The Forward AWOL Recovery Team, or FART is small body of soldiers, usually including the AWOL soldier's squad leader and several members of the AWOL soldier's own platoon that is informally composed by the Platoon Sergeant and/or Platoon Leader for "executing AWOL recovery procedures." Intelligence as to the nearby whereabouts of the AWOL soldier must be considered reliable and the FART must be fielded and report back to duty before the team members are noticed missing by the Company Commander (CC), unless the CC is complicit and can provide a plausible cover story to the Battalion Commander (BC) to buy time for the FART's operations.
Internal military memos issued by National Guard two star generals and above have made clear that commanders at all levels are to be held accountable for controlling manageable losses, which certainly suggests to lower level commanders a real need for the Forward AWOL Recovery Team (FART). According to these memos, "commanders must retain at least 85 percent of soldiers who are scheduled to end their active duty and 90 percent of soldiers scheduled to ship for Initial Entry Training, and execute the AWOL recovery procedures for every AWOL soldier." It is largely for this reason that the practice by lower level commanders of aggressively and secretly issuing FART's is likely to continue.
by Russell Clark January 13, 2007
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