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  • Reservists file complaint

    I found this article very interesting. Thoughts?

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/0...t-iraq-071411/

    Reservists allege mistreatment during Iraq prep




    By Gregg Zoroya - USA Today
    Posted : Thursday Jul 14, 2011 6:56:49 EDT
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    Nearly 200 Reservists in Iraq have signed a complaint accusing the Army of mistreatment and discrimination during the months they were preparing for war.
    The soldiers say their movements and freedoms were severely restricted during a four-month training before deployment, describing it as virtually a "lockdown" confinement to base. The Army says it was pushing to get Reservists trained and denies discriminatory treatment.
    The soldiers are with a Kentucky-based attack helicopter battalion — nicknamed "The Flying Tigers" — that went to Iraq in January. The request for an inquiry by Congress was signed by 178 soldiers or nearly half of the battalion, including company commanders.
    No action has been taken on the petition, filed April 1.
    "Army Reserve soldiers love the Army, they love their jobs and they love their country," the complaint says. "They also understand that service is voluntary, and if not shown the respect and courtesy accorded their active-duty brethren, they will no longer be willing to make the personal, family and civilian-life sacrifices required."
    Army Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, commander of all Reserve forces, says he is sensitive to troop concerns about restrictions during training such as being confined to base and being barred from driving civilian cars, wearing civilian clothing or drinking alcohol.
    "I think we're all trying to do the right thing," Stultz says of the Army. "But is there some learning from this we need to look at?"
    Lt. Gen. **** Bednarek — commander of the First Army, which oversees Reserve units during preparation for war — says any restrictions placed on reservists in training, in this case at Fort Hood in Texas, were needed to quickly bring the civilian soldiers up to speed on flying the latest version of the Army attack helicopter, the AH-64D Longbow.
    "It's all about readiness and doing everything we can to train and get them ready to go," Bednarek says.
    The complaint was written by Capt. Brad Docimo, an operations officer with the battalion, stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq. Home on leave, he declined to comment.
    The complaint was sent to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. McConnell "takes these allegations very seriously," says his spokesman, Robert Steurer.
    The charges echo an age-old grievance by reservists and National Guard troops that when called to war, they are treated differently than full-time Army soldiers.
    More than 635,000 National Guard and Reserve troops have been sent overseas since Sept. 11, 2001, most of them to Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 57,000 are currently mobilized.

  • #2
    Re: Reservists file complaint

    There's all types of inequities, such as the regular Army getting more decorations than Guard soldiers as well. Especially, if the Guard soldiers are attached to a RA unit.

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    • #3
      Re: Reservists file complaint

      The charges echo an age-old grievance by reservists and National Guard troops that when called to war, they are treated differently than full-time Army soldiers.
      Really? I was not aware of that. I'm not dipusting it, but seriously, I've never heard this.

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      • #4
        Re: Reservists file complaint

        I really hope this is not the case or perhaps an isolated incident.

        I have yet to be deployed, but besides being proud of the fact that I am in the National Guard, I am just as willing to lay down my life for my country or for my fellow troops as any AD member.

        Are NG and Reservists seen as 'lesser soldiers' on deployments?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Reservists file complaint

          When I was in the Guard, I was on lockdown while in the PLDC and BNCOC courses. Some were attributed to NCOs that made some mistakes in their judgment that affected the whole class.

          Also, on one of my ATs in the Guard, We stood a day at a barracks at a NG site and were told that we were supposed to remain on base and soldiers (including myself) snuck off base, drank and were reported by an officer who saw us. Our Commander got word and asked the formation who were the culprits. We remained in formation and took our lumps. Due to our honesty of our act; we just received a verbal warning.

          Last year, my Commander said we could not have the two allowed drinks at Manas and other units and members of the Guard and Reserves were able to drink. As an active duty soldier; I never felt slighted because of that; even though we left Afghanistan and were re-deploying, I felt we deserved to drink and our unit is made up of old-timers anyway. But those were the Commanders orders and guidance and we followed.

          As Chaplain4me said, there are inequalities across the board regardless of what branch or component you serve. But I just think that they are taking up their gripes (and their leadership is behind them) to their congressman is unwarranted. I thought this issue could have been handled in-house without this type of publicity.
          Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; July 14th, 2011, 05:20 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Reservists file complaint

            Not to mention that if you are a National Guardsman you cannot be buried in a national cemetery, unless circumstances merit it.

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            • #7
              Re: Reservists file complaint

              Originally posted by Chaplain4me View Post
              Not to mention that if you are a National Guardsman you cannot be buried in a national cemetery, unless circumstances merit it.
              Like, KIA? Because my neighbor down the street was killed and his wife had him buried at Arlington.

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              • #8
                Re: Reservists file complaint

                Originally posted by Chaplain4me View Post
                Not to mention that if you are a National Guardsman you cannot be buried in a national cemetery, unless circumstances merit it.
                Personally, that really doesn't bother me. I really don't care where they put me once I'm dead, as long as I made a difference when I was alive.

                If I died with honor, I still did so regardless of where my body's buried.

                But I see you point....it seems like a bit of a double standard.

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                • #9
                  Re: Reservists file complaint

                  I do concur with their complaints and my unit had the same ones. The months leading up to deployment while CONUS and training First Army Division puts on you on 100% lockdown. We had a four day pass out of about 3.5 months of lockdown on Fort Sill. While I do understand the reasons behind it, there is something that doesnt sit well with me by being treated like a 2nd rate citizen while being called a citizen soldier and preparing to support the defense of the very country we are forbidden to enjoy. Not to mention the MOB time and training could easily be cut in half.

                  The total lockdown is really uncalled for. If youc annot handle yourself outside of the gates of FT Sill, I really do not want you next to the foxhole with me, so I really disapprove of First Army's position.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Reservists file complaint

                    FT Sill is a crazy place....you have to admit. jk.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Reservists file complaint

                      In addition, I will add that in my over 100 day lockdown period, I may have done about 17 or 18 days of actual training. And the chow hall was the WORST I have ever experienced in my 11 years wearining a uniform in all components. Somone in First Army needs to be smacked if they feel that is neccessary to prepare. Furthermore, 16 of 17 of those days had nothing to do with our individual MOS's, and a good chunk of the people training us did not have a patch on the right arm. It was absolute embarassment.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Reservists file complaint

                        It just dawned on me that I just completed a JMTC rotation in Grafenwoehr and months in the box at JRTC at Fort Polk (once as a Guardsman for two weeks and twice on AD for 30 days) and our Commander enforced GO#1. So soldiers regardless of component experience a lockdown of some sort. This life and treatment is part of being a soldier.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Reservists file complaint

                          Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                          It just dawned on me that I just completed a JMTC rotation in Grafenwoehr and months in the box at JRTC at Fort Polk (once as a Guardsman for two weeks and twice on AD for 30 days) and our Commander enforced GO#1. So soldiers regardless of component experience a lockdown of some sort. This life and treatment is part of being a soldier.
                          Correct, but their complaint is that during mobilization train up, only reserve component soldeir are treated inferior. And they are correct.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Reservists file complaint

                            These Reserve Soldiers are just complaining about something that has been taking place for units that are in trainup for deployment. At Shelby it was unbelievable, but I have heard the same about other posts as well - and it did nto matter what branch. So... either someone up high in the food chain makes some changes, or people just have to deal with it.

                            Do they have a real gripe, yes. Is thier gripe any different from anyone elses, no.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Reservists file complaint

                              Comming at it from a commander's perspective, to loose a Soldier at mob station is the worst time. If you can even get a replacement, they will be a month or more behind the main body. Depending on the unit, the loss of one or two Soldiers, the unit is now non-deployable.

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