IRR soldiers say, “Hell No, We Won’t Go!”
About one-third of the former soldiers involuntarily called to active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed to report on time, the Army acknowledged Friday, but it said no one has yet been classified as AWOL.
Of the 1,765 IRR soldiers ordered to report for training between Aug. 31 and Sept. 28, a total of 622 failed to show up, Brig. Gen. Sean Byrne, director of military personnel policy for the Army, told reporters Friday.
Of those 622, officials said 375 have contacted the Army and are trying to work out a solution. The other 247 have not been in touch but are not considered AWOL, or absent without leave.
“No one is considered in an AWOL status,” Byrne said.
Other Army officials have recently told news organizations that at least six IRR soldiers were AWOL.
To reach the goal of filling 4,400 positions in active-duty and mobilized National Guard and Reserve units that are deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan between now and next summer, the Army expects to call up 5,674 IRR soldiers, realizing that medical and other factors are likely to disqualify about one-third of them.