Idaho National Guard Policy
Got this from a post over at Ron Martini's BBS; it's an instruction that the Commanding General of the Idaho National Guard sent out late last month.
IDCG 29 March 2005
MEMORANDUM FOR ALL MEMBERS, IDAHO NATIONAL GUARD
SUBJECT: Mobilization Policy (IDNG-22)
1. Unless extenuating circumstances exist that are a threat to the security of the State or Nation, the following policy pertains to the involuntary mobilization of Idaho National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who are members of a bona-fide Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) program or who are serving a church sponsored and sanctioned mission as part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS).
a. Idaho National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who are enrolled in a ROTC program at any level (MS 1-4) will not be involuntarily mobilized while a member in good standing of the ROTC and the Idaho National Guard. Soldiers/Airmen who fail to maintain good standing, will be subject to involuntary mobilization and deployment as may be required. Non-contracted Soldiers/Airmen who wish to volunteer for mobilization will be considered based upon the needs of their assigned units.
b. Idaho National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who are serving a mission with the LDS church, will not be involuntarily recalled from the mission. However, upon return from the mission, the Soldier/Airmen are subject to activation based upon the needs of his/her mobilized unit.
2. As previously stated, the Commanding General, Idaho National Guard reserves the right, in case of National or State emergency, to alter or change the provisions of this policy should security conditions warrant.
//Original Signed//LAWRENCE F. LAFRENZ
The Idaho National Guard currently has a brigade, the 116th Armor Cavalry (Unit newpaper here), over in Iraq as part of Task Force Liberty. Some of my shipmates over at Martini's BBS don't think that the mobilization exemption for LDS personnel is quite fair. Here was my response to the question "Which of the two is serving their country?" (a non-LDS soldier and an LDS soldier on a mission):
"I'd say both; the second one, however, is on a leave of absence from his Guard duties under rules that existed and were agreed upon by both parties to the contract before his enlistment. He still has to complete the total number of years of his obligation; there's just a two year gap in his service. So, if both enlisted for 8 years when they were 18, the missionary will be in until he's 28, while the first can get out when he's 26. (Yes, I'm LDS, so that probably slants my view on this.)"
So anyway, Subbasket checks Ron's page as she does most mornings, and feels inspired to contribute this in response to another comment:
"I'm Joel's wife, and here's my take on this. Are there any other religions that traditionally send their 19 year old men out on missions? As far as joining when he knew he had a mission obligation left, I don't think it's likely that an Idaho NG recruiter would not know that a young man in the LDS Church was not going to have that obligation, and I'm sure they discuss the leave of absence policy before the enlistment. Otherwise, those young men who do sign up wouldn't until after their mission, and they might not otherwise. A mission is a maturing experience, and the Idaho NG gets a much more mature soldier at the end of the two years. Anyway, if Idaho (and Utah) didn't offer this, how many 18 year old men do you think they'd have signing up for the NG? We're talking National Guard here, not active duty. Each state does what they need to in order to get that state's residents to sign up. As the mother of two young men who may be going on missions, I'm glad they have this option. BTW, my oldest son is talking about wanting to go into submarines, but he knows he won't be going on active duty until his mission is done, if that's his choice. (As you can tell, I feel pretty strongly about this.) I won't say any more at this point because I know Ron doesn't like flame wars... "
I guess I'm posting this mostly to move any flame war over here, and away from Ron's hallowed grounds (he allows flame wars, but only on submarine-related topics). So, any comnents or thoughts on this IDNG policy would be appreciated in the comments. Remember, though, the rules are different for the LDS church out here. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Utah and southern Idaho essentially have a "benevolent theocracy" system of government, but...