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A Reservist that is called to active duty is called an activated reservist. There are many different sentiments towards activated reservists (most of them bad). Active duty NCO's (Noncommissioned officer) don't generally want to be in charge of these reservists. They stereotype that these reservists are going to be non-qualified, complaining, do-nothings. Now, personally, I have seen and met some activated reservists that were like this, but they were not the majority.

Reservists called to active duty have to deal with a number of other problems not related to negative. One is an issue of clothing. On the reserve side, when clothing wears out, we are allowed a specified number of DX's (Direct eXchange) per year. This allows us to trade in worn out clothing/boots for new in a one-to-one exchange. This does not occur on the active duty side of the house. Active duty gets a clothing allowance and are required to replace their clothing from that. When a reservist is activated, they are no longer allowed to DX, and they do not recieve a clothing allowance until they have been active for a year. Any worn out clothing must be replaced out of pocket at a PX (Post eXchange run by AAFES).

Another issue is financial. Active and Reserve pay both come from a federal budget (unlike National Guard that comes from a state budget), but the reserve finances are controlled by whatever home unit that soldier came from. This causes problems where special duty pay is concerned (like SDAP for a drill sergeant). The unit the soldier is attached to may put them in a position that should recieve additional pay, but the home unit may refuse to pay it.

Being a reservist today isn't too much different than it was five years ago. There is just a much higher chance of being activated and shipped overseas. Being on my first mobilization (activation) has been a learning experience, but one I would rather not relive any time soon.

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