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A Brand New World Donating Member (803 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:02 PM
Original message
I have a military question that hopefully someone can answer.
Everyday now, with the holidays here, on TV there are troops sending their greetings to those back home. It seems as if the majority of them are in places like Germany, Korea, etc., everywhere but Iraq. (I know - those in Iraq have their hands full - no time for holiday greetings.) But my question is, why does it seem as if the Reserves and Guard are pulling the duty in Iraq and the regular Army are stationed in the non-combat zones? Is it my imagination? It seems as if it would be better to pull the regular Army guys to the combat zone and if needed send the Guard and Reserve to fill in the other areas. BTW, I obviously know nothing about the military lifestyle so maybe this question is too dumb. Be kind!
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Mabeline Donating Member (210 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good question, I was talking about this with my
mom this morning. Will be waiting for the answer too.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's easier to move one group rather than two
If you move the group from Korea to Iraq and replace them with Reserves, you have train the Reserves to take over the job from Korea (largely by the people in Korea). Then you have to move the permanet troops from Korea to Iraq and train them for Iraq. It's easier and cheaper to train and move the Reserves to Iraq.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why would they send the part-time soldiers
to take up garrison duties and free up the full time volunteer soldiers for combat missions? Now, that would just make too much sense.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Government does not have to pay medical for wounded Guardsmen
War on the budget plan ain't it grand?
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. The Guard and Reserves make up over 40% of the troops in Iraq.
This is contrary to their mission statement which (in the case of the Guard) is primarily domestic.

The reason the Guard and Reserves are being used more extensively is because it's cheaper. There are no family health benefits, etc. available to Guard and Reserves. The cost is lower.
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. also it frees up jobs at home reducing Unemployment #s
makes the economy look a little better for a little while
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BOHICA06 Donating Member (886 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. Short Answer
The Combat in Iraq is being conducted by Regular Army/Marine Units, it is all the logistical/keeping the peace duties that fall on the reserve and guard.

For every one soldier up front that is pulling a trigger, there are 4 or more support troops brings the beans & bullets, fixing the machinery, fixing the wounded, etc.

We pared down our military by shifting these support units (plus almost all Civil Affairs Units) to the reserves & guard in the 80s & 90s ... and now they are the ones needed in Iraq.

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AllegroRondo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Believe me, there are a ton of Regular Army in Iraq.
The ones you see in Germany either just came from Iraq or are about to go to Iraq. Part of the Division in Korea just got sent to Iraq.

A good friend of mine is with the 1st Armored Division, usually stationed in Germany. They did a one year (extended to 14 month) tour in Iraq in 2003. After returning from combat, everyone got 30 days vacation. After vacation, they were told "pack up, we're going back". As he put it "The good news is most of us didnt bother to unpack yet"

I'm guessing you only see TV spots from guys in non-combat areas because of the difficulty of getting video from Iraq.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. Because most service and support functions are in the reserves...
Active duty troops have been rotating in and out of Iraq for the past 18 months pretty heavily. Pretty much all regular divisions have spent time over there. Just because they're currently in Germany or Korea or what-not doesn't mean that they haven't been in Iraq or Afghanistan. Chances are they have.

Active duty units tend to also go on shorter deployments, but more often. Reserve and Guard units, OTOH, serve 1-year, boots-on-the-ground tours in hopes that they won't have to be called up quite so often.

Furthermore, much of the service and support functions in the army have shifted to the Army Reserve. I was, up until this September, an officer in the Army Reserve. I was a member of a Heavy Combat (Construction) Engineering Battalion. From what I had heard, something like 75-80% of the army's Heavy Combat Engineers were in the Reserves. It's also one of the specialties currently in high demand over there. Thankfully I was able to get out before I had to go....
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. didn't they up it from a year to 18 months?
or was that only for some unlucky ones?
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A Brand New World Donating Member (803 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-04 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. Thank you one and all! I knew I could depend on you all for the
answer. It's something I've been contemplating for a while.
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