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Trump Gives Order to Bring Back Retired Troops

Return to active duty could last 24 months during pandemic fight
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2020 7:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Pentagon will call back a number of retired and reserve troops to help fight the pandemic, after President Trump issued an executive order Friday night. He did not say if anyone would be returned to service who didn't agree to it, the Washington Post reports. The order covers retirees, though, and Trump said some of them have "offered to support the nation in this extraordinary time of need." Under the order, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is to return units and members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as some Individual Ready Reserve members, to active duty, per the Military Times. "Decisions about which individuals may be activated are still being reviewed," a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement issued after midnight.

No one said how many troops will be brought back, but an Army spokesman said roughly 15,000 veterans have shown interest. Recalls of Ready Reserve forces are rare, per Stars and Stripes. Trump's order says returned troops could be kept on active duty for as long as 24 months. Those brought back would mostly fill headquarters jobs and medical roles, the Pentagon said. The Army had asked some veterans who were medical care providers last week if they were interested in returning to duty. "When the Nation called — you answered, and now, that call may come again," Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands wrote to them. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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