Saturday, July 30, 2005

Point Counterpoint

Mary, whose Daughter, 1LT G, is my OIC (Officer in charge) here, disagreed rather adamantly to some of the points I raised in my post regarding Citizen–Soldiers serving in Iraq. In response to her concerns about the accuracy of my assertions, I feel it is important to provide some references in defense of my comments.

In reference to the post Vietnam transformation of the armed forces, this article from NGAUS, regarding SECDEF Rumsfeld’s opposition to the total force concept and the origins of the policy, and this from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, regarding the total force policy and the Abrams doctrine in the 21st century. I didn’t just make this stuff up, it is in fact policy. If you are a fan of PowerPoint, this presentation from OSD (RA) may provide some additional illumination regarding the make up, mission, and future of the Reserve components.

Regarding the belief that prior to 9-11 the longest a reservist could be overseas was 6 months cumulatively; I wish I had known that before I spent 14 months in the Balkans on 2 separate presidential selected reserve call ups (PSRC), both with a maximum duration of 270 days. This FAQ sheet from defenselink shows the specific guidelines and legal authority for the 3 separate types of reserve call ups, PSRC, Partial mobilization (which we are under now) and Full mobilization, last used in the fall of 1940, prior to Pearl Harbor, mobilizing the entire National Guard to active duty for the duration of the war plus 6 months.

I understand Mary’s anger at what she perceives to be an injustice, her daughter’s involuntary extension of obligated service. I often share it when I sit alone, missing my Wife and Children, and think of the sacrifices they have so unfairly had to make with my all too frequent absences. I can’t go back and change the words of a recruiter who glossed over the reality of being a soldier in any component of the Army, but the rules haven’t changed; it’s just that most people didn’t know them.


Ed Brown said...

Just found your blog. Great writing. Please keep it up.

I especially enjoyed this post about the Guard's roll in America's defense.

Good luck, and God bless you.

Mary Godwin said...

You are so right to situate my response to your previous post in the emotional experience of perceived injustices - not just on my daughter's behalf but on the behalf of so many mistakenly believing the National Guard to be aligned other than it is. Tommi (my daughter) has also written to let me know that recruiters should not be held responsible for those injustices, themselves being under the pressures as they are to perform.

I assure you that I did not approach my post in answer to yours as a suggestion that you made anything up - maybe more with the thought of conflicting information. I appreciate your position as better informed than mine, and further, I appreciate (I really do) the time you've invested in doing the research and providing the links that let me teach myself more accurately on the topic.

You're a good man, Pat. Though I'm sorry for your family's loss of your presence and attention, I'm otherwise glad that you're there as a partner in securing the safety of the men and women on base with you. I'll add my voice to Ed's in saying (again), "great writing. Please keep it up!" -mg

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blogs and Tommi's and Mary's. I read your latest blogs out loud so Randy could hear your voice. (Sometimes he checks the blogsites during the week before work at his office.) Your answer to the Chicago Vietnam vet was so good.
My heart goes out to your wife and kids while they wait. I can remember one very long year 35 years ago waiting for Randy to come home from Vietnam. We keep you in our prayers.

Yvonne (Randy's wife)

Toni said...

I recently found your blog. That would make sense since you started it in July. Sorry, can't remember from who? It was good to read about the facts regarding NG deployment and your experience. I get that all the time from people around me, there are people who actually believe that NG is only for stateside service. Got that argument recently, my response was huh?? Where did you come up with that one. Now I have an accurate response for them. Thx