Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

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
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
Major General
Commanding General

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...


Blogger ninme said...

Um, ignorant-Catholic opinion here:

I didn't know anything about those missions till you told me about three weeks ago. So, if I were a military recruiter, I wouldn't have thought to ask, or put it in a contract. If it's something passed around military-recruiting-training, then that's another thing altogether.

The other thing, are they allowed to ask? I mean, "Hey, I hear you want to join the military. That's great. Fight for your country. Hey, what religion are you?" It sounds kinda weird. So what if the kid doesn't say, then he disappears for two years and ends up getting arrested when he comes home, or whatever happens.

I don't have a problem with it, I guess, because in some states (Utah) there are so many people likely to need this rule that it's not like it's making allowances for some extreme minority. But what if other religions start demanding their own two years? I dunno what for... The only thing I can think of is the Haj to Mecca, but that's hardly two years.

Random question: Why can't the kids do it when they get home? I mean, when you're an average twenty-six-year-old, it's a bad time to drop everything and leave for a third world country. But if you're just back from killing people and breaking things, maybe a nice two years of peaceful missionary work would be just the ticket?

4/20/2005 3:43 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Good questions. My assumption is that military recruiters for the Idaho NG would be from Idaho, and therefore intuitively know about the large percentage of potential recruits that would be LDS. And, since a fairly large percentage of the Guard leadership is LDS, they'd ensure there was a mission LOA clause. As far as why they can't go on their mission later... well, by 26 a good Mormon boy is supposed to alredy be married and have a couple of kids pumped out (written only slightly facetiously). You can be married and be in the Guard, but you can't be married and go on a traditional mission.

4/20/2005 4:37 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Lets try to remember the dubious Clinton legacies: 1- civilian Cabinet heads ("Generals" in militaristic uniforms (e.g. Atty. Gen, Surg. Gen.), 2- VIPs on submarine cruises, and 3- women serving in every military capacity possible.
Now, please explain the equal rights connection since females (to my knowledge) are still excluded from LSD "missions" and therefore deploy at once. By the way, I agree with Bubblehead's wife that the military gets a more mature male after his "mission", but only as mature as the female was earlier. There are obvious gender differences! The Dem. party leaders (all lawyers) are waiting for their cut in the coming lawsuit.

4/20/2005 5:13 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Vigilis: Actually, women can also go on missions, but they have to wait until they're 21, and their missions are 18 months, vice 2 years.

4/20/2005 5:27 PM

Blogger ninme said...

Oh come on, the military will make a two year allowance for the religion but the religion won't make a two year allowance for the pumping-out-of-babies because of the military?

28's plenty early to start with the kids. There's a worldwide population crisis, you know.

4/20/2005 5:55 PM

Anonymous sawtooth said...

As a Native Idahoan and former Boat Sailor & Seabee, my mission in life is next Friday's meal.
Click on ID.
If the above is truncated,type in this.

Trout, Salmon, Steel Head
Salmon, Steel Head, Trout
As I understand our President,Mr. Bush, stated that we are at war. Should we promise every Catholic kid who joins the Guard, "Fish Every Friday"?

4/20/2005 8:59 PM

Blogger ninme said...

I wish I could afford fish every friday.

They say it's brain food.

4/21/2005 12:07 AM

Anonymous PigBoatSailor said...

As a former boat sailor myself, and a recent one, I can vouch for the fact that the military makes allowances even for us Catholics. I was one of only 5 Catholics on board (in a crew of about 130 loaded for deployment), and we deployed during Lent. And yes, we had fish on Ash Wed., every Friday, and the COB rewrote the watchbill on Good Friday so we could have our three hours. We didn't make a big deal about it, and the command was more than happy to accomodate us. Sure, it might not be a two year LOA, but if the military can support letting someone go to fulfill religious obligations, why shouldn't they? Otherwise, they might never get these recruits in the first place...

4/21/2005 7:33 AM

Anonymous sawtooth said...

While aboard TINOSA and a Plank-owner,Charlie Rash(the best cook in the whole dam Navy,"Sorry Seebeas") placed a note on the crews-mess bulletin board requesting ideas for meals, Friday was our day. As far as I know, Charlie honored every request except mine, I requested "TINOSA FISH".
Woa.. is Me!Guess I'll eat some worms.

By: Paul W. Wittmer
This first appeared in The Tinosa Blatt, August 1980

For some time I have had some doubts about the existence of a fish named Tinosa; it simply is not listed in many of the usual reference works. I had heard that this creature was a poisonous fish. As luck would have it, I stumbled on three massive volumes in one of the larger libraries. The reference for the following tidbits of ichthyological literature research is "Poisonous and Venomous Marine Animals of the World", Bruce W. Halstead, M.D., Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 65-60000, U. S. Government Printing Office, Vol. 1, 1965; Vol. 2, 1967; Vol. 3. 1970.

The search started with the fish named Tinosa.

As with most species that range over vast regions of the world, a particular creature will be known by many different names depending upon the locality and the language. To reduce the confusion, classifications and scientific names are established. (More on this later). Some background information may be of interest to show the origin (language basis) for the name Tinosa.

Early voyagers had reported cases of poisoning as a result of eating various salt-water fishes. One prevalent and particular type of poisoning was known as the Ciguatera Syndrome. This was described by a Portuguese biologist, Don Antonio Parra (ca. 1771) in his publication printed in Havana, Cuba in 1787. The Cuban authors often substituted "a" for "c" in Spanish; as a result, the type of poisoning came out as "Siguatera".

One of the most important publications of this period concerning the problem of Ciguatera poisoning is by the Cuban naturalist, Felipe Poey y Aloy (1799-1891). Poey provides one of the earliest reports regarding the establishment of quarantine regulations governing the sale of potentially toxic fishes. Poey's list includes among others, Carangus Lugubrus. Since 1842, public health regulations prohibiting the sale of poisonous fishes have been in existence in Cuba Leading the list in the Absolutely Prohibited category is Tino's Prieta; the scientific names given are Caranx Lugubris, also known as Caranx Frontalis or Caranx Ascensionis. (Tinos is Spanish for "Tinosa".)

During WWII, poisonous fishes were frequently a problem to the military. A directive, Order Number 14-45 (U.S.N.) listed twelve fish as poisonous at Saipan. Local governments in a number of tropical regions have issued similar restrictive orders. The tropical Pacific Islands and the West Indies represent the greatest number of incidences of Ciguatoxic fishes.

Checking further through these volumes, it is noted that this Tinosa fish is listed in the class of Osteichthyes and defined in the family of Carangidae (jacks, scads, pompanos). More specifically, Caranx Lugubris is known to be distributed through the tropical waters around the world. The more common names for Caranx Lugubris are: Jack, crevalle (U.S.A.), white ulna (Hawaii), lupe (Samoa), paruku (Tuamotus), teaonga, tekuane (Gilbert Islands), saga (Fiji), laue (Marshall Islands), talakitok, momsa, atoloy (Philippines), cavalla, cavalho, cocinero (Latin America), kingfish, cavally (South Africa) sante, tanet, cabolla, bouebouesina, cotro, ogombo, gaoua (West Africa).

Ciguatera fish poisoning appears to present a most serious marine intoxicant problem in the tropical Pacific, primarily due to its widespread occurrence and the multiplicity of highly esteemed food fishes which may harbor the poison. The same species may be toxic in one narrow area and nontoxic in an adjacent one, or nontoxic one year but then becoming toxic the next year.

Moreover, as the toxin is not water soluble, it cannot be removed from the flesh by washing or leaching in water. There is no ordinary method of preparation to render the fish fit to eat.

The method of how a variety of fishes can acquire toxins is based on the Algal Food Chain Theory. Fish feed on certain vegetable matter and pick up toxins. Other (larger) fish eat the herbivore fish and acquire toxins. A filamentous blue-green alga Lyngbya Majuscule is one of the suspected sources of Ciguatura poisons in fish.

The search for a description and a picture of a Tinosa fish represents one of those trivia curosity items that had bothered me from time-to-time. I'm glad that's over; let's see what good, if any, can come from this nonsense. For example, one paragraph may keep some people out of trouble should they find themselves in an embarrassing situation. The paragraph is repeated here:

"If a person is faced with a survival situation, there are several fundamental points that should be kept in mind. Never eat the viscera, i.e., liver, gonads, intestines, etc. of tropical marine fishes under any circumstances. The roe of most tropical fishes is potentially dangerous and should always be eliminated."

Unusually large predacious reef fishes such as snapper, barracuda, grouper and Jack should not be eaten. They are most likely to be dangerous during the reproductive season as is evidenced by a distended belly filled with large ripe roe or testes. Ordinary cooking procedures such as baking, frying or drying do not render a toxic fish safe to eat. Boiling the fish and discarding the water several times may be helpful but cannot be completely relied upon. Some poisons are water-soluble and others are not. If it is impossible to boil the fish, then cut it into small strips, let them soak in several changes of seawater for at least 30 minutes and squeeze out as much of the juice as possible. This procedure does not guarantee safe eating, but you may have no other choice. Eat only small amounts of an unknown variety of any tropical fish. Tropical moray eels should never be eaten.

Some species of tropical moray eels are violently toxic and may produce convulsions and quick death. If at all possible, try to capture open water fishes rather than those near a reef or near the entrance to a lagoon. If natives are available, ask their advice about eating reef fishes. Certainly the native population is your best source of local advice if you are stranded on a remote tropical island.

This information is a little late for us old-timers; but it just might be nice for some young fellow to have this trivia tucked away in his noggin.

From The International Oceanographic Foundation, "Also known as Black Jack, Brown Jack. Uniformly brown or black in color. Grows to about 3 feet 3 inches, (four feet in Hawaii and weighs about 15.5 pounds. The larger fish may be more poisonous. Usually a deep-water species, but does come to the surface to scramble for ships garbage. May also be known as Caranx le Garbage".


4/21/2005 10:07 AM

Anonymous Subbasket said...

I am beginning to think that someone is really living in his own private Idaho to devote so much time on one subject. Or it could be that he is jealous that someone other than he as found a way to do both, serve a mission and serve their country at the same time. I am grateful to Ninme who is actually have great discussion on this and asking great qestions. I am also grateful to pigboatsailor for his comment that actually supports "tiny bubbles(bubblehead)" point that the military does work with all faiths and their needs. Now here is my point to Sawtooth. Pull the plug out of your butt give your head some air and realize that(in my personal opinion) you have a problem with all members of the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and not just one. Maybe you should take the time read the Holy Bible and be reminded what Jesus meant by "Judge not, that ye be not judged." ST. Matthew 7:1. And lets try ST. Matthew 22:37-39, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself." I think regardless Sawtooth of which faith based Chruch you attend, weather you are Catholic or a member of the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are expect to honour and love one another regardless of where we meant to pray. I am a member of this wonderful Chruch, I have three wonderful children who want to serve missions, and I have one son who wants to be like his father who served on Submarines. I have to teach him to over look the short comings of others and not judge anyone for that is up to Heavenly Father to judge not my son or I or you for that matter. So I will look past your stupid ignorance of someone elses faith and remember that we live in a great country that allows us to choose what faith we want to belong to.

4/21/2005 10:57 AM

Blogger ninme said...

Wow, bubbles, you snared a woman who can quote scripture and tell a man to pull the plug out of his butt in nearly the same sentence. What a remarkable woman!

As far as the fish thing goes, it's not really comparable. I mean, changing the menu one day a week for six weeks isn't the same as allowing a group of people to take two years off their commitments. It's not like forcing the rest of the crew to eat live goldfish. But I don't have a real big problem with letting them take those two years off as long as it's only in states that actually boast a large population of Mormons. If this was a rule in the regular, national military, I'd think it was perhaps a little strange. As long as everyone knows what they're getting into, tho, who really cares. The guy's going to serve his country at some point in his life.

The other thing I thought of, though, you'd probably be surrounded by the same group of people all the time, in the national guard, right? If it was only weekends, well, but this is war and they're seeing kind of a lot of each other. Maybe the guy wouldn't want to leave for two years and have to come back to a new group of guys.

4/21/2005 1:03 PM

Anonymous PigBoatSailor said...


I agree, the fish thing is not anywhere near the same scope, but it is at least a similar attitude. The three hour reprieve on Good Friday is closer, but still is only 3 hours vs. 17532 for a two year LOA. (Assuming 2 years, 365.25 days a year, 24 hours a day for you nukes ;-> )
I think that the desire to stay with one's original unit is a good point, as is the need for unit continuity during a time of conflict. These are definite issues that would have to be raised in order to make the LOA feasible, but as you said, as long as everything is agreed to ahead of time, and, here is the kicker, the guardsman understood that the needs of the military *might* preclude the mission, then, I don't see a problem...

4/21/2005 1:21 PM

Blogger ninme said...

Yes, exactly.

4/21/2005 2:39 PM

Anonymous sawtooth said...

"I am grateful to Ninme.."
"I am also grateful to pigboatsailor .."
"Now here is my point to Sawtooth. Pull the plug out of your butt give your head some air and realize that(in my personal opinion) you have a problem with all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and not just one."

"I am grateful to subbasket"
"I am grateful to Nime"
"I am grateful in the name of Orson Pratt"

Mr. Orson Pratt surely has a colorful history.
I am grateful: to be able to read and examine the writings of men who lived more than a century ago.

"...all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord's supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people ...The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints."

(Orson Pratt, Mormon Apostle, The Seer, pg. 255)

"This class of men, calling themselves Christian, uniting with the various forms of the pagan religion, adopting many of their ceremonies and institutions, became very popular, and finally some of the pagans embraced Christianity and were placed, as it were, upon the throne, and what they termed Christianity became very popular indeed. How long has this order of things existed, this dreadful apostasy, this class of people that pronounced themselves Zion, or Christians, without any of the characteristics of Zion? It has existed for some sixteen or seventeen centuries. It has spread itself and grown and gone into the four quarters of the earth. It is the great ecclesiastical power that is spoken of by the revelator John, and called by him the most corrupt and most wicked of all the powers of the earth, under the name of spiritual Babylon, or in other words Babel, which signifies confusion. This great and corrupt power is also represented by John as presenting a golden cup to the nations, full of all manner of filthiness and abominations."
(Orson Pratt, Mormon Apostle, Journal of Discourses 14:346)

"But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be ...But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance, and they are represented in the revelations of St. John as a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, having a golden cup in her hand, full of filthiness and abominations, full of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; that in her forehead there was a name written - `Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots.'"

(Orson Pratt, Mormon Apostle, Journal of Discourses 18:172)

"This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now."

(Orson Pratt, Mormon Apostle, Journal of Discourses 18:44)

"We have already proved in the previous numbers of this series that immediately after the first century the whole earth became corrupted by the great "Mother of Harlots," that apostasy and wickedness succeeded Christianity, that for the want of new revelation, all legal succession to the apostleship was discontinued that the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit ceased and that the Church was no longer to be found on the earth: this being the case, all nations must have been destitute of the everlasting gospel for many generations - not destitute of its history as it was once preached and enjoyed but destitute of its blessings, of its powers, of its gifts, of its priesthood, of its ordinances administered by legal authority."

(Orson Pratt, Mormon Apostle, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No.6 (1851), pg.82)

4/22/2005 12:45 AM

Blogger CDR Salamander said...

Bad for the ING. Bad for the LDS. Exceptionally bad for interfaith fairness that has been the hallmark of our nation. LDS are far from the only denomination that has "missions" going on. To think they should have a special exemption is an advertisement of insularity. I am all for "reasonable accomodation" as in "I'll take your watch for Good Friday, you take mine for Yom Kippur."

In that spirit, if we want to allow 24 months LOA, then it shouldn't be designed for just LDS, it should be for all. Regardless of age or desire to procreate: if a Baptist in the IRR wants to do a mission to Azerbijan, he should have the same "protection" as the LDS guy on his bike tooling around Croatia; IMAO.

As a sidebar: why all the invective about the LDS? Let the Shia and Sunni act that way. Let them enjoy their truth and you enjoy yours-whatever your perspective. That's about as American as apple pie and Paris Hilton. Review U.S. History 101.

4/22/2005 7:27 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Sawtooth comes up with some interesting quotes from Orson Pratt; reading over them, though, it looks like they all basically say "We think our church is more right than any other church". Some people might have a problem with that (I know there are people complaining because Pope Benedict XVI once wrote that other churches are "deficient" compared to the Catholic Church) but I would wonder if there are any churches out there that don't believe that they are closest to the truth. Honestly, what church says "We probably aren't right about these points of doctrine, but this other denomination is". Of course every church thinks they're right. If you feel the need to complain about Pratt saying that the Catholic Church had lost their authority at some point, then you should also complain about all Protestants (unless you know Protestant faiths who believe that the Pope is God's representative on Earth).
In response to CDR Salamander's comment, and reiterating my main point (which I don't think I explained very clearly), there are two states that have a significant percentage of the NG male recruit pool planning on going on missions when they turn 19. (I'd guess about 10% for Idaho, maybe a little more, and more than 50% for Utah). I'd be surprised to learn that the Baptist youth are going on missions in that large a number in other states. If the NG knows that their potential recruits won't enlist unless that LOA option exists, then that may be what they have to do. I would agree that it would be fairer if they changed the wording to say something to the effect of "any religious mission", but I think the instruction is realistic, rather than politically correct.
As a side note, for those young Mormons who do go on active duty, the Church count honorable military duty as the "equivalent" of a mission for certain considerations; our congregation lists the mailing addresses of the Marines in our ward alongside those of the missionaries in our weekly bulletin.

4/22/2005 8:55 AM

Blogger ninme said...

Erm, they're not supposed to proselytize while they're on active duty, are they?

Going door to door in Baghdad, in their neat suits and ties...

As for Salamander's exhortation to avoid invectiveness, all I have to say is:


There. Have I met the invective standard? Now, I'll lift the curse.

I wanna go to Azerbaijan for two years. Well, not Azerbaijan, to Kyrgystan, perhaps. That would be fun.

4/22/2005 11:40 AM

Blogger Zoe Brain said...

First a disclaimer : I have little time for LDS Theology. On the other hand, I'm a a firm believer in "By their works shall ye know them", and on that most important criterion, there's none better than those who read the Book of Mormon.

Certainly any LDS Missionary calling at 41 Burn St, Downer ACT will at least be offered Water, Orange or other Fruit Juice, and even decaff tea (something we only keep for visitors).
Plus unlimited bathroom privileges - Canberra can hit 40C in summer, and a cold shower can be a lifesaver - literally - if you overdo things. Also, having a convenient, er, convenience can save discomfort, especially when getting used to a new and foreign diet.

Anyway, this Australian non-LDS person's opinion is that "Rules were made for the blind obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men."

Sounds like one of those expediencies of warfare they always talk about. Whatever works. Not only don't I have a problem with it, I'd criticise the Powers That Be if they didn't make such an accomodation for unusual circumstances. It's not unreasonable.

One more thing : LDS missionaries don't just work in the 3rd world. And they're not just American, nor male. I've had a visit from a Samoan Lady "showing the ropes" to another young lady just arrived from Salt Lake City before now.

I for one appreciate the thought that someone else would travel halfway round the world in order to help me spiritually. Too bad I consider the theology.... unsound. I'd use a stronger and more pithy Oz phrase, but that would offend some really good people who don't deserve it, and I'd be rightly ashamed to do that.

4/23/2005 11:54 PM

Blogger ninme said...


4/24/2005 1:17 AM

Anonymous said...

Well, I do not actually imagine it is likely to have effect.

10/29/2011 2:25 AM


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