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Today's Focus:

Tour Normalization in the Republic of Korea

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"I would say that what we’re talking about principally would be diplomatic and economic measures. But also, are there ways potentially to help strengthen our military cooperation and perhaps [defensive] military capabilities?"

- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, stating that international diplomatic measures are the first choice to curb further development of nuclear and missile capabilities in North Korea, while avoiding destabilizing the country

Gates downplays rhetoric on North Korea

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"I wasn't looking for an award to be a mom and do what a Soldier does. But it's been an awesome, amazing experience. The Army is a wonderful place to be, I have loved my time in the Army."

- Staff Sgt. Melissa Dion, a medic at Fort Drum, N.Y., and her 7-year-old son, Ryan, honored during the Operation Homefront Military Motherhood Award ceremony at the Pentagon, May 27

Military Motherhood Award winner was just doing her job

CALENDAR

2009: Year of the NCO

2009: Year of the Military Family

2009: 100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

May 2009:

- National Mental Health Month

- National Military Appreciation Month

- Asia Pacific American Heritage Month

May 24 - 31: National Hurricane Awareness Week

June 2009:

- National Safety Month

June 12- 19: Army Birthday Week

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Tour Normalization in the Republic of Korea

What is it?

The Department of Defense approved changes to the Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) that affects the length of military tours on March 2, 2009. The revised JFTR now allows for 36-month accompanied tours in addition to 24-month accompanied tours at Pyeongtaek, Osan, Daegu, Chinhae and Seoul.

Two other locations, Dongducheon and Uijongbu, now offer 24-month accompanied tours. Previously, command-sponsored family members of service members assigned to these areas had to reside at Yongsan (in Seoul).

What has the Army done?

As of April 6, 2009, Soldiers who accept the three-year accompanied tour will receive $300 in incentive pay per month. Those accepting the two-year accompanied tour in Dongducheon and Uijongbu will also receive $300 per month as incentive pay, provided their family members live with them in those areas. Approval of an accompanied assignment is subject to the adequacy of the support infrastructure and command sponsorship.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Eighth U.S. Army units from Yongsan and other garrisons in the 2nd Infantry Division area will begin relocating to Camp Humphreys, near Pyeongtaek, on or about 2012. This consolidation will remove all limitations to command sponsorship and allow all Soldiers the opportunity for command-sponsored tours as families will have the full range of Army support to include military housing, medical facilities, schools and Morale Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities.

Why is this important to the Army?

This is one step in an overall effort to normalize tours in Korea. The intent is for tours in Korea to mirror those in other overseas locations such as Europe.

Offering more command sponsorships will enhance mission effectiveness by increasing continuity and stability for service members and their families. It will help strengthen the alliance by providing more opportunities for interaction between Americans and Koreans. Finally, it sends a strong message to the Republic of Korea (ROK) that we are committed to remaining as long as we are welcomed and wanted.

Resources:

United States Forces Korea

Eight United States Army

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