Padding the Rolls?

I was in the Navy and left active duty in 1998, then entering the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) for a minimum of three years in order to complete my eight year service obligation as an officer. While in IRR status, I didn’t drill and the Navy didn’t pay me, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. (I did swear in several new sailors who had been recruited when the local reserve center couldn’t locate one of their officers, and I enjoyed being able to help).

I assumed that when the three year IRR obligation ran out, I’d be out. Not so, it seems. I get yearly (maybe bi-annual) surveys asking about changes to my address, anything that would keep me from being deployed, etc. This, without having set foot on a base since 1998.

In 2002 I got a nice letter from Navy Personnel basically saying “get in or get out”, and “if you want to get out, check here”. I checked here, and sent it in. And kept getting update letters.

So, when I got an inducement flier from the local Reserve Recruiter, I got in contact with him, basically to ask about my IRR status, and he very nicely agreed to check into it.

He called me back the other day: I’m still in the IRR, in an “S2” status. Here’s where I think they’re padding: he said that ‘if you were a pilot, or some other skill, you’d already have been separated from the IRR, but since you’re a doctor, you’re going to be on the rolls for a few more years unless you write them a letter and resign your commission’.

Now, it’s up to the Navy to figure out their manning, and I’m not distressed about being in the IRR (still), but now I think I’m being used to pad the Navy’s “Reserve Doctor” numbers. I wonder how many of the Navy’s reservist docs are in the same boat?


  1. Alright, I just can’t help myself…what’s up doc?

    I could use the likes of you for aviation phys studies at Pax river. Yes, the Navy still needs you! Or I do, at least.

    Great site, too – consider yourself blogrolled.

  2. My suggestion: request your discharge papers. You can always return, only if you do, the Navy will have to re-calculate your appropriate rank and give you credit for all of your civilian training and practice time since you left active duty (no, you don’t become pre-DOPMA) which will allow you to get a higher rank than you would have were you to return to active reserve status (not IRR-S2, but drilling reserve). In the Navy, you actually do worse by staying in the IRR then going ready reserve than you do if you get discharged first then re-join.

    Are you ever really out? No. There is a list kept of physicians should a massive civil emergency or other national requirement make a doctor’s draft necessary. When you are discharged, you become induction category 4-A, which means you have done your time and have been honorably discharged from active duty. When you get out, they even send you a nice little honorable discharge certificate, suitable for framing. I was a 2105 (FS) and finished my active duty in 1993. I stayed on ready reserve until 1997 then requested discharge.