Thursday, January 06, 2005

Army Reserve chief raises concern about 'broken force'

The Pentagon's reliance on volunteers from the Army Reserve for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan risks creating a "broken force," the reserve force's commander warned his superiors in a December memo, and he urged a wider call-up of reservists to active duty.

In his memo, Lt. Gen. James Helmly stated that the Army Reserve is no longer able to meet its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor can it "reset and regenerate" units for future missions.
"Contrary to a perceived intention of caring for troops, the insistence on even more restrictive policies and practices governing mobilization, manpower management and the insistence on incentivizing 'volunteers' through the use of money threatens to unhinge an already precariously balanced situation in which we are losing as many soldiers through no use as we are through the fear of overuse," he wrote.

Helmly called the memo "a clear, distinctive signal of deepening concern" about the status of his force. It was not his first warning: In November, he told the House Armed Services Committee that the Army Reserve is falling behind its recruiting goals for the year.

Another clipping for the "Draft Watch" folder.


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