Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Reserves

Every initial military contract is for eight years. What portion you don't serve on active duty must be served in the reserves. The Reserves, however, has two components: an active component, weekend warriors who are eligible to be called up and deployed; and an inactive component, the last step before a civilian draft.

When I resigned from the Navy I opted to serve the remainder of my commitment in the inactive reserves. My resignation letter was very clear on this point. Despite opting out I have reserve recruiters calling and emailing me like I just bought a snuggie, shamwow and oxiclean.

What's most disappointing about the recruiters is that, despite their rank, they don't have the authority to not pursue a candidate who is uninterested or is a bad pick. I, for example, am a bad pick. I don't want to serve in the military anymore. I don't want to deploy. The recruiter tells me that's no problem, there are ways around that. What!?

A Lieutenant Commander contacted me and asked to chat about the reserves. I told him "I don't want to ever deploy again so to accept a commission without any intention of really serving is, I feel, dishonest. Thank you, though." This was his response:
Zak,

I understand what you are talking about and that is why I attached a mobilzation deferment memo that protects you for 2 years. Maybe you might consider something for at least that long and then see where it leads after that. Give me a call if you have time so I can talk to you...no pressure, just want to chat with you about what you [typo his] situation is if you get a chance.

Thanks,
Xxxxx

LCDR Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx, USNR
Officer Programs Recruiter
Navy Officer Recruiting
Of note: to qualify for the 2 years of mobilization deferment, I have to sign a 3-year obligation. This guy's just trying to screw everyone. But what most bothers me is that the organization doesn't care about the quality of people it is recruiting. I mean, what business would hire a candidate that didn't apply and, during the interview, said they didn't want the job? "I know you don't want to work here, but maybe just let us pay you while you think about it."

Who would want to work with other people who don't want to be there, with resentful mercenaries? And who would want to work for an organization that doesn't let its officers of 10 years make basic decisions about how to do their job? What a lousy sales pitch. Oh, and there's also the added benefits of being shot at by insurgents and contracting government-denied diseases.