The issue of tour lengths was raised at yesterday's confirmation hearings with Acting Secretary Pete Geren. Today, Acting Secretary Geren spoke to the issue.

"A press report about the hearing has raised concerns among Soldiers about the possibility of extending tour lengths," said Geren. "I want to speak directly to this matter. The issue of tour lengths is a policy matter that has been decided by the Secretary of Defense," said Geren. Secretary Gates announced April 11 that all Soldiers in the U.S. Central Command area of operations 'will deploy for not more than 15 months and return home for not less than 12 months.'"

The Secretary of Defense has the final say in this matter.