Members of the Individual Ready Reserve are the part-timers of part-time soldiers who make it possible for the Department of Defense to choose individuals, by specialty, for call-ups.
The Defense Department does not keep track of IRR members in groups but rather by their individual military specialty. They can also be called to active duty individually to make up deficiencies in all kinds of military organizations.National Guard members and reservists commonly join the Individual Ready Reserve if their jobs or other non-military obligations keep them from participating with their military unit on a regular basis. The IRR allows them to fill their enlistment obligation without drilling on a regular basis with a group of other soldiers.
Locally, a number of Guard and Reserve members who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints transfer to IRR status if they decide to perform missionary service before their enlistment period ends.
Even though the Pentagon's announcement that the 20,000 additional reserve-component troops it plans to call could include IRR members, missionaries on inactive status are not vulnerable to the call-up, Nelson said.
IRR members are also those who have gone on an inactive status with the hope of gaining a rank advancement before retiring, said Maj. Bob Nelson, spokesman for the Utah National Guard. "The only difference is the ready reservists don't drill," Nelson said.
Not drilling translates into not being paid or accumulating retirement points; but since rank advancements are tied, in part, to the time in service, an individual could gain a rank advancement and increase eventual retirement benefits while in the IRR.
Even retirees can be called back to service - but not under the current Pentagon authorization.