U.S. Army Individual Ready Reserve Has Formal Process for Requesting Delays or Exemptions

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In response to recent headlines, the U.S. Army Human Resources Command explains the formal process for soldiers who feel a need to submit a request for a delay or exemption for recall to the Individual Ready Reserve.

U.S. Army Human Resources Command

Soldiers in the IRR are a great asset to our military. They have contributed in the past, and will continue to make significant contributions to our military in the future

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Recent headlines have indicated some Soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve do not fully understand the process by which to request a delay or exemption from service, should they consider themselves non-deployable. The U.S. Army Human Resources Command explains there is a formal process for those soldiers who feel a need to submit such a request.

Mobilization orders for IRR soldiers contain an 800 number a soldier may call to initiate a request for a delay or exemption, where they will be instructed on how to submit their request. More than fifty percent of those who submit requests for delays or exemptions are approved.

Requests for delay or exemption need not be submitted by government officials on behalf of the soldier. All requests are treated with the same care and consideration. A soldier who submits a delay or exemption request will not be mobilized until their case is adjudicated.

As a matter of routine, that soldier will receive an administrative delay if their case cannot be adjudicated before their scheduled report date. Army Human Resources Command will notify the soldier by phone and in writing of an administrative delay. That administrative delay will allow for a thorough review of information and documents provided by the soldier. Administrative delays are not unusual "special favors." They are granted in accordance with standard operating procedures that exist to ensure a soldier's situation is carefully and completely considered. Instructions on the appeals process are provided to soldiers who disagree with the findings of the Delay and Exemption Board.

Almost 72,000 soldiers serve our nation today in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), with approximately 6,500 of those Soldiers currently serving on active duty. These trained, experienced professionals stand ready to individually augment Army units fighting in the Global War on Terrorism.

Every soldier who joins the military incurs an eight-year service obligation. A "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," or Department of Defense Form 214, releases a soldier from active duty, but does not release the Soldier from their total eight-year obligation. Soldiers may serve two or four years on active duty, and are then transferred to the Reserves to fulfill the remainder of their obligation. The IRR is one of several Reserve programs a soldier can enter.

“Soldiers in the IRR are a great asset to our military. They have contributed in the past, and will continue to make significant contributions to our military in the future,” said Maj. Gen. Sean J. Byrne, commander of the IRR. “I know it is not easy to leave their jobs and their families behind. The sacrifices they make to serve their country are greatly appreciated.”

Soldiers serving in the IRR are by no means inactive. There are many opportunities available for IRR soldiers to continue their military careers. As IRR members, they can apply for active duty assignments, obtain professional development training, and earn promotions. For example, some of the soldiers who will assist at the upcoming Presidential Inauguration are IRR soldiers. Each IRR soldier meets minimum annual requirements that include updating personal contact information, attending muster duty, updating a readiness screening questionnaire online, and responding to official military correspondence.

IRR soldiers may also be involuntarily mobilized in time of national crisis, as we have seen today in support of the Global War on Terror. To give a historical perspective, approximately 14,000 IRR Soldiers were mobilized and deployed for Operation Desert Storm.

All mobilized IRR soldiers are screened at mobilization stations for medical conditions that would render them non-deployable. This process is not only for the benefit of the Army, but for the benefit of the soldier, to ensure medical conditions are properly documented.

To give historical perspective, approximately fifteen percent of the IRR soldiers who reported for Desert Storm were determined to be non-deployable at the mobilization station, and did not deploy.

Individual Ready Reserve soldiers represent a group of trained, experienced military professionals who can be called upon to serve our nation in times of national crisis. Today's IRR soldiers are "individual warriors" ready to give their full measure in defense of freedom.

For media information contact:
Lt. Col. Kevin V. Arata
Public Affairs Officer
(703) 325-9904
HRCPAO @ conus.army.mil

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