Marines to order 870 IRR members to duty downrange in the fall
January 19, 2008
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps will send orders next week to about 870 members of the Individual Ready Reserve to go downrange in the fall, officials said.
Marines in the IRR have left active duty but still have time on their service obligation. Unlike other reserve component troops, they are not attached to units and do not drill.
The majority of the Marines are expected to go to Iraq, while the rest will go elsewhere in the U.S. Central Command theater of operations, officials said.
Of the Marines expected to receive orders to deploy, about 300 are ground Marines, about 100 are in motor transportation, 75 are military police, and the rest come from about 60 other Military Occupational Specialties, said Col. Steve Driggers, of Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Only eight of the Marines are officers, while the rest are at the rank of sergeant or below, Driggers said.
The IRR Marines will be activated for 12 months — a seven-month deployment and four-and-half months of pre-deployment training, he said.
In August 2006, the Corps announced it was authorized to call up as many as 2,500 Marines from the IRR at any given time to fill shortfalls in the active-duty force.
Since then, the Marine IRR has held three musters, after which a total of 1,464 Marines have received orders to deploy, officials said.
At the latest muster in September, about 1,900 Marines were screened in the hopes of getting 1,500 Marines to deploy.
Not all Marines who are screened get orders to deploy because they can be exempt for medical reasons, hardships and other circumstances.
Of those Marines who were screened and did not receive orders, about 500 had medical reasons for not deploying, about 250 had hardship reasons, about 200 had joined Reserve units, and about 50 had gone back to active-duty or joined other services, Driggers said.
To make up for any shortfalls, the Corps can go to the Select Marine Corps Reserve or active-duty force, said Corps spokesman Maj. Steven O’Connor.
In the prior IRR call-up, about 540 of the roughly 1,800 Marines screened received orders to go downrange, O’Connor said.