Words have meaning. A "Catch-22" has a very specific meaning, from page 55 of the paperback version of Heller's novel:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and he had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
So, here's the test. Before you call something a Catch-22 on the front page of a newspaper, plug your conflict into that paragraph and see if it makes any sense:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that Ritchey can't join the Army because he's a member of the National Guard. If he wasn't a member of the National Guard, he could join the Army. Ritchey was a member of the National Guard, so he couldn't join the Army. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
In fact, Ritchey can join the Army once he is discharged from the National Guard. There's a stop loss order in effect which prevents Ritchey from being discharged. The stop loss order was issued because Ritchey's National Guard unit will likely be deployed overseas very soon.
It sounds like Ritchey is a well-intentioned young man who earnestly wants to serve his country the best way he knows how. For that, he deserves our respect and gratitude. But it makes awfully good sense to me to keep a soldier with his unit when it's about to be deployed. I'm sure Ritchey is frustrated and disappointed by the rule, but it is just a rule. It's not a Catch-22.
Very good point. Stop Loss is one of the most misunderstood military related issues out there right now.
I was stop lossed during my time in the service. When I was stop lossed, it was done by AFSC/MOS (your job type). This caused a lot of problems because units/squadrons are teams that train together and trust one another. While our unit kept the intel guys, we lost some of our support personnel to retirement/discharge and this really hurt.
Currently, the Army has a 90-before, 90-after stop loss program. This ensures that 90 days before a deployment and 90 days after one, the unit that trained together will fight together. This is a good idea.
The problem comes when commanders and HR folk get a little loose with the rules and keep guys over the 90 days on ridiculous technicalities so that they can get within 90 days of another deployment. This is horse shit. It also really sucks to have to put your life on hold if the stop loss is placed on you within the front end 90 days and your ETS falls within that period (this is what happened to me...but without the 90 days).
Ritchey is going to join the Army whether he likes it or not...he will be placed on Title 10 Federal orders for his deployment. This means he is a part of big Army.
Here's a problem for you: what incentive is there to join the National Guard when you are just going to be deployed like big Army during your enlistment? Why not get active duty benefits? Most Guard units across the country are really struggling with this problem right now. If you are going to be deployed for the better part of your enlistment...you should go Active Duty and get the benefits. I assume that this is the main reason why the guy wants to switch. In MN, this hasn't really hit home quite yet, but we have the largest single deplyoment since WWII coming up next year. We'll see where it goes. We have a hell of a National Guard (best recruiting in the nation)...I'd hate to see it hurt by negligent overuse.
By 8:30 AM, at
Whoops, I left out the most important point...stop loss is now unit wide...not by MOS.
By 8:31 AM, at
The PiPress article makes the point about benefits, but I was reluctant to emphasize it.
If soldiers are doing the same duty, I think they deserve the same pay and benefits, whether they are active duty or national guard. That's an uninformed opinion, though. I suppose you could argue that the active duty soldier does the same job better by virtue of better training, more experience, etc.
I haven't seen any numbers on national guard recruiting as compared to active duty recruiting. Obviously, though, there's a real and ongoing need for national guard troops. They provide immediate, well-trained manpower during emergencies -- whether flood, fire, tornado or a missing person.
The MN Guard is every bit as trained as their AD counterparts. I can't speak for other states, but our guys/gals have been rated VERY high when doing an active job. If they are pulling AD duty, they should be getting AD benefits. It is a pretty complicated issue.
By 9:56 AM, at
Yet another issue I have much to learn about.<< Home