Thursday, September 30, 2004

Dubya Does Boston: Acronym Soup -- ARPC-ORS or NARS

The newly-released (where do they keep finding this stuff?) resignation letter is in the news today, bad grammar, misspellings and all. The White House is trying to spin it again:

"The Boston Globe reported earlier this month that he failed to join an Air Force Reserve unit when he moved to Massachusetts from Texas in mid-1973. But the White House said documents show Bush was assigned to an Obligated Ready Reserve unit in Denver, Colorado, and was not required to report to duty in Massachusetts." From here (NY Times).

But, that is completely the opposite of what we know.

The Obligated Reserve Section (ORS) of the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver was an administrative holding unit for Air Force Reserve and Air NG officers who still had a remaining Military Service Obligation (MSO). Bush's MSO required him to serve in the Ready Reserve until May 1974 and his five-year post flight school obligation ran until at least November 1974.

Assignment of his file to the APRC-ORS meant unequivocally that he did still have an obligation to find an appropriate unit in Boston to finish his required term of service in the Ready Reserve, as he explicitly acknowledged in writing when he left the books of the Texas ANG.

Bush had tried to get his file assigned to a different ARPC section earlier in 1972, but his request was not allowed. That was the Non-Affiliated Reserve Section (NARS), which maintained the records of officers who had completed their required service but wished to remain in the Reserve.

If Bush had been assigned to ARPC-NARS, then he would not have had a legal requirement to finish his service obligation with an active unit in Boston.

But he wasn't, so he did, but he didn't.

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