The Fine Line, Part 2, by Guest Essayist Amy Fernaays

New laws add to the confusion, and businesses are having a difficult time understanding the obligation they have to a returning employee. Organizations, companies, and the government are trying to find solutions that help meet the needs of the workforce soldier, the Reservist.
To understand, you must first know what an Individual Ready Reservist (IRR) is and why they are important.
Since 1908 there has been a Ready Reserve of soldiers that waited until they were needed to defend America. The IRR was a small army of men, skilled in various areas that would be able to fill the gaps in the active duty brigade. The concept remains the same, but the evolution of the reserves has changed into what we know today. (Tillson 2006)
A person who joins the reserves will have many of the same experiences of an active duty soldier. They will both attend basic training (Army/Coast Guard), boot camp (Marines/Navy), basic military training (Air Force), or basic combat training (National Guard). Once basic training is completed; the next step is Advanced Individual Training (A.I.T. Army), or School of Infantry (S.O.I. Marines) to become educated in the M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty) of choice. If the reservist has completed civilian education in their desired M.O.S. they may be able to skip A.I.T. This process can take up to six months or more depending on necessary schooling. [U.S. Army and U.S. Marines.com]
This is where the reservists and enlisted soldier will part ways. The reservist will be assigned to a post. Once assigned and out-processed, the reservist will report to their post commander and receive information on when to report for duty. Reporting for duty will consist of one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer. (Army.com reservists)
Reservists are only compensated during “active” duty periods. On average a reservists earns around $3,000-5,000 a year for one weekend a month and two weeks a summer. (Army.com benefits)They do not receive many of the benefits that active duty members enjoy. This makes their civilian job the main source of income, health care benefits, and retirement.
The military used to be made up of many active duty members, but it is very expensive to have a large active duty military and in recent years our economy has put a strain on the military system.

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