Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom: Questions and Answers About U.S. Military Personnel, Compensation, and Force Structure
CRS Report for Congress
Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom,
and Iraqi Freedom: Questions and Answers
About U.S. Military Personnel, Compensation,
and Force Structure
Updated January 27, 2006
Specialist in National Defense
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Charles A. Henning
Analyst in National Defense
Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi
Freedom: Questions and Answers About U.S. Military
Personnel, Compensation, and Force Structure
This report provides short answers to commonly asked questions about military
personnel, compensation, and force structure issues related to Operation Noble Eagle
(ONE), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
Operation Noble Eagle is the name given to military operations related to homeland
security and support to federal, state, and local agencies in the wake of the September
11th attacks. Operation Enduring Freedom includes ongoing operations in
Afghanistan, operations against terrorists in other countries, and training assistance
to foreign militaries which are conducting operations against terrorists. Operation
Iraqi Freedom includes the invasion of Iraq, the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s regime,
and the subsequent rebuilding and counter-insurgency operations in Iraq.
The questions are grouped into three major thematic areas: personnel,
compensation and force structure. The section on personnel addresses issues such as
casualties, reserve mobilization, “sole surviving” son or daughter status,
conscientious objection, and “stop-loss.” The section on compensation addresses
issues related to the pay and benefits — including casualty and death benefits —
provided to members of the U.S. military participating in ONE/OEF/OIF and their
families. The section on force structure addresses issues related to how
ONE/OEF/OIF might affect the number of personnel needed by the military, and
responds to common questions about whether a return to conscription is likely under
This report will be updated as needed.
How many U.S. military personnel have died in connection with OEF
and OIF? Are there any servicemembers who are missing in
action (MIA) or prisoners of war (POW)?.......................2
How many reservists have been called to active duty by the federal
government for ONE, OEF, and OIF? After activation, how long
can they be required to serve on active duty?....................2
What policies govern the deployment of “sole surviving” sons
What policies govern the status of conscientious objectors?.............5
Are there other exemptions from serving in a combat zone?............6
What is “stop-loss” and what is its effect on separations and discharges?..6
What types of special pays and benefits are available to military
personnel participating in OEF and OIF?.......................7
What types of compensation and benefits are available to the dependents
of U.S. military personnel who die in the line of duty while
participating in ONE, OEF, or OIF?..........................10
Compensation in the Form of Cash Payments...................11
Compensation in the Form of Annuities.......................11
What types of compensation and benefits are available to military
personnel who are severely wounded or injured in OEF and OIF?...14
What protections and advantages does the Servicemembers’ Civil
Relief Act (SCRA) provide to military personnel?...............15
Does the military have sufficient manpower to conduct all of the
missions it is currently assigned?.............................16
What would it take to reinstitute the draft? Is a return to conscription
in the U.S. likely? ........................................18
Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom,
and Iraqi Freedom: Questions and Answers
About U.S. Military Personnel,
Compensation, and Force Structure
Since the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,
the United States has launched three major military operations: Operation Noble
Eagle (ONE), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation Iraqi Freedom
(OIF). Operation Noble Eagle is the name given to military operations related to12
homeland security and support to federal, state, and local agencies in the wake of
the September 11th attacks. Operation Enduring Freedom includes ongoing
operations in Afghanistan, operations against terrorists in other countries, and
training assistance to foreign militaries which are conducting operations against
terrorists. Operation Iraqi Freedom includes the invasion of Iraq, the defeat of
Saddam Hussein’s regime, and the subsequent rebuilding and counter-insurgency
operations in Iraq. This report provides short answers to commonly asked questions
about military personnel and compensation issues related to these operations.
The questions are grouped into three major thematic areas: personnel,
compensation, and force structure. The section on personnel addresses issues such
as casualties, reserve mobilization, “sole surviving” son or daughter status,
conscientious objection, and “stop-loss.” The section on compensation addresses
issues related to the pay and benefits — including casualty and death benefits —
provided to members of the U.S. military participating in ONE/OEF/OIF and their
families. The section on force structure addresses issues related to how
ONE/OEF/OIF might affect the number of personnel needed by the military, and
answers common questions about whether or not a return to conscription is likely
under current circumstances.
1 For example, air patrols over U.S. cities.
2 For example, various types of disaster assistance provided at the sites of the terrorist
How many U.S. military personnel have died in connection
with OEF and OIF? Are there any servicemembers who are
missing in action (MIA) or prisoners of war (POW)?
As of January 17, 2006, there were 255 fatalities among U.S. military personnel3
serving in OEF. Of these, 130 were categorized as killed in action, while 125 were
categorized as non-hostile deaths.4 As of that same date, 677 military personnel had
been wounded in action while serving in OEF. Of these, 275 were returned to duty
within 72 hours.
As of January 17, 2006, there were 2,242 fatalities among U.S. military5
personnel serving in OIF. Of these, 1,761 were categorized as hostile deaths and
481 as non-hostile. As of that same date, 16,420 military personnel had been
wounded in action while serving in OIF. Of these, 8,812 were returned to duty
within 72 hours.
As of January 15, 2006, there was one U.S. soldier classified as a POW, Private6
First Class Keith M. Maupin who was captured on April 9, 2004. There were no
U.S. military personnel classified as MIA.
How many reservists have been called to active duty by the
federal government for ONE, OEF, and OIF? After activation,
how long can they be required to serve on active duty?
Between September 11, 2001 and January 17, 2006, a total of 532,539
reservists (which includes the National Guard) were involuntarily called to active
duty under federal orders for ONE, OEF, and OIF. Of these, 126,5345 were serving
on active duty as of January 17, 2006, while 406,005 had been demobilized prior to
that date after completing their tours.7 Note, however, that the total mobilization and
demobilization figures count reservists more than once if they have been mobilized
3 Includes casualties which occurred in the following countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya,
Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikisatn, Turkey, and Yemen. Source:
Department of Defense. Available at [http://www.dod.gov/news/casualty.pdf]
4 Two of the most common types of non-hostile deaths are deaths attributable to vehicle
accidents and deaths due to illness.
5 Includes casualties that occurred on or after March 19, 2003 in the Arabian Sea, Bahrain,
Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Persian Gulf, Qatar, Red Sea, Saudi
Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Prior to March 19, 2003, casualties in these countries
were considered OEF. Source: Department of Defense. Available at
6 Department of Defense News Release, DoD Announces Soldier’s Captured Status, April
7 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Reserve Affairs, 17 January 2006.
more than once. The total number of individuals mobilized is therefore lower than
stated above, and probably by a significant margin due to the number of people who
have been called up more than once.8
These reservists were called to active duty under a mobilization authority known
as Partial Mobilization. In time of a national emergency declared by the President,
Partial Mobilization authorizes the Service Secretaries9 to order members of the
Ready Reserve to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 consecutive months. Up
to 1 million members of the Ready Reserve may serve on active duty at any one time
under this provision of law. The President may declare a national emergency and
mobilize reservists under this provision of law without approval from Congress. This
authority was also used to mobilize reservists during the later part of the Persian Gulf
DOD’s general policy has been to keep reservists on active duty for no more
than one year; and in the majority of cases to date, mobilized reservists have not been
required to serve more than one year. However, the policy does allow the Service
Secretary to keep reservists on active duty for up to 24 cumulative months if they are
needed to meet operational or other requirements. It should be noted that DOD’s
policy capping reserve service at 24 cumulative months is more restrictive than the
24 consecutive month cap specified in law. If DOD were to change its policy to
mirror the law, reservists could be mobilized multiple times for tours of 24
consecutive months apiece.
Also, some members of the National Guard have been called up to perform
duties related to ONE in a non-federal status. Additionally, in 2001 and 2002,
thousands of members of the National Guard were activated at the order of their
respective governors to provide additional security at airports. They were called up
under Title 32 of the U.S. Code, which means they were under state control, but with
federal pay and benefits. These distinctions have a significant bearing on the type of
pay, benefits, and legal protections to which the affected individuals are entitled. For
more information on this topic, see CRS Report RL30802, Reserve Component
Personnel Issues, by Lawrence Kapp.
8 Based on the data available to the author, it is unclear how many individuals have been
involuntarily activated more than once.
9 Section 12302 of Title 10 states “In time of national emergency declared by the President
... or when otherwise authorized by law, an authority designated by the Secretary concerned
may, without the consent of the persons concerned, order any unit, and any member not
assigned to a unit organized to serve as a unit, in the Ready Reserve under the jurisdiction
of that Secretary to active duty (other than for training) for not more than 24 consecutive
months.” The Secretary concerned, as defined in 10 USC 101(a)(9),”is the Secretary of the
Army with respect to the Army, the Secretary of the Air Force with respect to the Air Force,
the Secretary of the Navy with respect to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (when
it is operating as part of the Department of the Navy)”. Although the law assigns authority
to mobilize reservists to an official designated by “the Secretary concerned,” the President,
in his capacity as Commander in Chief, is ultimately responsible for the decision to order
reservists to active duty.
What policies govern the deployment of “sole surviving”
sons and daughters?
No statute governs the deployment of “sole surviving” sons and daughters in
today’s all-volunteer military.10 However, the Department of Defense does have an
administrative policy governing assignments of a “sole surviving” son or daughter.
This policy allows “sole surviving” sons or daughters to apply for a protective
assignment status which, once approved, prohibits his or her assignment “to any
overseas area designated as a hostile-fire or imminent-danger area ... nor to duties11
that regularly might subject him or her to combat with the enemy.” In addition to
protective assignment, enlisted personnel who become sole surviving sons or
daughters after having entered service may also apply for and be granted a discharge
in most circumstances.12
However, the term “sole surviving son or daughter” does not simply mean
the only child in a family. According to DOD’s definition, a sole surviving son or
daughter is the only remaining son or daughter in a family where the father or
mother, or one or more sons or daughters, served in the Armed Forces of the United
States and, because of hazards with such military service, either (1) was killed, (2)
died as a result of wounds, accident or disease, (3) is in a captured or missing-in-
action (MIA) status, or (4) is permanently 100-percent disabled, is hospitalized on
a continuing basis, and is not employed gainfully because of such disability.13
10 However, a law prohibits the conscription of “surviving sons” — not necessarily sole
surviving sons — in certain circumstances. Conscription, also known as the draft, is
governed by the Military Selective Service Act, located at 50 USC Appendix 451 to 471.
Part of this law, 50 USC Appendix 456 (o), states: “Except during the period of a war or a
national emergency declared by Congress, no person may be inducted for training and
service under this title (sections 451 to 471a of this Appendix) unless he volunteers for such
induction (1) if the father or the mother or a brother or a sister of such person was killed in
action or died in line of duty while serving in the Armed Forces after December 31, 1959,
or died subsequent to such date as a result of injuries received or disease incurred in line of
duty during such service, or (2) during any period of time in which the father or the mother
or a brother or a sister of such person is in a captured or missing status as a result of such
service. As used in this subsection, the term ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ means a brother of the
whole blood or a sister of the whole blood, as the case may be.” Note, however, that the
legal authority to induct men into the military, which is contained in the Military Selective
Service Act, expired on July 1, 1973. Therefore, this provision of law is not currently
11 Department of Defense Directive 1315.18, Procedures for Military Personnel
Assignments, paragraph E3.10.1, January 12, 2005.
12 Department of Defense Directive 1315.15, Special Separation Policies for Survivorship,
paragraph 4, November 21, 2003.. This policy does not apply during periods of war or
national emergency declared by Congress, if the individual has court-martial charges
pending, if the individual is being processed for involuntary separation for cause, or if the
individual voluntarily enlists, reenlists, or voluntarily extends his or her term of active duty
after being notified of the family casualty on which the survivorship claim is made.
13 Department of Defense Instruction 1315.18, Procedures for Military Personnel
Assignments, paragraph E2.1.44, January 12, 2005.
The “sole surviving” son or daughter issue is different from the commonly cited,
albeit fictional, “Sullivan Act” or “Sullivan Law.” The Sullivans were five brothers
serving on board a single U.S. Navy ship (the U.S.S. Juneau) during World War II.
Their ship was sunk by the Japanese on November 13, 1942, and all of the brothers
died. In response to this tragedy, some proposals were made to prohibit brothers
from serving together on the same ship, but Congress did not pass any such law, nor
did the President issue an executive order to that effect. In response to a similar
tragedy which occurred the previous year (three brothers serving aboard the U.S.S.
Arizona perished during the Pearl Harbor attacks) the Navy did issue a policy
forbidding commanding officers from approving requests from brothers to serve
together, but the policy was apparently not enforced and did not prohibit the Navy
from assigning brothers to the same ship.14
Current DOD policy states that “concurrent assigning of service members of the
immediate family to the same military unit or ship is not prohibited, but requests for
reassignment to a different unit or ship may be approved for all but one service
member.” Approval of such requests, however, are contingent upon military
What policies govern the status of conscientious objectors?
No statute governs the treatment of conscientious objectors currently serving in
the military.16 However, the Department of Defense does have an administrative
policy relating to this issue.17 Of course, in today’s all-volunteer military, those who
have moral objections to participating in war will likely choose not to join the
14 Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center, Frequently Asked Questions: Sullivan
Brothers, located at [http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq72-1.htm].
15 Department of Defense Instruction 1315.18, Procedures for Military Personnel
Assignments, paragraph 6.9, January 12, 2005.
16 However, there is a law which deals with the treatment of conscientious objectors during
a draft. The draft, is governed by the Military Selective Service Act, codified in 50 USC
Appendix 451 to 471. Part of this law, 50 USC Appendix 456(j), states: “Nothing contained
in this title (sections 451 to 471a of this Appendix) shall be construed to require any person
to be subject to combatant training and service in the armed forces of the United States who,
by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously opposed to participation in war
in any form. As used in this subsection, the term ‘’religious training and belief’‘ does not
include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views, or a merely personal moral
code. Any person claiming exemption from combatant training and service because of such
conscientious objections whose claim is sustained by the local board shall, if he is inducted
into the armed forces under this title (said sections), be assigned to noncombatant service...
or shall, if he is found to be conscientiously opposed to participation in such noncombatant
service...be ordered ...to perform for a period equal to the period prescribed in section 4(b)
(section 454(b) of this Appendix) such civilian work contributing to the maintenance of the
national health, safety, or interest as the Director may deem appropriate....” Note, however,
that the legal authority to induct men into the military, which is contained in the Military
Selective Service Act, expired on July 1, 1973. Therefore, this provision of law is not
relevant to people serving in the military today.
17 Department of Defense Directive 1300.6, Conscientious Objectors, November 21, 2003.
military. Nonetheless, some people volunteer to join the armed forces with every
intention of fulfilling their military obligations, but later develop religious or moral
objections to participation in war. Such people may apply for transfer to non-combat
related duties or for an administrative discharge, depending on the nature of their
convictions. Following application, a formal investigatory procedure is initiated by
the military to ascertain the facts and nature of the applicant’s claim. Based on this
investigation and the criteria for granting conscientious objector status defined in the
DOD policy, a determination is made to either grant or deny the applicant’s claim.
With respect to the criteria for granting conscientious objector status, a crucial
one is the requirement that the individual be “opposed to participation in war in any
form.”18 In other words, the objection “must be to all wars rather than a specific
war.”19 This standard precludes those who are opposed to some wars, but not all
wars, from being classified as conscientious objectors.
In 2000, slightly over 100 servicemembers applied for conscientious objector
status; in 2004 this number was over 400. Of those who apply, approximately half
Are there other exemptions from serving in a combat zone?
Yes, if a service member is killed, dies, or is declared captured or missing, the
other service members of the same family will be exempt, upon request, from serving
in designated hostile-fire areas or if already serving in such as area, will be
reassigned. This also applies to those who are categorized as 100% disabled by the
Service or the Veterans Administration.21
In addition, wounded personnel who have been medically evacuated and
hospitalized for more than 30 days outside the hostile-fire area will not be returned
during the same tour; they may, however, be eligible for subsequent combat tours.
This provision does not apply to those hospitalized for injury, accident, illness, self-
inflicted wounds, or other non-combat causes.22
What is “stop-loss” and what is its effect on separations and
Under federal law, the President has the authority to suspend laws related to
promotion, retirement and separation of military personnel during a period of time
18 Department of Defense Directive 1300.6, Conscientious Objectors, paragraph 184.108.40.206.
19 Department of Defense Directive 1300.6, Conscientious Objectors, paragraph 5.2.1.
20 Martha Mendoza, Miami Herald, “More Soldiers Trying to Leave the Military”, January
21 Department of Defense Instruction 1315.18, Procedures for Military Personnel
Assignments, paragraph E220.127.116.11.
22 Department of Defense Instruction 1315.18, Procedures for Military Personnel
Assignments, paragraph E3.11.2.
when members of the Reserve Component have been involuntarily ordered to active
federal service.23 Since 1990, this authority has been delegated to the Secretary of
Defense by executive order.24 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld delegated this
authority to each of the individual military services on September 19, 2001, allowing
those services to “stop loss” by keeping individuals on active duty beyond their
normal date of separation or retirement.
Stop-loss has usually been implemented to permit the military to retain people
with critical skills during a time of crisis. Since September 11, 2001, all of the
Services have implemented such “skill based” stop loss for various lengths of time,
although none of the Services currently have such a policy in effect. However, the
Army has implemented a stop-loss policy which delays the departure of personnel
from units deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan until 90 days after the unit returns from
its deployment. The purpose of this “unit based” stop-loss is to maintain unit
cohesion and thereby maximize military effectiveness among units headed for a
combat environment. The Army has both an Active Army and Reserve Component
Unit Stop Loss program. Under both, soldiers are affected from 90 days prior to their
unit’s mobilization/deployment date through their demobilizatioin/redeployment
date, plus a maximum of 90 days. As of December 31, 2005 , stop loss impacted
Most involuntary separations — for example, discharges due to criminal acts
— will not be affected by stop-loss. Additionally, the adoption of a stop-loss policy
does not modify service policies or regulations which might lead to an administrative
discharge (e.g. for homosexuality) or to a medical discharge.
Most recently, Congress has required the Secretary of Defense to report on the
actions being taken to ensure that new enlistees are adequately informed concerning
service stop loss policies.26
What types of special pays and benefits are available to
military personnel participating in OEF and OIF?
Many military personnel participating in OEF and OIF are eligible for Hostile
Fire or Imminent Danger Pay (HF/IDP). HF/IDP is authorized by 37 U.S.C. 310,
which provides a special pay for “duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger.”
23 10 U.S.C. 12305.
24 Executive Order 12728, August 22, 1990. This authority was originally invoked by
President George H. W. Bush during the Persian Gulf War and has remained in effect since
25 Information Paper, Army G-1, Subject: Stop Loss Program — Historical with Updated
Numbers of Soldiers Affected, 24 January 2006.
26 P.L. 109-163, section 546, National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, January 6,
While DOD regulations distinguish between Hostile Fire Pay and Imminent Danger
Pay, they are both derived from the same statute and an individual can only collect
Hostile Fire Pay or Imminent Danger Pay, not both simultaneously.27 The purpose of
this pay is to compensate servicemembers for physical danger.28 Iraq, Afghanistan,
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and many other nearby countries29 have been declared
imminent danger zones. Military personnel serving in such designated areas are
eligible for HF/IDP. To be eligible for this pay in a given month, a servicemember
must have served some time in one of the designated zones, even if only a day or
less. The authorizing statute for HF/IDP sets the rate at $225 per month.30
Military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of the Persian Gulf region,
and certain nearby areas31 are also eligible for Hardship Duty Pay (HDP). HDP is
27 DOD regulations make clear a distinction between imminent danger pay (IDP) and hostile
fire pay (HFP), which is only implicit in the statute. IDP is provided to servicemembers
serving in specifically designated places deemed to pose a threat of physical harm or
imminent danger due to insurrection, war, or terrorism; HFP is provided to servicemembers
in any location where members of the uniformed services are actually exposed to hostile fire
or explosion of hostile mines. (In practice, however, this distinction tends to be blurred:
areas where hostile fire events are likely to occur have usually already been designated as
“imminent danger zones,” and, if not, they usually become so designated if hostile fire
events occur on even a sporadic basis. Still, the distinction was clearly evidenced in the
aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 when military personnel located at
the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on the date of the attacks were given HFP for the
month of September, although no part of the United States is designated an “imminent
danger zone”). IDP and HFP cannot be collected simultaneously. DOD Financial
Management Regulation 7000.14-R, Special Pay — Duty Subject to Hostile Fire or
Imminent Danger, December 2005.
28 Department of Defense, Military Compensation Background Papers, 5th ed., 1996, 173.
29 Among the areas designated for receiving imminent danger pay are the land area of
Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kuwait,
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Georgia, Israel,
Yemen, Djibouti, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and most of Turkey. Service in the
airspace above Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the Persian Gulf,
and parts of Turkey qualifies as well. Source: DOD Financial Management Regulation
2005. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all imminent danger locations: there are
many locations in other parts of the world which have received this designation.
30 Until recently, HF/IDP was set at $150 per month. However, Congress temporarily
increased that amount to $225 per month in P.L. 108-136, section 619, November 24, 2003,
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004. Congress made this increase
permanent in P.L. 108-375, section 623, October 28, 2004, Ronald W. Reagan National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005.
31 Among the areas designated for receiving hardship duty pay include Afghanistan,
Kazakhstan, Krygystan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Kuwait,
Oman, Yemen, Israel, Jordan, Georgia, Djibouti, and parts of the United Arab Emirates,
Turkey, and Qatar. The Phillipines, Malyasia, and Indonesia are also designated hardship
duty pay locations. Only people serving on the ground are eligible for Hardship Duty Pay.
Sources: DOD Financial Management Regulation 7000.14-R, Special Pay — Hardship
Duty, December, 2005. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all hardship duty
authorized by 37 U.S.C. 305. It is compensation for the exceptional demands of
certain duty, including unusually demanding mission assignments or service in areas
with extreme climates or austere facilities. The maximum amount of HDP was
recently increased by Congress from $300 to $750 per month.32 The current rate of
HDP for Iraq and Afghanistan is $100 per month.
Military personnel participating in OEF and OIF may also be eligible for Family
Separation Allowance (FSA). FSA is authorized by 37 U.S.C. 427, which provides
a special pay for those servicemembers with dependents who are separated from their
families for more than 30 days. The purpose of this pay is to “partially reimburse,
on average, members of the uniformed services involuntarily separated from their
dependents for the reasonable amount of extra expenses that result from such
separation....”33 To be eligible for this allowance, U.S. military personnel must be
separated from their dependents for 30 continuous days or more; but once the 30-day
threshold has been reached, the allowance is applied retroactively to the first day of
separation. The authorizing statute for FSA sets the rate at $250 per month.34
Another benefit available to those deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other
designated areas nearby35 is eligibility for the Savings Deposit Program.36 This
program allows service members to earn a guaranteed rate of 10 percent interest on
deposits of up to $10,000, which must have been earned in the designated areas. The
deposit is normally returned to the servicemember, with interest, within 90 days after
he or she leaves the eligible region, although earlier withdrawals can sometimes be
made for emergency reasons.
locations: there are many locations in other parts of the world that have received this
designation. Hardship Duty Pay replaced what was known as Foreign Duty Pay in 1999.
32 P.L. 109-163, section 627, National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, January 6,
33 Department of Defense, Military Compensation Background Papers, 5th edition, 1996,
34 Until recently, the rate for Family Separation Allowance was $100 per month. However,
Congress temporarily increased this rate to $250 per month in P.L. 108-136, section 619,
November 24, 2003, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004. Congress
made this increase permanent in P.L. 108-375, section 623, October 28, 2004, Ronald W.
Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005.
35 Eligibility for the Savings Deposit Program includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Iraq,
Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, the waters
of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea
north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude, as well as the
airspace above these regions. Eligibility for this benefit varies slightly depending on the area
one is assigned to, but generally a servicemember must serve at least 30 days in the
designated area. Some areas also grant eligibility if a servicemember serves at least one day
in each of three consecutive months in the designated areas. Some areas require that service
be in a designated combat zone, or in support of a designated combat zone, or that the
servicemember be in receipt of hostile fire/imminent danger pay. Source: DOD Financial
Management Regulation 7000.14-R, Savings Deposit Program, December, 2005.
36 10 U.S.C. 1035.
Finally, there is a tax benefit for many of those serving overseas in OEF or OIF
called the “combat zone tax exclusion.”37 Afghanistan and the airspace above it have
been designated a “combat zone” since September 19, 2001.38 Military personnel
serving in direct support of the operations in this combat zone are also eligible for the
combat zone tax exclusion.39 Additionally, certain areas in the Persian Gulf region40
— including Iraq — have been designated combat zones since 1991. Military
personnel serving in direct support of operations in this combat zone are also eligible
for the combat zone tax exclusion.41 For enlisted personnel and warrant officers, this
means that all compensation for active military service in a combat zone is free of
federal income tax. For commissioned officers, their compensation is free of federal
income tax up to the maximum amount of enlisted basic pay plus any imminent
danger pay received.42 While the combat zone tax exclusion contained in federal law
applies only to federal income tax, almost all states have provisions extending the
benefit to their state income tax as well.43
What types of compensation and benefits are available to the
dependents of U.S. military personnel who die in the line of
duty while participating in ONE, OEF, or OIF?
Dependents of active duty military personnel who die in the line of duty are
eligible for a variety of special payments and benefits. The major compensation and
benefit programs are listed below.
37 26 U.S.C. 112.
38 Source: Internal Revenue Service, Combat Zones, available at [http://www.irs.gov/
39 Ibid. To qualify under this provision, servicemembers must be serving in Pakistan,
Tajikistan, or Jordan (as of September 19, 2001); Incirlik Air Base in Turkey (as of
September 21, 2001); Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan (as of October 1, 2001); the Philippines
(as of January 9, 2002); Yemen (as of April 10, 2002); or Djibouti (as of July 1, 2002).
40 Ibid. Includes Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman,
the waters of Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and the
Arabian Sea north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude, as well
as the airspace above these regions.
41 Ibid. Includes Israel and Turkey (as of January 1, 2003) and the Mediterranean Sea east
of 30 degrees east longitude (as of April 11, 2003).
42 According to the Internal Revenue Service, “For 2003, the monthly combat pay exclusion
for officers totals $5,957.70. For 2004, it totals $6,315.90.” This information, and
information on combat zone tax exclusion generally, is available at [http://www.irs.gov/
43 Department of Defense, Military Compensation Background Papers, 5th Edition,
September, 1996, 832-837.
Compensation in the Form of Cash Payments.
Death Gratuity.44 The death gratuity is a lump sum payment to the surviving
spouse of the servicemember, or to the children of the servicemember in equal shares45
if there is no spouse. The payment amount was recently increased by Congress
from $12,420 to $100,000 for all active duty deaths and made retroactive to October46
7, 2001. The death gratuity may also be paid if death occurs within 120 days after
release from active duty if the death resulted from injury or disease incurred or47
aggravated during military service. The purpose of this benefit is to provide cash
quickly to the survivors in order to help them meet immediate needs.
Payment for Unused Leave. The servicemembers’ designated beneficiary,
or the statutorily specified next of kin if no beneficiary was designated, is entitled to
a payment for any unused leave the servicemember had accrued at the time of death.48
Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI). All members of the
military are automatically enrolled in SGLI for the maximum benefit of $400,000.
49 Servicemembers may reduce or decline coverage under SGLI, but doing so requires
that they request this in writing. In contrast to most civilian life insurance providers,
SGLI pays benefits in the event of combat-related deaths.
Compensation in the Form of Annuities.
Survivor Benefit Plan. Effective September 10, 2001, all active duty
personnel are covered by the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP).50 Under the SBP, if a
servicemember dies while on active duty, the surviving spouse is entitled to an
annuity, which is based in part on the deceased’s basic pay level51 and years of
service. The interaction between SBP benefits, Social Security benefits, and
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is complex and may result in reduced or
44 See also, Burrelli, David F., Military Death Benefits: Status and Proposals, January 24,
45 10 U.S.C. 1475-1480. Amended by P.L. 108-136, section 619, November 24, 2003,
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004.
46 P.L. 109-163, section 641, National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, January 6,
47 10 U.S.C. 1476
48 10 U.S.C. 501(d)(1)
49 38 U.S.C. 1965-1979. The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Enhancement Act of
2005 (P.L. 109-80) increased the maximum benefit from $250,000 to $400,000, effective
September 1, 2005. P.L. 109-163 made this permanent for nearly all military deaths
retroactive to October 7, 2001.
50 The program was originally designed to provide benefits only to the widows or widowers
of retirement-eligible servicemembers.
51 Depending on when the deceased servicemember entered active duty, the basic pay level
will be either the monthly basic pay earned just prior to death, or the average of the highest
offset SBP benefits.52 For a full description of these interactions, see CRS Report
RL31664, The Military Survivor Benefit Plan: A Description of Its Provisions, by
David Burrelli. SBP payments are terminated for a surviving spouse who remarries
before age 55.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. The Dependency and
Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program, administered by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs, provides a monthly payment to unremarried surviving spouses,
or eligible children, of servicemembers who die because of service related illnesses
or injuries. At present, the monthly payment for surviving spouses is $1,033 per
month, plus $257 per child. Additional payments can also be made if the survivor
has certain disabilities.53 See the previous paragraph on the Survivor Benefit Plan
for important information on the combination of DIC with other government
Social Security Survivor Benefits. Surviving spouses and children of
servicemembers who die while on active duty may be eligible for Social Security
Survivor benefits if they meet certain eligibility requirements.54 The amount of
benefits varies based on a number of factors, including the average lifetime earnings
of the decedent, the number of quarters the decedent paid Social Security taxes, and
certain characteristics of the beneficiary, such as age and relationship to the decedent.
Remarriage can have an effect on a widow’s or widower’s benefit. See the previous
paragraph on the Survivor Benefit Plan for important information on the combination
of Social Security benefits with other government provided annuities.
Expenses Related To Death. The following expenses may either be paid
directly by the military service to which the deceased belonged, or reimbursed to the
individual who pays for them: “(1) Recovery and identification of the remains. (2)
Notification of the next of kin or other appropriate person. (3) Preparation of the
remains for burial, including cremation if requested by the person designated to direct
disposition of the remains. (4) Furnishing of a uniform or other clothing. (5)
Furnishing of a casket or urn, or both, with outside box. (6) Hearse service. (7)
Funeral director’s service. (8) Transportation of the remains, and round-trip
transportation and prescribed allowances for an escort of one person, to the place
selected by the person designated to direct disposition of the remains or, if such a
selection is not made, to a national or other cemetery which is selected by the
Secretary and in which burial of the decedent is authorized. (9) Interment of the
52 The FY2006 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Government Accountability
Office (GAO) to submit a report by July 31, 2006 on the actuarial soundness of SBP,
implications of recent SBP changes and possible elimination of the SBP/DIC offset.
53 38 U.S.C. 1311
54 A thorough description of Social Security Survivor Benefits, including eligibility
requirements, is provided in Background Material and Data on Programs Within the
Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (The Green Book), available at
[http://www.congress.gov/brbk/html/ebssc1.shtml] under the heading “Detailed Program
Description (From the Green Book).”
remains. (10) Presentation of a flag of the United States to the person designated to
direct disposition of the remains. (11) Presentation of a flag of equal size to the flag
presented under paragraph (10) to the parents or parent, if the person to be presented
a flag under paragraph (10) is other than the parent of the decedent.”55
Burial In National Cemeteries. Members of the Armed Forces who die
while on active duty are eligible for burial in national cemeteries, including Arlington
National Cemetery. The government provides a grave site, opening and closing of
the grave, headstone or marker, and maintenance of the site at no cost to the family.
Inurement of cremated remains in a columbarium is an option as well.
Housing Benefits. The FY2006 National Defense Authorization Act
(NDAA) allows the Secretary of Defense to permit the family of a servicemember
who dies on active duty to remain in government quarters for up to 365 days, free of
charge. Alternatively, the Secretary can authorize payment of the Basic Allowance
for Housing, a tax-free allowance designed to cover most of the costs of civilian56
housing in a given region, for 365 days. Previously, these benefits had been limited
to 180 days.
Medical Benefits. The unremarried surviving spouse of a deceased
servicemember remains eligible for TRICARE, the military health care system, until
age 65. At age 65, the surviving spouse becomes eligible for TRICARE for Life,
provided he or she has Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Children of the
deceased servicemember remain eligible for TRICARE until they become 21 years
of age, although eligibility may extend past age 21 if the child meets certain
requirements and is either enrolled full time in an institution of higher learning or has
a severe disability. Surviving family members of a deceased servicemember receive
TRICARE benefits at the active duty dependent rate for a three year period, after
which they receive TRICARE benefits at the retiree dependent rates.57
Commissary and Exchange Access. The unremarried surviving spouse
of a deceased servicemember is eligible for unlimited access to the commissary and
exchange systems indefinitely. Children of a deceased servicemember are eligible
for unlimited access to the commissary and exchange system until they become 21
years of age or get married, although eligibility may extend past age 21 if the child
meets certain requirements and is either enrolled full time in an institution of higher
learning or has a severe disability.58
55 10 U.S.C. 1482
56 37 U.S.C. 403(l).
57 Legislation governing military health care benefits is located at10 U.S.C. 1071 et. seq.
For more information on TRICARE, see CRS Issue Brief IB93103, Military Medical Care
Services: Questions and Answers, by Richard Best. See also the DOD sponsored website,
[ h t t p : / / www.t r i c a r e .os d.mi l ]
58 See DOD Regulation 1330.17-R, Armed Services Commissary Regulations, and DOD
Instructioin 1330.21, Armed Services Exchange Regulations.
Educational Assistance. The Survivors’ and Dependants’ Educational
Assistance program,59 administered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, provides60
up to 45 months of educational assistance to unremarried surviving spouses, or
eligible children, of servicemembers who die in the line of duty. At present, the
monthly payment is $803 per month for full-time attendance at eligible institutions;
a lesser amount is paid for part-time attendance. Unremarried spouses have up to ten
years to use this benefit. Children may generally receive benefits between the ages
of 18 and 26, although there are circumstances where a child can receive benefits
before 18 or after 26. This benefit can be used for undergraduate or graduate study,
technical or vocational schooling, correspondence courses, some types of on-the-job
training, and certain other educational programs.
What types of compensation and benefits are available to
military personnel who are severely wounded or injured in
OEF and OIF?
Casualties from ongoing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have
received media attention and Members of Congress have frequently expressed
concern about the level of care for those severely injured or wounded service
members and their families. As a result, several new programs have been established:
Traumatic Injury Protection. While the Servicemembers’ Group Life
Insurance (SGLI) program has offered low-cost life insurance to military personnel,
there has not been, until recently, a provision for disability coverage. Effective
December 1, 2005, all service members were insured for traumatic injuries at a
monthly premium of $1.00, unless they decline coverage. This program, colloquially
referred to as TSGLI or Traumatic SGLI, provides an immediate payment between
$25,000 and $100,000 to ease the financial burden associated with hospitalization,
recovery and rehabilitation.61 Those who are blind, deaf, paralyzed, severely burned
or multiple amputees will qualify for the $100,000 maximum. Other severe injuries
will be compensated on a sliding scale of $25,000, $50,000 and $75,000 based on the
severity and duration of the condition.
TSGLI is not disability compensation and it has no effect on Veterans Administration
entitlements. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and
Readiness is responsible for implementing the program with the services. TSGLI is
retroactive to October 7, 2001 if the loss was a direct result of injuries received in
OEF or OIF.
59 Codified in Title 38, Chapter 35 of the United States Code.
60 However, a recent change in the law allows a surviving spouse to remarry after age 57 and
retain eligibility for this benefit, provided he or she still meets the other eligibility criteria.
P.L. 108-183, section 101, December 16, 2003.
61 P.L. 109-13, section 1032, 11 May 2005.
Special Pay During Rehabilitation. Based on the FY2006 National
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)62, service members who are wounded, injured
or become ill in a combat zone (as determined by the Secretary of Defense) and who
are medically evacuated, will receive a special pay of $430 per month during the
period of their hospitalization, recovery and rehabilitation. The special pay will be
reduced by any amount of hostile fire or imminent danger pay that is received and the
pay is not retroactive.
Meals in Military Medical Treatment Facilities. Because service members
receive a Basic Allowance for Subsistence, they have routinely been charged for
meals while hospitalized in military medical treatment facilities. Previous legislation
had temporarily waived this charge.63 However, with passage of the FY200664
National Defense Authorization Act, service members are no longer required to pay
for these meals while they are undergoing continuous care, to include outpatient care,
for an injury, illness or disease incurred in support of OEF, OIF or other military
operations designated by the Secretary of Defense. This exemption is now effective
from October 1, 2005 through December 31, 2006.
What protections and advantages does the Servicemembers’
Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provide to military personnel?
Military personnel, including reservists called into active federal service, are
eligible for a broad array of legal protections under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief
Act (SCRA) of 2003.65 (Note, however, that National Guardsmen who are serving
in a purely state status are not covered by the SCRA; National Guardsmen
performing full time National Guard duty under Title 32, section 502(f) of the U.S.
Code are eligible for coverage under the SCRA in certain circumstances).66 Among
other things, the SCRA provides military personnel with certain protections against
rental property evictions, mortgage foreclosures, insurance cancellations, and
62 P.L. 109-163, section 642, National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, January 6,
63 P.L. 108-375, section 607, October 28, 2004.
64 P.L. 109-163, section 607, National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, January 6,
65 P.L. 108-139, codified at 50 U.S.C. App. 501 et. seq. The SCRA replaced the Soldiers’
and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) of 1940.
66 The SCRA covers members of the National Guard serving on active duty under Title 10
of the U.S. Code, and members of the National Guard serving “under a call to active service
authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30
consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, United States Code, for purposes of
responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal
funds.” This is narrowly defined subset of full time National Guard duty which includes,
for example, the thousands of National Guard personnel who performed airport security
missions after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and National Guard personnel
activated in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For more information on non-federal
status for National Guardsmen, see CRS Report RL30802, Reserve Component Personnel
Issues: Questions and Answers, by Lawrence Kapp.
government property seizures to pay tax bills. The SCRA also limits to 6 percent the
amount of interest that the servicemember has to pay on loans — except student
loans — incurred prior to entry onto active duty. Usually, the provisions of the
SCRA only apply during the period of active military service, or for a short period
of time afterwards. For a full description of the legal protections provided to
activated reservists by the SCRA, see the CRS Report RL32360, The
Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (P.L. 108-189), by Estella Velez Pollack.
Does the military have sufficient manpower to conduct all of
the missions it is currently assigned?
Prior to the September 11th attacks, there was a serious debate between Congress
and the executive branch over whether the military was being tasked with more
missions than it could realistically handle, given its manpower levels. Congress was
especially concerned that these missions — in Bosnia, Kosovo, Southwest Asia, the
Sinai, and elsewhere — might be producing personnel tempo (PERSTEMPO)
levels67 high enough to have a negative effect on retention.68 As such, Congress
passed laws requiring the services to track the PERSTEMPO of every
servicemember, to monitor individual PERSTEMPO levels more closely, and to pay
an allowance to servicemembers assigned lengthy or numerous deployments.69
Similar concerns about PERSTEMPO led General Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of
Staff, to assert before the House Armed Services Committee in July, 2001, that
“Given today’s mission profile, the Army is too small for the mission load it is
carrying.” During that hearing, both Shinseki and Secretary of the Army Thomas
White endorsed a proposal to increase the Army’s end strength from 480,000 to
67 Personnel tempo is the rate at which military personnel are deployed away from their
68 Deployments can have a positive effect on retention, but some studies indicate that after
a certain threshold level, high PERSTEMPO levels have a negative effect on retention. See
for example James Hosek and Mark Totten, Does Perstempo Hurt Reenlistment? The Effect
of Long or Hostile Perstempo on Reenlistment, RAND, 1998; Paul Sticha, Paul Hogan and
Diane Maris, Personnel Tempo: Definition, Measurement, and Effects on Retention,
Readiness and Quality of Life, Army Research Institute, 1999; and Peter Francis,
OPTEMPO and Readiness, Center for Naval Analysis, 1999.
69 The PERSTEMPO legislation is codified at 10 U.S.C. 136, 10 U.S.C. 487, 10 U.S.C. 991,
and 37 U.S.C. 436. 10 U.S.C. 991(d) contains a national security waiver that states “The
Secretary of the military department concerned may suspend the applicability of this section
to a member or any group of members under the Secretary’s jurisdiction when the Secretary
determines that such a waiver is necessary in the national security interests of the United
States.” On October 8, 2001, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz signed an order
indefinitely suspending part of the PERSTEMPO legislation, including payments authorized
under 37 U.S.C. 436.
70 Nicholas J. Carter, ArmyLink News, “White, Shinseki: Army Needs More Soldiers,” July
Since September 11, 2001, operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi
Freedom have dramatically increased the manpower needs of the military services,
especially for the Army, which has shouldered the bulk of the manpower burden
associated with the occupation of Iraq. These manpower needs have been filled
primarily through the call up of over 500,000 reservists, longer duty days and higher
PERSTEMPO rates for many active duty personnel, and the use of contract
personnel. So far, this response has enabled the military to perform its assigned
missions, but some observers note that it could cause problems in the future — for
example, in unacceptably low retention rates, unacceptable performance levels, and
difficulty responding to new crises — if carried out over an extended period of time.
In order to prevent such problems from occurring, Congress and the executive
branch have taken a number of actions. For example, at the end of FY2003 and
FY2004 the Department of Defense invoked a statutory provision which allowed it
to exceeded its authorized end strength.71 Additionally, Congress recently
authorized an increase of 20,000 to the size of the active Army and an increase of
3,000 to the size of the active Marine Corps in the Ronald W. Reagan National
Defense Authorization Act for FY2005.72 A separate provision in that law gives the
Secretary of Defense the authority to temporarily increase the size of the Army by
another 10,000 people, and the size of the Marine Corps by 6,000 people.73
Most recently, the FY2006 National Defense Authorization Act provides for an
active duty end strength (as of September 30, 2006) of 512,400 for the Army (an
increase of 30,000) and an end strength of 179,000 for the Marine Corps (an increase
of 4,000).74 Furthermore, this legislation authorized additional annual increases of
71 Congress regulates the maximum size of the armed forces by setting statutory limits on
“end strength” of the military services. (End strength is defined by 10 U.S.C. 101(b)(11)
as “the largest number of members authorized to be in an armed force, a component, a
branch, a grade, or any other category of the armed forces.”). However, there are several
provisions of law which allow the services to exceed their authorized end strength under
certain circumstances. 10 U.S.C. 115(e) allows the Secretary of Defense to increase the
active duty end strength for a fiscal year for any of the armed forces by not more than three
percent, and the end strength of certain reserve component personnel by not more than two
percent, if he determines it to be in the national interest. 10 U.S.C. 115(f) allows the
Secretary of a military department to increase the authorized active duty end strength of the
armed force under his or her jurisdiction by not more than two percent if he determines it
to be in the national interest. 10 U.S.C. 123a. allows the President to waive any statutory end
strength with respect to a given fiscal year if, at the end of that fiscal year, “there is in effect
a war or national emergency.” This latter provision was delegated by the President to the
Secretary of Defense on September 14, 2001 (Executive Order. 13223).
72 P.L. 108-375, section 401 and 402, October 28, 2004. The increases for the Army and
Marine Corps specified in section 401 are subject to a condition that the costs of the
increases “be paid out of funds authorized to be appropriated for that fiscal year for
a contingent emergency reserve fund or as an emergency supplemental appropriation.”
73 P.L. 108-375, section 403, October 28, 2004.
74 P.L. 109-163, section 401, National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, January 6,
2009.75 However, the Army is having difficulty increasing its strength due to
Another prominent initiative intended to reduce manpower strain is the Army’s
ongoing effort to reorganize itself, converting from a divisional structure to one based
on brigade sized “units of action.”76 The Army believes that this reorganization will
increase its pool of deployable units, which could help reduce PERSTEMPO rates.
The Army is also shifting of some critical military capabilities from the reserve
component to the active component, thereby reducing the need to call up reserve
units to support military operations, and retraining personnel from skills in lower
demand (such as air defense and artillery) to skills in higher demand (such as military
Other alternatives which have been suggested include contracting out more
functions to the private sector, increasing the use of technologies which reduce
manpower needs, securing greater participation in Iraq and Afghanistan by allied
military personnel, reducing U.S. involvement in missions such as the Sinai and
Kosovo, and withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq in relatively large numbers.77
What would it take to reinstitute the draft? Is a return to
conscription in the U.S. likely?
Any attempt to reinstate the draft would require congressional approval. The
legal framework for conscription is codified in law, but the law contains a provision
which prohibits actual induction into the Armed Forces after July 1, 1973.78 To
reinstate the draft, Congress would have to pass legislation reauthorizing inductions.
At the present time, it appears unlikely that the U.S. will reinstate the draft to
meet its manpower needs. While the Army and some of the Reserve Components are
having difficulty making recruiting goals, the military is meeting its retention
objectives and has a large pool of trained personnel in the reserves that it can draw79
on to augment its active forces. Additionally, while conscription is useful for
75 P.L. 109-163, section 403, National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, January 6,
76 See CRS Report RL32476, U.S. Army’s Modular Redesign: Issues for Congress, by
77 See, for example, Thom Shanker, “After the War: The Military; Rumsfeld Seeking To
Bolster Force Without New G.I.’s,” New York Times, August 24, 2003, 1.
78 The Military Selective Service Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 451 et. seq. 50 U.S.C. App. 467(c)
states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be inducted for
training and service in the Armed Forces after July 1, 1973, except persons now or hereafter
deferred under section 6 of this title after the basis of such deferment ceases to exist.”
79 Although, from a historical perspective, this pool has already been utilized quite heavily
since September 11, 2001, many members of the Ready Reserve have not been mobilized
yet. The total strength of the Ready Reserve — which is made up of the Selected
Reserve, the Individual Ready Reserve, and the Inactive National Guard — is
currently about 1.13 million; of these, roughly 35 to 40% have been involuntarily mobilized
producing large numbers of basically trained military personnel, it is not very useful
for producing high skill specialists which the military often has the greatest need for:
for example, intelligence analysts, linguists, special operations forces, civil affairs
personnel, and pilots. These people need years of training and high motivation levels
to become proficient in their military occupations. However, should reconstruction
and counter-insurgency operations in Iraq require a major U.S. presence for a
prolonged period of time, the utility of a draft might become a more active
consideration. Such a mission could demand a large numbers of military personnel
who do not require the more specialized skills.80 The draft might also be useful if
Congress decided to dramatically expand the size of the Army over a short period of
See also CRS Report RL31682, The Military Draft and a Possible War with
Iraq, by Robert Goldich, for a more detailed discussion of arguments for and against
for federal service in ONE/OEF/OIF under 10 U.S.C. 12302. Still, it appears that over half
of the Ready Reserve has not been activated since September 11, 2001. On the other hand,
if one looks only at the Selected Reserve, the mobilization ratio is higher; and if one looks
at just the Selected Reserve of the Army Reserve and Army National Guard, the
mobilization ratio is higher still. Based on the best available data, it appears that about 50%
of the currently serving members of the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve have
been involuntarily mobilized for federal service in ONE/OEF/OIF under 10 U.S.C. 12302
since September 11, 2001.
80 Examples would include junior level security guards and personnel with basic
construction skills. However, some would argue that these tasks are not inherently military
and could be performed by Iraqi civilians rather than by U.S. military personnel; others
would argue that these tasks take on a military character in a hazardous environment like