U.S. Army Central Command Rest and Recuperation Leave Program
What is it?
The U.S. Army Central Command (USCENTCOM) Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Leave Program provides 15 days of chargeable leave to service members and Department of Defense (DoD) Civilians who are deployed on one-year tours to contingency locations within the USCENTCOM area of responsibility in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The program provides fully funded travel from Kuwait City International Airport to the commercial airport nearest the participants’ final leave destinations worldwide. The program operates flights 365 days a year. Unit Commanders determine when individuals will participate on the basis of present-for-duty levels, mission requirements, and individual preferences. Effective July 13, 2007, service members and DoD Civilians deployed on 15-month tours were authorized 18 days of chargeable leave, and the unit personnel absence ceiling was raised to provide as many service members and Civilians as possible with the opportunity to participate. The Secretary of the Army is the DoD Executive Agent and delegates operational responsibilities to Army G-1, Human Resources.
What has Army done?
Since the program’s inception on September 25, 2003, more than 549,968 eligible individuals have taken the opportunity to strengthen and renew relationships with Family and friends and to experience the personal renewal provided by this respite from combat operations. The Army has established a network of routine and emergency life support provisions, in-transit billeting, food service, medical and behavioral health support, and 24-hour-a-day ticketing and travelers’ assistance services for all program participants. Most recently, the Army has initiated the development of a standard operating procedure for emergency medical services that will institutionalize procedures for caring for R&R participants who must deplane outside of the continental United States to receive emergency medical care.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army program continues to enhance its transportation and support networks to provide more expeditious and cost-effective service. Policies and resourcing levels are planned to sustain this service for as long as desired by the Combatant Commander.
Why is this important to the Army?
Congress and DoD senior leadership recognize that R&R opportunities are vital to maintaining combat readiness and capability for units deployed and engaged in intense, continuous operations. It promotes increased operational effectiveness by mitigating the effects of prolonged combat stress and family separation.