By Dan MerrrimanMarch 19, 2009
Ending Stop-Loss and Launching Stop-Loss Special Pay
What is it'
In August the Army will begin reducing the number of Soldiers extended involuntarily beyond the end of their enlistments or retirement dates in units deploying to combat areas, the program is known as Stop-Loss. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the goal is to cut the number of Soldiers extended under Stop-Loss in half by June 2010 and all but eliminate the use of Stop-Loss by March 2011. Also, Soldiers who were in the
Stop-Loss program this fiscal year will receive $500 per month in special Stop-Loss pay, retroactive to Oct. 1, 2008 (the fiscal year's start date).
Why is the Army doing this'
Defense Department policy has been to end the use of Stop-Loss when operationally feasible, which has been the Army's commitment. With conditions improving in Iraq, a gradual restoration of balance between deployments, and the force's growth, the Army can begin reducing its reliance on Stop-Loss.
The Army plan implements authority for Stop-Loss pay Congress approved to show the nation's appreciation for Soldiers' continued service. Stop-Loss pay will be distributed soon. The funds Congress provided for Stop-Loss pay are for this fiscal year only.
Since 9/11 the Army has had to use Stop-Loss to ensure that Soldiers in units going in harm's way train and fight together. Stop-Loss affects one percent of the Force (about 13,000 Soldiers across the three Army components).
How will this help the Army'
The conditions enabling the Army to reduce and eventually eliminate its reliance on Stop-Loss also support efforts to bring the all-volunteer force back into balance. That includes a long-term goal of less frequent and shorter deployments and longer dwell times for units.
How will this help the Soldier'
Limiting the use of Stop-Loss balances the need for unit effectiveness against its impact on individual Soldiers and their families.
What's the way ahead'
The Army Reserve will start deploying units without Stop-Loss Soldiers beginning in August 2009. The Army National Guard will start deploying units without Stop-Loss Soldiers in September 2009. The Active Army is scheduled to start deploying units without the Soldiers in the Stop-Loss program, in January 2010.
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