This FAQ is related to Courage to Resist’s “Resisting Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) recall” published February 2009. If this question is of interest to you, please read our overview first.


“Stop-Lossed” Soldiers and Marines are, by the definition of “Stop Loss”, on active duty service at the time of their involuntary extensions. They are clearly under the jurisdiction of, and punishable by, the UCMJ if they refuse to report for duty.

Both the IRR and “Stop Loss” make up what many military rights advocates describe as a “back door draft”. This had led some to confuse these two very different military programs.

In March 2009, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates promised a deep reduction in the number of personnel affected by the stop loss policy, "The goal is to reduce that number by 50 percent by June 2010 and to bring it down to scores or less by March 2011." Earlier promises to reduce the use of Stop Loss were abandoned to fulfill deployment quotas.