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.

Apparently a significant number of IRR individuals are testing positive during mandatory drug testing upon involuntary IRR recall. We have heard many rumors that a sizable percentage of these “piss test failures” are doing so intentionally so as to be rejected for active duty service.

This strategy seems to have worked for some individuals seeking "a way out" via this route. However, we have heard that the Army has closed this loop hole (see below). Regardless, this has many pitfalls and possible poor outcomes, including:

  • Once you physically report, you are again on active duty and subject to military justice. The fact that positive piss testers have been sent home so far has been an administrative policy. This policy may change at any time without warning.
  • If you fail the drug test, it is possible that you may be court martialed for doing so.
  • If you are only reporting for the IRR recall in order to avoid a “bad” IRR discharge so as not to impact your future job prospects that might require an in-depth background check, testing positive on a drug test instead will likely not help in this regard.
  • You might fail to fail the drug test. Just as "false positive" results happen, so do "false negatives". There may also come a time when the required thresholds for positive results are adjusted higher in order to decrease the soldiers deemed unsatisfactory for active duty service.
  • Some drugs are bad for your health. Just say no.

In January 2010, we received the following message from a currently deployed IRR soldier who we believe is providing accurate information:

The Army fixed the problem they had with people popping hot on the drug tests. When I went through it didn’t matter whether you failed the drug test or not. They told us that those that failed were not punished and would be tested again at a later date. If there was a lower amount of that drug in their system they were fit to deploy. And since we are all closely contained once we arrive, of course any amount would be lower later.