Thousands of inactive service members will probably be called up to counter a decline in volunteers. The official in charge of the Marines’ manpower mobilization said he didn’t know why the numbers have been dropping off recently.
The U.S. Marine Corps will start ordering what could be thousands of inactive service members to return to duty in the coming months to counter a steady decline in the number of such troops who volunteer, the service said on Tuesday.
Col. Guy Stratton, head of the Marine Corps’ manpower mobilization plans, said the service is short some 1,200 volunteers over the next 18 months to fill roles in the war on terrorism. The total shortfall fluctuates regularly, he said.
Stratton said President George W. Bush authorized the Marine Corps to issue involuntary recall orders to members of the Individual Ready Reserve, part of the non-active force. It will be the Marine Corps’ first involuntary recall since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.