Myke Cole Explains His Changed Military Status

Fans of military sf author Myke Cole will want to read his eloquent explanation about why he requested a transfer from his current reserve status  to “Indi­vidual Ready Reserve or IRR, an unpaid, non-drilling force that main­tains a mod­icum of mil­i­tary readi­ness, but who gen­er­ally aren’t called up except in the event of an exis­ten­tial crisis (i.e. inva­sion of the home­land).”

A major part of it is to give priority to his writing and police work, but there’s another important reason:

Three tours in Iraq put paid to that notion. I went to fight al-Q’aida, and instead hun­kered down under indi­rect fire from mostly Shi’a old men and young boys, shooting off decrepit, refur­bished rockets for the paltry sums they needed to keep their fam­i­lies fed for another day. These people hadn’t attacked us on 9/11. They weren’t plan­ning to attack us in the future. And we were killing them. I was killing them.

More rev­e­la­tions fol­lowed: Man­ning and Snowden, the slow reversal in Iraq, watching every­thing I fought for, that my friends died for, return to the hands of ISIS. I finally stood in the lobby of a hotel in Wash­ington, DC as Obama announced that we were sending another 1,500 troops to Iraq and I asked myself: “if they called you now, would you want to go?”

And I real­ized that, for the first time, the answer was, “no.”