers of soldiers, I'm sure. I wish him the best...
iliana
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15 posted 04-20-2006 07:36 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Thanks for your thoughts, Deer -- I already did the search and couldn't find enough information.  The links I posted above were the best I could find.

The comment to Midnitesun was strictly in regard to her comment, btw.  I thought I was being funny....geez, let it die, will ya?  lol  Or, maybe you do disagree with her and you're wanting me to give you a push?  *smiles*  If you do, maybe you could start a new thread and maybe I'll argue with you there.     
JesusChristPose
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16 posted 04-20-2006 08:16 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

I am a retired navy chief who served 23+ years as an active reservist. What do you want to know?

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."

iliana
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17 posted 04-20-2006 08:44 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

JCP, I want to know what the probability is if he signs up for either the Guard or the Reserves, that he will be called to active duty in Iraq.  He does not believe there is any chance he will be called to active duty prior to college graduation.  From what research I have done, it appears to me that the chances are very likely he will be called up to active duty possibly even before he enrolls in college as he is 17 now and will not graduate high school until next year (by that time, he will have completed all his training if he signs on now as they want him to).  I was wondering if it might be better to achieve his goals in the long run if he completed college first and then enlisted.  Also, is the training for the Guards and Reservists as tough as the other branches (I would hope it is) in preparing to participate in war?  

I'm wondering, too, if the Guards and Reserves are badly stressed as a result of the war as mentioned in the original post (more seriously stressed than the other branches of the military)?  I feel like I'm handing over his life, you see, and just want him to make the most informed choices he can rather than to be coaxed into it by the big sign-on bonuses, kickers, etc., that the recruiters are offering.  

Thank you for your years of service to our country, and for being willing to answer my questions.  

[This message has been edited by iliana (04-20-2006 11:49 PM).]

JesusChristPose
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18 posted 04-22-2006 12:37 AM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

"JCP, I want to know what the probability is if he signs up for either the Guard or the Reserves, that he will be called to active duty in Iraq."

~ That all depends on his rating.

"He does not believe there is any chance he will be called to active duty prior to college graduation.  From what research I have done, it appears to me that the chances are very likely he will be called up to active duty possibly even before he enrolls in college as he is 17 now and will not graduate high school until next year (by that time, he will have completed all his training if he signs on now as they want him to)."

~ You don't explain the circumstances of his either enlisted or commission, and I can't comment based on the above paragraph without more information.

"I was wondering if it might be better to achieve his goals in the long run if he completed college first and then enlisted."

~ If he graduated from college first, he doesn't have to enlist, he can apply for a commission. Still, it all depends on one's rating.

"Also, is the training for the Guards and Reservists as tough as the other branches (I would hope it is) in preparing to participate in war?"

~ I don't believe the National Guard requires bootcamp, but a minimum 2 week training course.
  
"I'm wondering, too, if the Guards and Reserves are badly stressed as a result of the war as mentioned in the original post (more seriously stressed than the other branches of the military)?"

~ I don't believe so. Tell that to the regular grunts on Iraqi soil.

"I feel like I'm handing over his life, you see, and just want him to make the most informed choices he can rather than to be coaxed into it by the big sign-on bonuses, kickers, etc., that the recruiters are offering."

~ Maybe you should trust your son and his own decision making. I made my own decsion at the age of 19, without any interference from anyone.
  
"Thank you for your years of service to our country, and for being willing to answer my questions."

~ You are welcome.  

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."

iliana
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19 posted 04-22-2006 12:59 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Thanks, JCP.  

He just turned 17 -- and we would have to sign for him to enlist.  He tested a 92 on the ASFAB and has 3 years of JROTC; I don't know what his rating would be, but they have told him he would enlist with PFC ranking.  We got into a major dispute tonight because he wants me to take him to enlist and sign for him on Monday.  I feel like he is rushing into the decision, but we also face the possibility he might get so frustrated with high school (as he hates school and is very bored) that he could drop out.  The option of joining the military now will require him to graduate high school.  So that's the decision....he must have our signature and there are reasons perhaps we should let him do it now.  After speaking with both recruiters last week, they do require bootcamp, but it occurs after high school completion (I think 9 weeks of boot camp).  One of the recruiters said he could complete high school over the internet (I hope they are not encouraging that, but it does guarantee he will complete or the contract becomes null and void) so technically he could test out of high school over this summer, skipping his senior year, and be off to the war before he turns 18, I think -- and of course, my worse fear.  (That's kind of why I wanted the discussion on whether or not his potential employer is in good working order and what the stats are on deployment, etc.)  

His ultimate goal right now is to become an officer and make a career of the military.  You have confirmed what I thought; that he might be better off to start out on that path by completing college rather than the enlisted route.  However, I think I am losing this battle.  I just wish it truly was his decision...as I can block it by refusing to sign for him and he could join on his own in a year if he still feels the same way (albeit there will be H E doublehockeysticks for me to pay if I refuse and we run the risk of losing him to all the other temptations of being 17 in a big drug-and-gang plagued city school) which so far he has been able to steer clear.

Believe it or not, it does assist me to get your viewpoint.  

Anyhow, thanks for the input.        
JesusChristPose
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20 posted 04-22-2006 12:14 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

I am going to keep this simple...

1. If he 17, and you don't want him to join the military, or are not sure, then don't sign. Let him wait until he an adult in order for him to make his own decision.

2. Why does he have to join the army? How about the navy or air force? There are rates in any branch of service that practically guarantee no fighing in combat (unless our soil is directly attacked).

3. Why enlist? He can go OCS.

4. If you ask me, screw those recruiters. Have him finish HS. How can he expect to go to college without finishing HS or finishing it through some sort of GED or on-line program?

"Melvin, the best thing you got going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself."

Local Rebel
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21 posted 04-22-2006 12:50 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

They aren't 'ours'.  Only in our care for a little while.

While he is in your care you have to exercise your best judgement until he can exercise his.

Balladeer
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22 posted 04-22-2006 07:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

His reasoning is not sound. He won't become an officer without college and he hates school. I don't believe he can go through OCS without college, either, and I haven't heard of any battlefield commissions lately.

Iliana, if his dream is really to be a career officer, explain to him that only school will make that even a possibility. Yes, we live in the instant gratification age but  not all things are possible that way. He's not going to have one without the other.
Alicat
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23 posted 04-22-2006 11:33 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

National Guard goes through boot camp, mixed in with Actives and Reservists.  They also pull a full AIT depending on their MOS.  After that, then it's 2 weeks/yr for field training and weekend (can't remember now how often a month) duty at their local barracks.  With at least 30 hours of college, you go in as an E-3.  A degree gives you E-4.  After return to local barracks (mine was 111th Eng Batt, Abilene, TX) one can then stay a Guardsman, go Active or Reservist, or apply for OCS.

One thing to remember is that during all prior engagements through Vietnam, there was an active Draft and a sizable military presence.  Post-Vietnam, we were on a active readiness footing during the remainder of the Cold War.  Then came the Gulf War.  Afterwards the military was drastically downsized, so when came the time for military engagements Reservists and Guardsmen were activated to make up for the manpower loss during the 90's from consolidations and base closures.
iliana
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24 posted 04-23-2006 01:36 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Thanks you guys....you've all been swell.  I appreciate the information.     
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