Activating veteran Navy Sailors for deployment

| March 30, 2023

Luther Ray Abel, a National Review writer, provided an opinion piece offering solutions for the Navy’s recruiting challenges. One recommendation that he proposed involved contacting a Sailor that got out of the Navy and asking him if he would like to go on deployment. If the veteran agrees, a Navy JAG office provides orders to report to MEPS for processing. Once MEPS is cleared, the Sailor reenlists on a contract that covers the deployment, subject to extension. Abel provides additional recommendations on what the Navy could do to shore up its ranks.

From the National Review:

Here is an opportunity: We should seek out experienced separated sailors and offer them temporary positions back aboard soon-to-be-deployed vessels the sailing of which depends on men with their qualifications. Additionally, we should reformat the reserves to make continued deployments possible without unnecessary mustering and rigamarole.

First, the hard numbers. When a sailor enlists, he signs up for eight years in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) as an addendum to his active-duty contract (i.e., the timer for the inactive obligation starts counting down the second he’s sworn into the service). Additionally, a recruit often receives a “secret” security clearance that lasts for ten years; without the clearance, a sailor is essentially unable to serve on a ship. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume neither of these numbers is adjustable. Whether a sailor has a four-year enlistment or extends it to six or eight, he has the inactive obligation and the benefit of a decade under a security clearance.

It would benefit the Navy to keep sailors on retainer even after an active enlistment ends. If I had my druthers, the process would be as simple as the engineering officer getting the captain’s approval (a captain who needs to meet certain minimums for viability to deploy), then picking up his phone and asking his former sailors if they’d be willing to come back for a cruise. If a former sailor said yes, the JAG — a Navy lawyer — would send over a contract that reenlisted the refrigeration mechanic for nine months, with the understanding that the deployment could be extended. The sailor would report to an existing Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) and go through the normal medical lookover. He’d then be handed a ticket and jet off to meet the ship. After a successful deployment, the sailor would receive a completion bonus and return to whatever else he had going on in his life. (More practically, an anodyne call from the chief engineer urging a former sailor to report to MEPS to hear about an opportunity seems like a more OPSEC-friendly version, though lacking in dramatic satisfaction.)

The National Review has the rest of the opinion piece here.

Category: Navy, Veterans in the news, Veterans Issues

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I doubt the Army will call my old ass up but if they do… First word rhymes with “duck”. Second word opposite of on….


During Viet Nam, one of my first sergeants had been called back in from retirement due to the shortage of NCOs. He was not happy. He didn’t know much about Hueys, but knew how to get around the system to get whatever we needed.

Actually, he was my platoon sergeant but he held the same rank as the first. At least they kept him stateside.

Prior Service

That’s actually a decent idea. Not how many would quit their stable job to sign on for 6-9 months, and it seems there is the need for workups prior, but conceptually it’s not bad. You could probably do well for yourself financially if you just jumped from cruise to cruise (if you were single). Do the “it’s an adventure” part without the in port dumbness? Now I’m gonna look for opportunities to sign up for just the NTC rotation after I retire. I’ll go just to serve as a tank commander….


They sourced the GWOT with retirees. When I arrived in Iraq in 2007 my old retired boss who had retired 3 years previously met me on the flight line. He had come out for a 1 year tour because he had never gone to a Combat Zone in 21 years and felt he could do more.

I also ran across an LTC while deployed that I had served with. He had been passed over for LTC two years prior and made to retire. They offered him promotion and he jumped right on that band wagon. The difference in pay being in the $5-6K a year range for life.


“he had never gone to a Combat Zone in 21 years”
Wow. Was it lack of opportunity ie declared/undeclared?
Seems we’ve been at war in one form or another since
the founding of the Republic.


1983-2004. He missed the PGW because his unit never deployed from Germany. Most of the rest of it was because the actions were small. When he retired he was working at the Puzzle Factory.


In my case it was a lack of opportunity. I entered the USAF in Oct 1973 at the tail-end of the Viet Nam War and retired from the Army in Oct 1994; I was in Japan with the 17th Area Support Group and we didn’t deploy during Desert Shield/Storm. An unfortunate combination of being in the wrong unit, military schools, or civil school (2 years) when the fertilizer hit the ventilator.

20 years active service and never heard a shot fired in anger.

I liken my experience to that of a 20-year fireman who never is sent to put out a fire …. all that training and ready to go — but is not sent. So sad.

Last edited 1 year ago by rgr1480

In the Army, unless you were a unit like the 82d or 101st, from ’73-90 most folks trained. Not many worked a live mission against a live enemy.


Actually I have a friend that retired as an Army LTC after twenty years with no combat time, no hazardous duty time. Shit happens.


How’d he manage that? (I know the douches at Ft Hood[lum] kept PCS-ing back and forth across post to avoid getting a combat patch, but otherwise it was kinda hard with the war and all.)


It happens. In 1969 My father a Marine MGySgt was the senior enlisted Marine At MAD NATTC NAS Millington and had over 23 years of service.. The Commandant of the Marine Corps along with the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps were doing a trip around the CONUS inspiring the troops, etc. The CMC gave s peedch that had a line in it along the lines of ‘ there are three kinds of Marines those that are overseas, those that are back from overseas and those that are going overseas.’ Due to his exalted position my Dad got to host the Sgt Major at the Chiefs club as they were RONing before continuing their tour of bases/locations the next day (Friday).

As they were consuming adult beverages at the Club my father questined the SgtMaj about this particular line from the speech and the SgtMaj assured him CMC was serious. To which my Dad informed him he had been in the Marine Corps for over 23 years and had neve been west of the Mississippi river or outside the CONUS. The response from the Sgt Major was long the lines of Oh Bull$#it.


He took my Dad’s particulars and on Monday after verifying the facts he called my Dad and asked him where he wanted to go and my Dad said he’d kinda like to go to Vietnam. The SgtMaj said that was problematic as there weren’t any positions in his grade and MOS there.

He called back the next day and said he was supposed to report the following week to an aircraft maintenance officers course at NATTC and in January he would report to 1 MAW at Danang. He spent Jan 70 to Feb 71 there and rotated back to the States to MCAS Beaufort.


Yeah, I’m sure all those ex squids really want to risk getting a new 214 with block 24 saying something other than “honorable”


Especially when they get it for not calling someone by their preferred pronouns.

Daisy Cutter

As soon as they sign up, they are immediately behind on all the NKO/JKO courses on every social justice topic out there.

Hack Stone

Plus they get dunned for Navy Relief, Combined Federal Campaign, and the Captain’s “morale fund drive”.


Plus SGLI’s new increased premiums…

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Will they take this 77 year old ex Sqiid/Snipe/ ARNG 11B and do they still award NDSM’s. if so, I could get a star on the ribbon from the Brotherhood. of the NDSM.


Following, wondering if they would take 75 y/o SCPO. As an honor graduate of the E-4 Mafia (watch out for the even number CPOs).


I’m too old/been out too long for that, but I would do it as long as I DON’T go back to my old rate. If I could do what I do now or something comparable but that defeats the whole purpose. My son did a Med-North Atlantic-Baltic deployment last year that me reminiscing about the 3 deployments I made. 

Forest Bondurant

Does that sound include calling up former enlisted sailors who earned bachelor’s degrees and higher during their time of separation? Do they get the option to be commissioned?


The fact that proposals like this are being discussed, even informally, reminds me of the never-ending truth that no one loves the warrior until the Barbarians are at the gate.


This is not that far off from what Russia is doing except it is ask not tell.

Forest Bondurant

Dumb fucking idea.

(The next proposal will be to contact all the sailors the Navy discharged for refusing the jab, and asking them to come back.)

USMC Steve

That would actually make more sense, but I suspect there would be a lot of very negative attitudes towards Big Navy and coming back in to put up with all the leftarded stupidity they offer now.

Forest Bondurant

Precisely. I think all of the branches would be hard pressed to find anyone interested in coming back in after being separated for refusing the vaccine.


I wanna fly a drone.
I’ll do it for free.
They know where to find me.

Last edited 1 year ago by 26Limabeans

Ah, “the little-known, seldom-used reserve activation clause,” Bones McCoy griped about…
comment image

Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous

About 15 years ago the Air Force had a voluntary rated recal program and I was approached. As I’d done previous staff tours at HQ Tac and HQ ACC some folks thought I’d be an ideal candidate to fill some holes. As positions were for above Wing Level the chances of actively flying again were slim. Reading between the lines I could see a year at Langley followed by a year at CENTAF Fwd in the sandbox followed by a year back on the staff. I had to admit to myself that the only saving grace of my last staff tour was I knew I was going to return to flying and that was probably not something that program would do for me.

Now adays I know I can’t pass a flight physical so that would not be a possibility.

Mike B

My father, who had done 26 years in the USAF and retired in 1988, received paperwork regarding possible recall to Active Duty after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Though he was never recalled, he was willing.

Don’t know if the Navy is contradictory like the Air Force, but my career field never made sense. They were always informing us we were over-manned and forcing people out or to cross-train. Then something would happen and all of a sudden we are under-manned. This made them Stop-Loss us, no PCS, cross training, no separating, no retirement.

I got Stop-Loss during Desert Shield/Storm and GWOT, plus another time between DS and GWOT.


Rather than adding an administrative burden to ships by requiring them to track (former) Sailors released from active duty while assigned to the ship, utilize the system in place (Reserves). Currently the Navy Surface force rarely takes advantage of this resource.

Submit requests for manpower to PERS-92


Once MEPS is cleared, the Sailor reenlists on a contract that covers the deployment, subject to extension.”

Hmmm. Someone must be watching how it’s done in the Merchant Marine. Might be something to it…but definitely not for this squid!

Actually, a buddy of mine who was in the USN during Vietnam is going through the process to become a merchant mariner and he’s almost 70!

Amateur Historian



Another Good Idea Fairy heard from. Not only no, Mr. Abel. Fuck no.


Oh, No…..🙄😳🫣

UNBELIEVABLE….Just read what Brandon Boy “proclaimed”…

“President Biden Declared March 31, 2023, To Be Transgender Day of Visibility”

“President Biden issued an official proclamation declaring that transgender Americans “shape our nation’s soul” and established a holiday relating to the group this week.”

“Biden issued the proclamation Thursday to mark March 31, 2023, as the Transgender Day of Visibility…”

“Transgender Americans shape our Nation’s soul — proudly serving in the military, curing deadly diseases, holding elected office, running thriving businesses, fighting for justice, raising families, and much more,” Biden wrote in the Thursday morning proclamation.”

“Today, too many transgender Americans are still denied…rights and freedoms,” the president’s statement continued. “A wave of discriminatory state laws is targeting transgender youth, terrifying families and hurting kids who are not hurting anyone. An epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, in particular women and girls of color, has taken lives far too soon.”


Just wondering if there is any leftist group of loonies he won’t pander to. My heart aches for my country, but I’m starting to get a little angry. They won’t like me when I’m really angry.


We are getting tired of all this BS.

One of our CoWorkers commented: “We are in deep kimache with this Obama Puppet”.


This seems appropriate.



We thought WE were bad when we posted the Meme about “Was/Were”, but you may have us beat…🤭🫡

We are getting sick and tired of this BS.

Ole Brandon Boy proclaimed

“An epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, in particular women and girls of color, has taken lives far too soon.”

Yeah. Right.

Joey FORGOT that a “Transgender” MURDERED 3 Innocent Children and 3 Innocent Adults.


It wasn’t my turn on the DA 6 so I decided to misbehave in other ways. Joey’s just a liberal hand puppet. If you look behind him, you’ll see Obama’s arm up his ass to the shoulder, making his mouth move.




They’re just collateral damage who make the sainted tranny look bad! /sarc


Jus’ sayin’

comment image

And on the subject of the thread? Good luck with that Big Navy. You can’t get people that don’t know how phuqued up you are, daHell makes you think you’re gonna get somebody back that DOES know how phuqued up you are.




USMC Steve

Not really surprising. Trannys are nuts. Look it up in the Psych manual and it states that gender dysphoria in any form is a mental disorder.

Retired Mustang

83-10. LOL….somebody needs to put down the crack pipe.
But just in case there is some confusion….not only “no” but hell “no”.


OR,,OR,,,,OR,,,,knock off all of the woke Bull-$h!7 and get back to defending this country! Recruiting numbers may come back up!!

Just my 2-cents.


Make “blowing a tranny” car trouble (and not “diversity” or a porn genre) again!

Green Thumb

It ain’t ghey if you are underway.

Just ask the False Commander “Phony” Phil Monkress (CEO of All-Points Logistics).


Sounds like the Navy before the civil war — where the voyage was your enlistment.

Probably easier to just reject from the woke shit and return to the days of warriors in dungarees, salty Chiefs and “underway, the only way.”


What is currently going on with our Country….


Ol’ Poe’s had some experience with returning to a former job at an advanced age after a 15 year absence. At age 65 he picked up a consulting gig with a small company looking to break into the military medical market.

After fifteen years of no significant business travel, he was suddenly back to flying coast to coast, returning to bases he’d never expected to see again.

Truth? It was exhilarating, rejuvenating and plain old fun. Poe hired a former colleague in Virginia Beach to assist and working together again was like old home week. We were older and wiser and better than we’d ever been before.

It might have gone on longer than the two years it did but the venture capitalists behind the company got cold feet when the travel costs mounted up (precisely as Poe had warned them they would) and pulled the plug just as the big orders began to come in. Fortunately for Poe, the opportunity to return to former glory was beginning to lose it’s luster, especially 21st Century air travel.

So, Ol’ Poe can certainly see the appeal as well as the downside… 😏 


The truth is, it is Poe’s experience that it is a real kick in the ass to go back to doing a job you’ve done decades before and, due to your experience and age-acquired wisdom, quickly realize that you are now better at it than you ever were before.

Whether this would transfer to military jobs, who knows?

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Same here…all done running businesses, but I’ve reached that point where I have been doing this so long when a competitor offered me a position managing several departments for him I took and have to admit it’s fun to mentor the next generation and I’ve been forcing myself to master new skill sets…

I’ve been recently delving into creating storefront portals for our clients…they order materials through a central manufacturing site (mine) and we ship their consumables around the world or state or wherever their satellite operations are that need the consumables. Also for added amusement we’re building out a mailing operation for large insurance clients of ours as well…learning those regulations and requirements has been most challenging….but we’ve recently produced to projects with mail quantities of over 250,000 pieces…the cost of postage alone would buy you a nice new 40 foot sailboat…

I figure I’ve got another 4 or 5 years of actively pursuing this left in me and then it’s off into the sunset and try my hand at leisurely retirement…


They can’t afford me.


Recruiting problems?????
I thought the rainbow mafia was going to be enlisting in droves when DADT was repealed and they could get free lopadickoffmes. Was that all just bullshit?  🤔 

USMC Steve

Most of them are lefties, and thus by definition pretty much disinterested in discipline and being told what to do unless it relates to sex.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Yeah that tiny segment of the population has such a loud voice you’d think the percentage of them was in the 25% range instead of the .9% range…and their mental health and physical condition mostly leaves them unfit for service…


Im rather recently retired, and unless there is a sudden change in leadership, my response would be that it’s going to stay that way.


Hey, I could use the cash to put a new roof on my house and buy a new clothes dryer.
I”m not too far from a MARCorps base with schools and a Navy base, so it’s just a matter of getting there. 🙂


Welcome back. 😀 


Have they considered checking with those PATRIOTS recently canned by all the tech and entertainment companies?