September 19, 2019

Maine reservist fails to show, now among 80 facing discharge

MEXICO – A Maine soldier is among dozens of reservists the U.S. Army is taking steps to expel for failing to report for active duty.

The soldier from Mexico is one of 80 nationwide who will face review panels known as separation boards, although the number may grow. If the panels conclude they intentionally did not obey a mobilization order, they would face one of three levels of discharge from the service: honorable, general or other than honorable.

They do not face criminal charges.

The U.S. Army confirmed there is one Maine soldier, and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office released the hometown. No name has been released.

The proceedings mark a turning point in the Army’s struggle to deploy thousands of soldiers from the Individual Ready Reserve, a rarely mobilized group of reservists, to war zones in which some have resisted serving.

These are soldiers who previously had served on active duty but not completed their eight-year service obligation. Unlike those in the National Guard or Army Reserve, they are not required to stay in training. Many have requested a delay in returning to service, have asked to be exempted or have ignored their orders.

As of Dec. 11, the latest date for which the Army had figures, 3,954 IRR soldiers had reported for duty. In addition, more than 1,600 had been excused from duty and 463 had been sent orders but not yet reported.

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