President authorizes the DoD to call inactive troops back into service

Members in the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR), attend a muster at La Jolla, Calif., March 26, 2022. The muster was held in order to screen designated IRR members to ensure mobilization readiness and train Readiness Support Program Region One for mobilization operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Grace J. Kindred)

President Biden signed off on calling up 3,000 troops to active duty for “Operation Atlantic Resolve” on Thursday.

This recent decision follows the deployment of tens of thousands of troops to Europe last year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The order authorizes Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Secretary of Homeland Security (who is in charge of the Coast Guard) to call up troops but does not specify any specific deployments.

“I hereby determine that it is necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve in and around the United States European Command’s area of responsibility,” the President wrote.

When asked about the President’s authorization, Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, the director of operations for the Joint Staff, told reporters:

“This reaffirms the unwavering support and commitment to the defense of NATO’s eastern flank in the wake of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war on Ukraine.”

The decision to authorize Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) troops has raised concerns with the public as IRR troops no longer train or participate in anything military-related.

According to the Army, “Individuals assigned to the IRR receive no pay and are not obligated to drill, conduct annual training, or participate in any military activities.”

“Can’t afford to PCS people, but we can afford to bring people back on active duty from the IRR,” someone said on Reddit, likely referring to the Air Force’s decision to halt all relocation orders for Airmen due to funding shortfalls.

The President’s order didn’t specifically call back troops from the IRR but authorized up the 450 of the 3,000 troops to be pulled from there.

According to Politico, the “order also for the first time designates Operation Atlantic Resolve, the U.S. effort in Europe, as a contingency operation, which allows the Pentagon to call up reserve forces and implement sped-up acquisition authorities to supply those troops with equipment.”

During the NATO summit in Lithuania this week, the allies pledged to make 300,000 troops ready for rapid deployment within 30 days or less. 

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