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The following are questions from a parent about IRR (Independent Ready Reservists) answered by the Public Affairs Office at MobCom (Moblization and Command) on May 1, 2008.
Question: What is the percentage of disability used as criteria for no longer being a viable candidate for recall? Specifically, knee/cartilage damage, hearing, and PTSD.
Answer: There is no specific percentage of disability that will automatically disqualify a candidate from recall. Every Marine who wishes to be medically excused or exempted from recall should contact MOBCOM at 1-800-255-5082, and ask to speak with HM1 Rosado of the G-4 Medical section. HM1 Rosado will assist the Marine in assembling an appropriate package for exemption from mobilization. Every case is then considered regarding the specific injuries and their extent by appropriate medical personnel. Depending on severity, orthopedics, hearing and PTSD can all be disqualifying conditions. Also, please keep in mind that merely applying for exemption does not guarantee a Marine will be exempted from attending the muster or being recalled to active duty. If, and only if, a Marine’s request is approved will that Marine be exempt from physically attending the muster.
Question: How is the education or financial hardship decided?
Answer: All requests for deferments and exemptions are routed through the Delay, Deferment and Exemption (DD&E) Board. The DD&E board is a decisional board with appeal rights to the Commanding General. It is convened to consider all requests for delay, deferment and/or exemption relating to involuntary activation orders. While educational concerns are not a specifically authorized exemption category, the board considers the negative impact that involuntary activation orders would have on an individual's course of study – here’s a link to an education hardship letter template: mobcom.mfr.usmc.mil/invol/DDE_Education_Hardship_Letters.html.
It is the Marine's responsibility to provide the details as to how the involuntary activation orders will affect his/her pursuit of education – the process starts with the submittal of this letter: mobcom.mfr.usmc.mil/Invol/DDE/DD&E%20Request%20Letter%20NEW.doc.
Likewise, the DD&E board also considers requests for exemptions for financial hardships. The individual must demonstrate that a return to active duty will cause a substantial decrease in income, having a profound negative impact on the Marine and his/her immediate family. Actual income comparisons, between current income and expected income when returned to active duty, must be made. Marines involuntarily returning to active duty are encouraged to use the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (SSCRA), signed by President Bush in 2003. This is legislation intended to "ease the economic and legal burdens on military personnel called to active duty status in Operation Iraqi Freedom".
Here’s the link to all the different categories of letters for the Delay/Deferment and Exemption Process: mobcom.mfr.usmc.mil/invol/DDE
Question: If you are in the process of having your disability evaluated- do you bring your current records? Will they wait until the Dr's have completed their eval? What if there is a difference in opinion from private to military Dr's?
Answer: Marines with potentially disqualifying medical conditions must submit their records to this Command. If they are in receipt of a disability from the VA, they should submit their “Rating Decision” which was provided by the VA. If they are in the process of having their disability rated, they should provide the documentation that was submitted to the VA for the rating, and should not wait for the VA to complete their process. All cases are reviewed by military medical personnel who provide appropriate recommendations. The final decision rests with the Marine Corps following thorough review of all medical information to include reports/diagnosis of civilian physicians.
Question: Is there a limit as to how many times one can be deployed to a war zone in a certain amount of years?
Answer: There is no legal limit. When referring to the IRR, we exclude Marines who are in their first year or last year in the IRR to avoid recalling those who just returned from deployment and those who have nearly completed their IRR obligation. Additionally, the DD&E board will consider multiple deployments as a factor in their overall decision.
Question: Does excessive weight gain matter? (What is excessive?)
Answer: All Marines, active and reserve, are required to maintain established Marine Corps height and weight standards. Marines are notified, during their mobilization screening musters, that failure to maintain these standards is not an automatic cancellation of involuntary activation orders. Not physically qualified determinations are made by medical officers, during mobilization screening musters and once activated. If a Marine fails to maintain, or get within, established height and weight standards, he/she could be administratively separated from the Marine Corps.
Question: What is the percentage actually recalled to those that receive letters?
Answer: Although there is no specific percentage tied to the number of Marines executing activation orders compared to the number receiving notification letters, the majority (over half) become exempt from involuntary activation. Marines in receipt of involuntary activation orders have many options available in order to have those orders cancelled (medical screening/disability, request for DD&E, affiliate with an SMCR unit, join the Active Reserve Program (AR), return to active duty, etc.).
Question: What is the difference between the Fed Ex letter and The USPS letter?
Answer: This was a simple mode of delivery. Fed-Ex Letters were sent out to those Marines being considered for Involuntary Activation. The USPS letters were sent to those Marines being notified of a yearly administrative/screening muster. The screening musters are part of a federally mandated annual requirement. They exist to update the personal information of IRR Marines in order to enhance readiness.
Question: Is law enforcement or EMT exempt from recall?
Answer: Both are categories a Marine may choose to request an exemption for, through the DD&E board. Neither is a guaranteed approved exemption. Marines are encouraged and directed to contact the DD&E section in order to best prepare their exemption packages and provide the necessary documentation. The point of contact is: Capt Klempay at 816-843-4114
Question:What if they have signs of PTSD but have not reported it to anyone?
Answer: Marines with PTSD will continue to be screened for exemption. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if a Marine has PTSD unless that Marine is evaluated. Furthermore, the Marine Corps has no way of knowing that a Marine has been diagnosed with PTSD unless the Marine tells his command. If a Marine feels he has PTSD, he should contact medical personnel to receive an evaluation, and treatment if appropriate. Marines should have completed a Post Deployment Health Assessment, and most likely a Post Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA) after any previous deployment. The PDHRA may have given the Marine a referral for care. There are several options available to receive care:
First, there are the local Vet Centers.
1-800-905-4672 (Eastern) and 1-866-496-8838 (Pacific). va. gov/rcs
Next, there is Military OneSource. 1-800-312-9647. militaryonesource.com
And of course, there is the Veterans Administration. 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press “1” to be connected immediately. Or, call 1-800-827-1000 for benefits information, or 1-877-222-8387 for health care information. www.va.gov
Question: Do all Musters take place in Kansas City? Does USMC pay for that trip and time lost at work?
Answer: Thus far, IRR involuntary mobilization screening musters have been held in Kansas City, MO. These are separate and distinct from the annual IRR administrative musters required by law which are held in various locations throughout the country. Please see related story about a screening muster: http://mobcom.mfr.usmc.mil/PAO/Phoenix_Muster_Story_Jan_26_08.asp. If a Marine is identified and ordered to attend an IRR involuntary mobilization screening muster, he/she will receive active duty pay and allowances for the duration of the muster period assigned. The Marine Corps will also pay for the individual's travel to and from the muster location.