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  • Army officer sues U.S. for deployment

    Reuters | October 23 2004

    A U.S. Army Reserves captain who resigned in June after completing his agreed-upon term of service has sued the government for trying to force him to return to active duty for deployment to Iraq.

    Jay Ferriola, 31, of New York filed suit in Manhattan federal court on Friday seeking an injunction blocking the Army from enforcing an order returning him to active duty on Monday. The case names Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and others as defendants.

    The suit charges that the Army's order, dated October 8, violates Ferriola's Constitutional rights against "involuntary servitude" and is a breach of his contract with the military. An emergency hearing was set in the matter for Sunday.

    A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office had no immediate comment.

    The suit said Ferriola received a letter dated October 8 that ordered him back to active duty on Monday for a period of 545 days. It give as the purpose as "Mobilization for Iraqi Freedom."

    Barry Slotnick, Ferriola's lawyer, issued a statement calling the Army's order an illegal "back door" draft. At a media conference late in the day, he was asked by reporters if his client sued because he was afraid to go to Iraq.

    "Not at all," Slotnick said. "He wants to continue his life as a civilian. He has a right to do that. He has served his country heroically and patriotically."

    Ferriola had voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1993 for an eight-year period in exchange for an ROTC scholarship at the Virginia Military Institute.

    After graduating, he served in various Army positions and was promoted to the rank of captain. In February 2000 he was separated from active duty and placed in the reserves.

    Last year he was ordered back to active duty and was released to the reserves in June, 2003. He completed the eight years of service with the Army in February of this year.

    He submitted his written resignation as a reserve officer on June 7, and his commanding officer then recommended the resignation be approved. The suit said, however, that Ferriola never received an official response to his resignation request.

    The suit charges that Ferriola's rights were violated because the military wrongfully failed to process his resignation in a timely manner.

  • #2
    Soldier who sued not required to report for duty
    From Susan Chun
    CNN

    Monday, October 25, 2004 Posted: 9:58 AM EDT (1358 GMT)
    NEW YORK (CNN) -- The U.S. Army captain who filed an injunction to block his deployment to Iraq will not have to report for duty Monday, and the military has one week to decide whether to approve his resignation.

    Capt. Jay Ferriola, 31, appeared in court for an emergency hearing Sunday to decide his fate. Ferriola says he resigned from the Army Reserve in June after eight years of service, including four years of active duty.

    Ferriola received orders last week to report for active duty with the 306th Military Police Battalion in Uniondale, New York. The lawsuit says the unit will serve in Iraq for a year and a half on a "dangerous mission in Iraq."

    Ferriola filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming lack of due process, involuntary servitude and breach of contract.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Judd Lawler asked the court to delay action until the Army can decide if it will approve Ferriola's resignation. U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet agreed to hold the next hearing November 1.

    According to his lawyer, Barry Slotnick, Ferriola decided he did not want a career in the military and wanted to pursue opportunities in civilian life.

    The lawsuit acknowledges Ferriola never received a response from the Army on his resignation, but he was told to turn in his equipment.

    Ferriola would not speak to reporters after the hearing, but Slotnick said he was "optimistic" the Army would approve the resignation.

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