Rest and Recuperation Leave Program: 1 Millionth Passenger Commemoration

Wednesday January 5, 2011

What is it?

On Jan. 11, 2011, the Army as executive agent will recognize the advent of the one millionth participant in the Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Leave Program. Celebrations are held at the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, the Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and the Kuwait Gateway.

The commemoration highlights the service of military and civilian personnel and their families who have sacrificed tremendously in defense of our country. It also recognizes the many military, civilian and volunteer individuals and organizations that support our servicemembers and the R&R program. Their efforts are indispensable to the success of the program. The commemoration provides an opportunity to focus attention on this good news story and highlight our nation's commitment to our deployed military and civilian personnel.

What is the Army doing?

Since the program's inception on Sept. 25, 2003, more than 1 million eligible individuals have taken the opportunity to strengthen and renew relationships with family and friends, and to experience the personal renewal provided by this respite from combat operations. The program authorizes 15 days of chargeable leave to all servicemembers, Active and Reserve, and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians who are projected to be within the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom for at least 270 days.

The program provides fully funded travel from Kuwait City International Airport to the airport nearest the participants' final leave destinations worldwide. Flights operate 365 days a year. The Army established a network of provisions, including in-transit billeting, food service, medical and behavioral health support and 24-hour-a-day ticketing and travelers' assistance services for participants. Effective July 13, 2007, servicemembers and DoD civilians deployed on 15-month tours were authorized 18 days of chargeable leave. More recently, the DoD has authorized a program of non-chargeable R&R for those deployed to the land areas of Iraq and Afghanistan.

How important is this to the Army?

Congress and senior DoD leadership recognize that R&R opportunities are integral to maintaining combat readiness for units deployed and engaged in intense, continuous operations. The program promotes increased operational effectiveness by mitigating the effects of prolonged combat stress and family separation. This is vital as an increasing number of servicemembers undergo multiple deployments while families cope at home.

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Related STAND-TO!: Rest and Recuperation Leave Program

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