Marines joining Reserve after active-duty to get war reprieve
June 4, 2006
ARLINGTON, Va. — To get Marines to join the Reserves after active duty, the Marine Corps is promising not to deploy them for two years, the Marine Corps has announced.
Marines who wish to deploy sooner can still do so.
To be eligible, Marines must have completed a combat tour within one year of leaving active duty, said Maj. Francis Piccoli, a spokesman for Reserve affairs.
The deferment applies to those Marines who join the Selected Marine Corps Reserve, which comprises the 4th Marine Division, 4th Marine Corps Logistics Command and 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Piccoli said.
Marines joining the Individual Ready Reserve are ineligible for the deferment, he said.
The Marine Corps Reserve does not have a target number of Marines it wants to attract through the deferment offer, Piccoli said.
“This is open-ended. There is no goal whatsoever,” he said.
The move is not an attempt to boost retention numbers, rather it is an attempt to keep Marines who have served in combat, Piccoli said.
Still, Piccoli said he knows anecdotally of some Marines who were dissuaded from joining the Reserve because they deployed three times in the past two years and they knew that they would have to deploy again with a Reserve unit in six to eight months.
Piccoli said he did not have data on how many Marines decided against joining the reserve for that reason.
Another reason for offering the deferment: Giving Marines up to two years without a deployment would also help them ease into civilian life, he said.
Marines could use the time off to get started in their civilian jobs and get their children settled into school, he said.
“It’s to give these guys a sigh of relief, a sense of stability during this transition period and it still allows them to contribute to the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve and conducting our mission in support of the United States of America and the military strategy,” Piccoli said.