The U.S. Army will call up to 5,000 soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve beginning July 6, Army officials here said today. This decision was made shortly after the European NATO members rejected to send soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The soldiers will fill out the ranks of Army Reserve and Army National Guard units slated to participate in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. No other service is contemplating calling up their ready reservists, officials said, reports defenselink.mil.
According to seattlepi.nwsource.com, most of the former soldiers recently left the Army as truck drivers, mechanics, supply clerks, administrative clerks or combat engineers. All will be kept on active duty for at least 18 months but not longer than two years. The first formal notifications are due to arrive in mailboxes on Tuesday.
It is the first large-scale use of former soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve since 1991. But it is not the first time the Army has dipped into this category of reserves for Iraq.