One Albany attorney says he thought his days as a JAG lawyer were behind him.
Now, there’s word that the United States Army could be calling him and thousands of others back to duty.
Greg Rinckey works in his Albany law office, knowing that, any day now, a letter could arrive at his Delmar home, ordering him to report to an Army base.
“It’s unnerving and more so from the family I’m going to leave behind,” Rinckey tells FOX23 News. He and his wife, Tara, are about to celebrate their son Grant’s first birthday next month.
It was last month when the Rinckeys learned of the Army’s plans to contact 5,000 members of the IRR or Individual Ready Reserve.
IRR members are military men and women who have completed their active-duty service but haven’t wrapped up their eight-year military commitment.
The U.S. Army is starting to get in touch with some of the nation’s 78,000 IRR members as part of some administrative housekeeping; officials say the current
IRR lists need to be updated. IRR members who are contacted in the first group of 5,000 will be reporting to nearby military bases for one-day physical screenings.
Rinckey tells us he hasn’t received a letter but he says, if he does, he suspects it will mean more than just a physical.
He says, “Everyone knows that the next step is [...] you’re more than likely going to get orders.”
Now a managing partner at an Albany law firm, Rinckey says another big concern of his getting called back into service is the way it would affect his family’s income.
“It would probably be about $40,000 less a year,” he says.
That’s a tough pay cut for a man who, along with his wife, just bought a house and had a child.
Rinckey, a Long Island native, was first commissioned in 1999.
He tells us he worked as a military lawyer for five and a half years.
He says being called off the IRR list was hardly even discussed when he signed up.
“Everyone was informed that the IRR was only out there for a national emergency…not to be called on because the Army’s too small for Iraq,” Rinckey says.
The attorney insists that he’s not bashing the military and says that he wouldn’t change a thing about his career.
He says he doesn’t think the National Guard and honorably discharged soldiers should be bearing this burden.
He tells FOX23 News, “I think the Army is too small for the mission that was over there and I think high-ranking generals told our Defense civilians that we needed more soldiers there and they didn’t listen and I think now we’re paying the price for that.”
Rinckey says his eight years of military service end in January.
He tells us he plans on resigning his commission which will take his name off the IRR list.