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August 22, 2006

No Marines to Send
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

Almost a year ago, I attended a conference at which several senior retired Marines said that we would soon see evident in the Marine Corps the same kind of stress and strain that has been much-talked about in the regular Army.

In fact, the talk about "straining the Army to the breaking point" died down for a while this spring, when troop levels were quietly declining.  Now, of course, that trend has stopped.  And guess what?

The Marine Corps announced today that it is short 1200 active-duty forces over the next twelve months and will begin its own involuntary recalls.  The specific problem seems to be that Marines who have served their active duty commitment, and were formerly quite reliable about volunteering when needed, have become steadily less reliable over the last two years.  It's worth emphasizing that this affects only Marines who volunteered to serve four years of non-active duty in an Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) instead of the regular Reserves.

The head of the Marines' manpower mobilization planning said that President Bush has authorized this "until the GWOT is over with."  Just in case you were wondering.


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