Army to Recall Thousands of Troops - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Army to Recall Thousands of Troops

The Army is planning to recall thousands of soldiers who left active duty. In fact, nearly 5,600 soldiers will be ordered back in uniform and sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. The Pentagon has stated it will recall soldiers who recently left active duty and still have the skills needed to do the job.

As Gen. George Crist (ret.) said, "You need the skills and this is the only place you're going to get the skills and they're there, so they might as well go and get them."

Gen. Crist, who served as a military analyst for CBS during the first Gulf War and commanded the central command before that, says this recall reflects just how stretched the Army is.

"I think the real reason is we're trying to maintain between 130 and 140,000 people in Iraq and there's a lot of requirements there," he said. "Military police, government, health...all sorts of skills that are not heavy in the active duty at all. We're not set up to run cities and maintain security for cities."

Former enlisted soldiers and officers who didn't serve eight years of active duty are the ones likely to be recalled to the uniform and their duties for the next year to 18 months.

"Everyone that goes into the military is obligated for eight years of service," explained Gen. Crist. "They may only spend two, three, four, years on active duty. The rest of the time is an obligation. If they serve two years, you've got six years of obligation and can be called back."

Recalled soldiers will have the skills needed to accomplish what our nation set out to do. "Skills, that's what we're talking about," said Gen. Crist. "These are skills that are in short supply."

Gen. Crist says this recall could really surprise a lot of these former soldiers, who never thought they'd be called back. Soldiers will start receiving official recall notices next week.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey,

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