By Sgt. Jon Soles, MND-B PAOMay 17, 2009
BAGHDAD - The Army announced in March that stop loss will end in August 2009 for the Army Reserve, September 2009 for the National Guard and January 2010 for the Active Component Army.
Stop Loss Special Pay is an extra $500 per month for Soldiers whose service has been involuntarily extended beyond their contractual expiration of time and service (ETS) date. Retroactive payments for Stop Loss Special Pay have been implemented for Soldiers who were stop-lossed from Oct. 1, 2008 to Feb. 28, 2009. The retroactive payment was made on the May 1, 2009 Leave and Earnings Statement. Any Soldier who has not received their Stop-Loss Special Pay should contact their local retention office. There are currently 2,393 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers affected by stop loss, according to the division human resources office.
"Soldiers who have questions about it need to see us," said Sgt. Maj. Garrett Luplow, senior enlisted retention advisor for 1st Cav. Div.
In the past, stop loss curbed the impending loss of troops needed to meet mission requirements. Currently, the Army has already met its active duty reenlistment goal for fiscal year 2009, which was 55,000 Soldiers. Luplow said 57,902 Soldiers had already re-enlisted by April 30.
There are benefits for stop-lossed Soldiers.
"I think [Stop Loss Special Pay] is a good thing. People who get stop-lossed have to stay longer so I think it's only fair they get extra money," said Spc. Ervin Lee, of Columbiana, Ohio.
Lee, a cavalry scout assigned to D Troop, Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cav. Div., said his contractual ETS date is July 12, but he isn't going to re-enlist.
He said he will take advantage of Stop Loss Special Pay and use that extra money to help build a stable foundation for his future after the Army.
"I'm going to finish paying off my car," he said. "I just got married in August and I will probably put a down payment on our house."
Spc. John Flaherty of Tucson, Ariz., also assigned to D Troop, DSTB, 1st Cav. Div., said the Stop Loss Special Pay had nothing to do with his decision not to re-enlist. Flaherty said he plans to attend college, and possibly remain in military service in either the National Guard or Army Reserve.
Stop-loss Soldiers who want to reenlist should see their career counselor, but visit the retention office if they have questions about Stop Loss Special Pay.
"I would encourage Soldiers to get with their career counselor and get all the information they can, so they can make a wise decision on their future," Luplow said.