Skip to comments.GIs claim threat by Army
Posted on 09/18/2004 4:50:06 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
COLORADO SPRINGS - Soldiers from a Fort Carson combat unit say they have been issued an ultimatum - re-enlist for three more years or be transferred to other units expected to deploy to Iraq.
Hundreds of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were presented with that message and a re-enlistment form in a series of assemblies last Thursday, said two soldiers who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The effort is part of a restructuring of the Army into smaller, more flexible forces that can deploy rapidly around the world.
A Fort Carson spokesman confirmed the re-enlistment drive is under way and one of the soldiers provided the form to the Rocky Mountain News. An Army spokesmen denied, however, that soldiers who don't re-enlist with the brigade were threatened.
The form, if signed, would bind the soldier to the 3rd Brigade until Dec. 31, 2007. The two soldiers said they were told that those who did not sign would be transferred out of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
"They said if you refuse to re-enlist with the 3rd Brigade, we'll send you down to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which is going to Iraq for a year, and you can stay with them, or we'll send you to Korea, or to Fort Riley (in Kansas) where they're going to Iraq," said one of the soldiers, a sergeant.
The second soldier, an enlisted man who was interviewed separately, essentially echoed that view.
"They told us if we don't re-enlist, then we'd have to be reassigned. And where we're most needed is in units that are going back to Iraq in the next couple of months. So if you think you're getting out, you're not," he said.
The brigade's presentation outraged many soldiers who are close to fulfilling their obligation and are looking forward to civilian life, the sergeant said.
"We have a whole platoon who refuses to sign," he said.
A Fort Carson spokesman said Wednesday that 3rd Brigade recruitment officers denied threatening the soldiers with Iraq duty.
"I can only tell you what the retention officers told us: The soldiers were not being told they will go to Iraq, but they may go to Iraq," said the spokesman, who gave that explanation before being told later to direct all inquiries to the Pentagon.
Sending soldiers to Iraq with less than one year of their enlistment remaining "would not be taken lightly," Lt. Col. Gerard Healy said from the Pentagon Wednesday.
"We realize that we deal with people and with families, and that's got to be a factor," he said.
"There's probably a lot of places on post where they could put those folks (who don't re-enlist) until their time expires. But I don't want to rule out the possibility that they could go to a unit that might deploy," said Healy.
Under current Army practice, members of Iraq-bound units are "stop-lossed," meaning they could be retained in the unit for an entire year in Iraq, even if their active-duty enlistment expires.
A recruiter told the sergeant that the Army would keep them "as long as they needed us."
Extending a soldier's active duty is within Army authority, since the enlistment contract carries an eight-year obligation, even if a soldier signs for only three or four years of active duty.
The 3rd Brigade recruiting effort is part of the Army's plan to restructure large divisions of more than 10,000 soldiers into smaller, more flexible, more numerous brigade- sized "Units of Action" of about 3,500 soldiers each.
The Army envisions building each unit into a cohesive whole and staffing them with soldiers who will stay with the unit for longer periods of time, said John Pike, head of the defense analysis think tank Global Security.
"They want these units to fight together and train together. They're basically trying to keep these brigades together throughout training and deployment, so I can understand why they would want to shed anybody who was not going to be there for the whole cycle," Pike said.
But some soldiers presented with the re-enlistment message last week believe they've already done their duty and should not be penalized for choosing to leave. They deployed to Iraq for a year with the 3rd Brigade last April.
"I don't want to go back to Iraq," said the sergeant. "I went through a lot of things for the Army that weren't necessary and were risky. Iraq has changed a lot of people.''
The enlisted soldier said the recruiters' message left him troubled, unable to sleep and "filled with dread."
"For me, it wasn't about going back to Iraq. It's just the fact that I'm ready to get out of the Army," he said.
Soldiers' choice at Fort Carson
WHAT THE FORM SAID
"Elect not to extend or re-enlist and understand that the soldier will be reassigned IAW (in accordance with) the needs of the Army by Department of the Army HRC (Human Resources Command) . . . or Fort Carson G1 (Personnel Office).''
WHAT IT MEANS
Soldiers who sign the letter are bound to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team until Dec. 31, 2007.
Soldiers who do not sign the letter might be transferred out of the brigade and possibly to Iraq.
Makes sense to me.
An...interesting reenlistment technique though. Reenlist and you stay out of Iraq, at least until 2007. Don't reenlist and you get shipped to the war.
Soldiers are made to understand when they enlist that they are stationed according to the Army's needs first and foremost, and their personal preference second.
Soldiers are also made to understand the possibility of stop-loss during times of extra need of trained soldiers.
Individuals who find the reality of how the military works so distasteful should never enlist to begin with.
What an odd concept in a capitalist system.(?)
Hmmmm! Ft. Riley appears to be the worst of the three.
Soldiers say they are being threatened with Iraq duty (if they don't re-enlist)
And as I said to that one:
This looks like an even less convincing rehash of a story
from back in May:
Report: Reservists Pressured by Scare Tactics to Re-Enlist
In the wake of CBS being exposed as an unregistered 527
for the DNC, legacy media needs to do a lot more than say:
"... two soldiers who spoke on condition of anonymity told
"...more numerous brigade- sized "Units of Action" of about 3,500 soldiers each."
No longer called UA.
The Chief of Staff of the ARMY has made the naming convention decision to officially call the units BCT's - Brigade Combat Teams.
I know this is official as I was sitting in a briefing presented by the CIO, G6 US Army just this Friday. UNCLASSIFFIED briefing.
I remember upon my arrival at Ft. Carson getting assigned to the 3rd ACR, and people saying, who did you piss off? Less than 5 days after being assigned to K Troop it was off to the field for 6 weeks, leaving my wife to find an apartment for us. Ah memories. These people are a bunch of whining wimps, and as good of soldiers as JF'nK. The Army probably doesn't want these wusses around when the going gets tough anyway.
In reading the "story" it is noted that "Soldiers" from a Fort Carson combat "unit" were requested to re-up or go to Iraq. It seems isolated to a few "" in one unit. Well if you re-up for 3 + your current tour, you are going to IRAQ. Other than that, enjoy Afghanistan!
They're saying that's a possibility, and of course it is. They'd be lying if they said any different.
This ain't good...
There is a dam good chance all would be sent out to see action. I think it is a turd attempting to avoid duty in Iraq.
My name is John Kerry and I approve this message.
Said the same thing to me in '72 at Ft. Lewis. I said the same thing in 73 in Ft. Bliss. Same outfit, good outfit.
A old Vietnam sargent told me, a new PFC, the rules.
You take the kings coin, you do the kings bidding.
You'll be asked what you think, you'll be told what you will do.
You go with what you got.
i'll take Korea for 100 alex.
When I arrived at Fort Bliss in 76, I was told.."The best way to make E-6 is to come here as an E-7". ditto when I arrived at the other 2 units.
In reality those three units were the best units that I was assigned to in my army career. Go figure!
Truth is... there are a few bad apples in positions of authority within the military. Is true, has always been true. I'd really like to see the "chain of command" of this unit.. and discover who the Kerry Supporter is laying down this "re-enlistment" matter in such a way. Face it, it's not just this unit -- going through re-enlistments: re-enlistments are happening all the time. However.. I wouldn't be surprised if, in this case, it's a matter of someone not doing their job properly -- in doing these re-enlistments in such way as to say: re-enlist, or that's it for you. Thank goodness, it's rare. and why do I say this: These don't sound like anti-war soldiers. The latter are fairly easy to spot when they speak.
In order to be a dublicate they have to be exactly the same not just similar
What's a dublicate?
It should be duplicate, not dublicate
What if it turned out to be a Bush supporter?
Just tugging on yer chain a bit.
You are right. It would be the same difference. Incompetence.
Nothing has changed and you're right they are Whiners. The military has to take care of their operations and you get what you want if that agrees with what they need for manning requirements. When you take the oath and sign the enlistment contract you need to understand this. It was that way in 1970 when I went in the United States Air Force and it was that way before that. What they need to learn is stop whining and learn that the sergeant will save their rear ends. Extensions of duty are nothing new.