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.
You should expect the military to launch a harassment campaign against you. The objective of this campaign is to convince you to report for activation. The intensity of this effort will vary greatly from one individual to the next.
Intimidation is the primary thing the military has going for it in IRR “no show” cases. However, this intimidation is somewhat effective as about half of the individuals who initially do not report eventually do so.
You will receive letters, possibly a dozen or more over the next year. These might come via the US Postal Service, both certified and non-certified, and/or from FedEx or some other commercial carrier.
You are likely to receive a few phone calls, if they can find your number.
You may receive a visit from a local military recruiter. The recruiter may claim to be with an “IRR enforcement detail” or some similar make-believe entity. Their real objective is to scare you into reenlisting, right there on the spot. Their sales pitch might be as direct as, “Sign up and get a bonus, or go to jail.”
Ironically, if you tell them that you’ll happily go to jail before reporting for recall, they will probably spend less time harassing you. That’s because they’ll probably realize they are wasting their time with you and move on to the next person on their list.
On the other hand, many individuals simply receive a couple of letters in the mail, a voice message on their machine, and a year later, they receive a discharge from the IRR in the mail. Experiences very greatly in regard to the amount of harassment.
In the end, you may receive a General Discharge under Other Than Honorable conditions from the IRR as a result of not reporting. Or, you may receive an Honorable Discharge from the IRR. Regardless, your active duty discharge classification (and DD-214) is not effected by your IRR discharge classification.
Much of the time we spend with IRR related questions on the phone is spent simply reassuring individuals that the information we have published is still current and accurate. We do not mind spending this time talking to IRR individuals because we understand the weight of these questions, and we often learn additional information regarding IRR trends and policy changes that we can incorporate into the information we share with others later. Please feel free to call us at 510-488-3559.
Since IRR members are not subject to the UCMJ, the military has no formal jurisdiction to take action against IRR individuals if they do not voluntarily report—and there are no corresponding civilian laws requiring IRR individuals to report.
—Resisting Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) recall by Courage to Resist. February 2009