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Tycho
04-04-2008, 05:52 PM
Excellent movie! Darn good flick.

Who saw this one?

bigbarada
04-04-2008, 08:11 PM
Excellent movie! Darn good flick.

Who saw this one?

It looks like a rental to me. It appears to be feeding too much on anti-war sentiment for me to support it in the theaters; but I'll rent it once just to give it the benefit of the doubt.

One thing bothers me about the previews, though, is how this guy can be in the military for as long as he has and be totally taken by surprise by the concept of "stoploss." It's not something they just invented, it's been a fact of military life during times of war for a long time now.

General_Grievous
04-04-2008, 08:42 PM
I don't understand this onslaught of Iraq war movies. Movies should be a form of escapism from real life. Why would anyone need to go see a movie about it? Don't they get enough of it on the news?

Deoxyribonucleic
04-04-2008, 09:49 PM
I don't understand this onslaught of Iraq war movies. Movies should be a form of escapism from real life. Why would anyone need to go see a movie about it? Don't they get enough of it on the news?

Whatever! What matters is that I'm ahead of you in post count...finally haHA! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


;)



BAck on topic, sort of... I'm so out of loop with movies these days. I actually got on fandango yesterday because I was going to treat myself to a movie and the ONLY thing that looked good was "Horton Hears A Who". While looking to see what was playing I ran across another gem of a movie with Will Farrell :tired: Which prompted me to write him a letter via myspace blogs. Just looking at his damned face makes my blood boil! :frus:

What does the term 'stoploss' mean? I've never heard of it.

Tycho
04-04-2008, 10:26 PM
I can't say exactly how Dubya and the military define it, but it refers to:

when a soldier enlisted for a specific term of service (usually 4 years), the military cites their investment into the soldier's training, their need to maintain their numbers in the absence of a draft, and it results in the soldier's term of service being extended.

I don't know if a soldier who's stop-lossed is put back in for a complete doubling of their enlistment - in other words another 4 years, if that was their initial enlistment.

But I presume that it is in the fineprint of their enlistment contract that in a time of war, they can be recalled if needed. Anti-War propoganda calls this a "back-door-draft," since it takes back troops that are supposed to be getting out of the military.

If they don't report for duty, their benefits, such as healthcare, money for college, etc. can be witheld since the soldier is not honoring their contract. Worse, they can be arrested by the military.

I don't know what would happen to a soldier placed under arrest for disobeying a stop-loss order. Presumably, the military needs them and they won't do any good being confined to the stockade. So a different form of arm-twisting is probably used. Likely, their banking assests, medical benefits, college money, and the benefits their family might receive, are all halted until they return to duty.

This is what happened in the movie. In addition, cell phone calls were traced so that MPs as well as local authorities could zero in on fugitive soldiers.

It was probably fiction, but a lawyer in New York was profitting off this by forging fake Canadian citizenship for the AWOL soldiers and getting them smuggled across the border. The soldier would have to give up his American citizenship and forever live as someone else.

I don't want to spoil the movie for those who plan on seeing it, so I'll wait to discuss the ending.

General Grievous, your preference could be for escapism movies, however, whatever subjects for movies SELL, will be what is made. Most likely ALL kinds of movies will be selling. However, my 5 hour documentary on Mouse Droid sniffing was never picked up by movie theaters and I still don't understand that. Don't people have any taste as to what would make a good movie?


BigBarada, the anti-war sentiment expressed in the movie would seem to suggest that our mission is in Afghanistan, not in Iraq, but it is barely mentioned - only in a few lines of dialogue. That's not the real focus of the film, which is more in line with documenting post-traumatic-stress-disorder.

3 soldiers / friends from Texas, are focused on, having returned from Iraq.

One wants to stay home and feels finished with his duty - and that he failed at even that, because soldiers died under his command in the opening urban street battle. (Ryan Phillipe, the main star, Sgt. Brandon King)

The next one, Sgt. Steve (last name?) wants to go back to Iraq. He can't adjust to life outside of the war and won't settle down and marry his girlfriend of 5 years or so. Instead he suffers from a lot of PTSD , and while one instance is funny, most of his struggle is not.

The last one, the least focused on character, is drunk and disorderly, and while he wants to go back to Iraq and serve with his unit, the Army wants to discharge him and lose any and all responsibility for him.

The irony is that the Army has volunteers to go back, but not the one they want.

bigbarada
04-04-2008, 11:56 PM
What does the term 'stoploss' mean? I've never heard of it.

"Stoploss" has existed for a while, but I only know of it being used as far back as the Gulf War in 1990. But it could have been in use as far back as WW2. It's a way of maintaining troop strength numbers during times of war by putting a hold on any scheduled discharge from the military. Effectively, stopping the loss of trained and experienced soldiers when you will need them the most. So, if you had been enlisted for 6 years and those six years are up on May 1st, 2008; but we go to war with North Korea on April 30th, 2008, then the Army could stop your discharge and keep you for as long as they need you. It's just a fact of life for the military.

It's merely an extension of your contract and the extra time could be anywhere from a few weeks to years.

What many people don't realize until it's too late is that EVERY Army enlistment is an 8 year enlistment. You are eligible to be called back up anytime within that 8 year window. So if you enlist for 4 years of active duty service, then you still have 4 years of inactive reserve status after your enlistment is up. You don't have to do anything for inactive reserve, no weekend drills or physicals; but you can still be called up if needed.

So if you enlisted tomorrow on April 5th, 2008 for 4 years, then you would end your active enlistment on April 5th, 2012; but you would still be eligible to be called back into active service at any time until April 5th, 2016. Again, it's just a fact of life for the Army and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's enlisted right now.

I joined the Army back in 1991 and that was the established policy back then. So this has nothing to do with Iraq, Afghanistan or the current President Bush.


BigBarada, the anti-war sentiment expressed in the movie would seem to suggest that our mission is in Afghanistan, not in Iraq, but it is barely mentioned - only in a few lines of dialogue. That's not the real focus of the film, which is more in line with documenting post-traumatic-stress-disorder.

3 soldiers / friends from Texas, are focused on, having returned from Iraq.

One wants to stay home and feels finished with his duty - and that he failed at even that, because soldiers died under his command in the opening urban street battle. (Ryan Phillipe, the main star, Sgt. Brandon King)

The next one, Sgt. Steve (last name?) wants to go back to Iraq. He can't adjust to life outside of the war and won't settle down and marry his girlfriend of 5 years or so. Instead he suffers from a lot of PTSD , and while one instance is funny, most of his struggle is not.

The last one, the least focused on character, is drunk and disorderly, and while he wants to go back to Iraq and serve with his unit, the Army wants to discharge him and lose any and all responsibility for him.

The irony is that the Army has volunteers to go back, but not the one they want.

Well, that sounds a little better than the TV ads make it out to be.

sith_killer_99
04-05-2008, 10:45 AM
BigB is correct about the eight year contracts. All military enlistments are eight years long, regardless of how long you spend on active duty. There are exceptions, but there's no need to get into all of that here.

I first enlisted in late 1992, before I finished my senior year of high school. I came on active status in late 1993. This is called the "Delayed Entry Program". The main stipulations to this program are that:

1. The "Entry Date" (or date you ship out to Basic Training) cannot be involuntarily moved up. That is to say they can offer to let you ship early, but they cannot force you to do so.

2. The time spent on "delayed" status counts towards your inactive time. In other words the clock starts as soon as you sign the contract.

Also, there are differences between "stop loss", "recalls", and "involuntary extensions".

A true "stop loss" is an, across the board, type situation. That is to say that the Military targets specific MOS's (Military Occupational Specialties - your "Military Job") once the stop loss has been initiated all Soldiers within a specific job field or "MOS" become locked into service until such time as the stop loss has been lifted.

A "recall" is a situation where Soldiers who have been discharged from active duty service are called back to duty. This is what we saw after the stop loss was initiated post 9/11. Again this is targeted to a specific MOS.

An "involuntary extension" is when a Soldier who is scheduled to be released from active service has their ETS (Estimated Time of Separation) extended. This typically occurs when the Soldier is scheduled to deploy. This is not MOS specific, it is targeted towards military Units, meaning that any Soldier in the deploying Unit will be extended if they do not have sufficient time remaining on their contract to complete the deployment tour.

The involuntary extension is the most common situation you see today. For example, the Unit I am currently deployed with has several Soldiers who were involuntarily extended for 2-3 months. That was before we deployed. Once we got here, all Army tours were extended from 12 to 15 months. Hence those Soldiers were extended further.

However, despite all of this, believe it or not the Military is usually pretty good about minimizing these situations as best they can.

I have never seen someone, for example, sent to a Unit that is scheduled to deploy when they only have a few days, weeks, or even months left on their contract.

On a personal note, in 2001, my wife became pregnant. The military has a clause in their contracts that allows for females to be medically "chaptered" out of the military when they have children. It is an optional chapter and is left up to the "mom-to-be" to decide is she want to stay in and finish her contract or be removed from active service. This is not viewed negatively and if the woman later decides to join again she may do so with no problem.

This program has been in place since long before I joined in 1992, and I bring it up for 2 reasons.

First, to show the flip side of the story. All contracts have positive and negative aspects. This is one aspect my wife and I consider to be positive.

Second, because, my wife could have been recalled to active duty, her and I both realized that it was always a possibility. For a long time we wondered if she might get called back to serve, despite her discharge from active duty (2 years shy of her active commitment). It was the life we both choose and had she been called back we would have dealt with it.

It takes a certain type of person to serve their country. You hear that all the time. What you rarely ever hear is that it also takes a certain type of person to fall in love with and marry someone on active duty.

There is always the possibility of being separated for long periods of time. Even without the current "Global War on Terror" "hardship" tours are common place within the military.

As for the "Hollywood" stuff of freezing bank accounts, listening to cell phone calls, and clandestine missions to go after "AWOL" Soldiers. Let's just say that the system is MUCH more mundane. Truth be told the military really doesn't have the resources to track them all down. After a short period of time they stop their pay and then put out a warrant for their arrest. If the Soldier is picked up on the warrant they may be sent to a military corrections facility.


However, most AWOL Soldiers turn themselves in to authorities. There are minimum security facilities that Soldiers may be placed in to serve out their time. When I say minimum security, they are basically treated like basic training privates. Soldiers like this are usually reduced in rank and required to finish out their remaining time of active enlistment in one of these "Security Barrack". That's my name for it, since it's far from a prison, no high walls and fences, only a few MP's roaming around barking orders.

Anyway, I will probably watch this movie, if for no other reason than to laugh at how Hollywood loves to drum up drama.

sith_killer_99
04-05-2008, 10:54 AM
On a side note, many of the Soldiers that were involuntarily extended that I deployed with ended up re-enlisting for $10,000-$15,000! Some of them have earned promotions and got to pick their next duty assignment!!!

One of my Soldiers was promoted to E-6, got $12,500.00 and will be reassigned to Fort Knox (my old stomping ground) shortly after we return from this deployment. BTW, the money and assignment were guaranteed under his contract. I am VERY happy for him.

Deoxyribonucleic
04-05-2008, 11:26 AM
Ok, totally makes sense. Thanks for those great explanations :yes:

Tycho
04-05-2008, 01:26 PM
Could you explain the "E-6" part in terms of "E-4" etc. for the benefit of our viewing audience? ;)

sith_killer_99
04-05-2008, 02:00 PM
Military rank is broken down into various categories.

E = enlisted
O = officer
WO/CW = Warrant Officer / Chief Warrant Officer

The number represents the specific level. Enlisted rank goes from 1-9. Here is a quick break down:

E-1 Private (PVT)
E-2 Private (PV2)
E-3 Private First Class (PFC)
E-4 Specialist (SPC) also Corporal (CPL)
E-5 Sergeant (SGT)
E-6 Staff Sergeant (SSG)
E-7 Sergeant First Class (SFC)
E-8 Master Sergeant (MSG) also First Sergeant (1SG)
E-9 Sergeant Major (SGM) also Command Sergeant Major (CSM) also Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA)

Mad Slanted Powers
04-05-2008, 02:19 PM
General Grievous, your preference could be for escapism movies, however, whatever subjects for movies SELL, will be what is made. Most likely ALL kinds of movies will be selling. However, my 5 hour documentary on Mouse Droid sniffing was never picked up by movie theaters and I still don't understand that. Don't people have any taste as to what would make a good movie?The thing is, these movies aren't doing well at the box office, yet they keep making them.

Tycho
04-05-2008, 06:30 PM
I can't speak for others in Hollywood, but my novel came from the idea I got from one of my infamous dreams.

I keep a record of any that are actually useful to develop as a story. Since those are the ones I visualized, I see them as great ideas for movies. That would be my hope should the novel be very successful.

That being said, I write for myself, and what interests me. That's the best way to be passionate about it.

It only so happens that the story I worked to completion was action-adventure and would be a lot of fun in a escapist sort of way - though it's not sci-fi or fantasy. In fact, while I'd LOVE to write for a Star Wars novel, almost none of my story proposals are sci-fi or fantasy. One out of nearly 12 or so is, and that's by far not really on my short-list for development in the near future.

So what I'm saying is that while I can't explain the enthusiasm of the producers (investors that get these movies made), as far as the writers go - they do what they have a passion for first - hopefully - without regards as to whether there's a market for it.

Now I didn't trace the funding for Stop Loss. It may have been propped up by MoveOn.org or other liberal groups. That in itself is both interesting and troubling.

I don't have the answer: the position should NOT be anti-military, but it is very understandable to many of us to be anti-Iraq-War without further clarification from Bush / Cheney on just what we're doing there. Not to start a political discussion, but only as a point of information, many of us do not trust their motivations and would have them investigated if we could. It needs to be done IN ORDER TO BE FAIR TO OUR MILITARY.

It's just "spin" that people want to give up and surrender. If on the other hand, this is over oil, and our economy is in terrible shape because of foreign oil dependence, perhaps the public needs to be able to make an informed choice that they are choosing certain surrogates (Bush, Cheney) to delegate authority on this matter to. On the other hand, folks like Ron Paul were correct, that if we are using the Arabs for their resources, that of course their IslamoFacists are going to be angry with us.

This is just a sad case that either alternative energy has not been harnessed fast enough, or that business interests determined to profit from the oil industry are hampering progress. They got their representatives elected. And they are sacraficing our soldiers over there for their profit. They should have made their stockholders go instead. ;)