Individual Ready Reserve Soldiers a priority for demobilization
December 16, 2010
FORT STEWART, Ga. - The Soldiers who deploy to defend our liberties in nations across the globe come from a diverse background. Most are either active duty Soldiers or are active members of the National Guard or Reserve.
However, some are members of the Individual Ready Reserve, who have served the time on their active duty contracts, were transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve to fulfill the remainder of their eight-year Military Service Obligation. At the needs of the Army these Soldiers can be called back to active duty to serve their country again.
The 177 IRR Soldiers called upon to augment the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team are from 36 states, Puerto Rico and Germany. These reactivated Soldiers put college, jobs and families on hold at short notice to deploy once again.
While admitting that he benefited from the deployment, Spc. James Woodard, of Crosby, Texas, said he had finally been offered the position he had been seeking with the chemical plant he had been for right before deploying.
Woodard, one of 20 reactivated IRR Soldiers from Texas, said that he will be happy to be back home with his two-year-old son, and that he will try to get hired back on at the plant. He intends to go back to school at Lee Community College in Baytown, Texas, but hopes to eventually go to University of Texas at Austin. Woodard deployed as a team leader for D Company, 2-124th, 53rd IBCT.
Pismo Beach native, Spc. Alexandria A. Moore, said she is happy to be going back home in a few days to her loved ones, so she is all smiles. Moore added that the demobilization process was extremely efficient, which she is grateful for.
"It's nice to know that I have an end date soon, and then I'll be sitting at home with my baby on my lap," said Moore.
Moore plans to continue her education at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, Calif., where she will study to become a certified registered nurse.
Staff Sgt. Rex Davis, residing in San Antonio before deploying with the 53rd, praised the support he and the other IRR Soldiers received since arriving.
"I can see that a lot of effort has been put into streamlining the process," said Davis. "We appreciate being made a priority, because we want to get home to our families."
Davis completed his third deployment to the Middle East, serving the first two with First Cavalry Division. He has already completed his bachelor's degree, and is looking into engineering master's programs at University of Texas at San Antonio, in order to transition into a career in the Army Corps of Engineers.
"We understand that the IRR Soldiers are a special population with special needs among 53rd IBCT Soldiers demobilizing at Fort Steward, as they are not headed back to a National Guard Armory," said Col. Robert A. Warburg, commander of 188th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, facilitating the demobilization of the 53rd IBCT. "That is why First Army partnered with Winn Army Community Hospital to create a focused Soldier care concept to efficiently meet their needs here."
"As they make their way back home for the holidays, it is important that we acknowledge the sacrifices made by these members of our society, and assist them in any way possible during their reintegration into our communities," said Warburg. "They have played a very important role in supplementing the force throughout our global operations."
The 188th Infantry Brigade, along with the other training support brigades in First Army Division East, provides and facilitates theater-focused training for deploying National Guard and Reserve units and assists with redeployment and demobilizing following deployment. Based out of Fort Stewart, the 188th "Battle Ready" Brigade has been training Reserve Component units for deployments continuously since 2003.