FORT STEWART, Ga. — Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston held a town hall to talk to Families of deployed Soldiers at Club Stewart, March 16, 2022, following the recent deployment of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and elements of the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade.
Almost 4,000 3rd ID Soldiers deployed to Europe in March. This is the second deployment for 1st ABCT in two years and follows a nine-month deployment to Korea. While Army units often take part in scheduled rotations in Europe, this particular deployment is focused on providing support to NATO allies, with a goal of deterring Russian aggression, while also remaining prepared to support a range of other requirements in the region.
“It’s to assure our allies that we are there, those NATO partners, that we are there for them,” said Grinston of this deployment.
Grinston explained to Family members that 1st ABCT was chosen to deploy based on a number of factors. Out of the 11 active ABCTs, others are already in Europe, are on other missions, or are modernizing and qualifying on new equipment. The 1st ABCT’s conclusion of a similar mission in Korea also made them the most ready and fit for the mission.
This deployment came with less notice than usual and left the 3rd ID Families with many questions and concerns. The 1st ABCT is currently scheduled to be deployed for at least six months but that could extend if the security situation changes.
“I know how hard this is,” said Grinston of the deployment. “It’s even harder when it’s not planned.”
Many questions about justification for Soldiers to return early for major life events like childbirth were asked, and according to Grinston, Army officials are working to establish conditions to support these Families during this rapid deployment. Other redeployment exemptions might include permanent change of duty station or expiration of time-in-service requirements.
Other questions from Families involved Soldier entitlements during this particular deployment.
Grinston said entitlements are based on the particulars of the Soldier’s mission. He said he is working with the Secretary of the Army, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and other advisors to determine entitlements and resources due to Soldiers and Families for this deployment, unique in that it is not a combat or scheduled rotation of forces mission.
After the town hall’s conclusion, Grinston addressed the Families together, vowing to look into all problems brought up during the town hall.
“I want to take care of our Families and I promise we will look into every issue that you have,” said Grinston.