As a standard procedure for most deployments, units often receive recalled Inactive Ready Reserve Soldiers to supplement their mission. The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team recently received over 200 IRR Soldiers for the 2010 deployment in Kuwait.
Each battalion in the brigade received reactivated IRR Soldiers, all of whom were called from numerous regions across the country, to support their missions. Upon arriving they were greeted by Col. Richard Gallant, 53rd IBCT commander, thanking them for answering the call to active duty and welcoming them into the brigade at their initial in-theater briefing at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
For many of the activated IRR Soldiers the call to duty was an unexpected one, some having been out of the army for over six years, others having left barely a year ago. Donovan Christensen, an IRR Soldier and full time college student says he sees some positive facts about his unexpected deployment.
"Originally I used up all of my Montgomery G.I. Bill for college, but since being re-activated I'm now eligible for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and will be able to receive all new funds for college. I'm pretty happy about that," said Christensen.
For the IRR Soldiers in 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, they were given a safety briefing and interactive training on weapons they may not have used before by various members of 1st Battalion Soldiers.
Sgt. Major Sanchez, the operations sgt. major for 1-124th, says that an important reason for the interactive class on weapons and proper usage was to provide them with an additional chance to meet people and feel involved.
"I want their transition into the battalion to be as smooth as possible," said Sanchez.
In addition to their interactive class the new IRR Soldiers were also greeted by Command Sgt. Major Steven Corrow, brigade Command Sgt. Major who answered questions and gave them a quick overview on the 53rd IBCT's mission in Kuwait.
"By supplementing our brigade they will allow us to better complete our mission here in Kuwait," said Corrow.