Nine Month "Boots on the Ground"

Monday August 8, 2011

What is it?

High demand operational environments have stressed Soldiers, leaders, and families. Today’s unstable strategic environment continues to require the Army to support global commitments, prepare for contingencies, build partnership capacity, and execute robust exercises. These demands have caused the Army to reduce the length of deployments.

The Secretary of the Army announced a change in the length of future unit operational deployments from twelve to nine months. This change will be fully implemented by April 2012, and applies to division-level-and-below units. It does not affect currently deployed units or personnel, or those units deploying through the end of 2011.

Soldiers deployed for nine months will not receive Rest and Recuperation (R&R) while deployed. However, active and reserve Soldiers may be authorized to take leave prior or after deployment.

What has been done?

The reduced deployment length will improve Soldier and family quality of life while continuing to meet operational requirements and is an important step in sustaining the all-volunteer-force. This policy change is consistent with the Secretary of Defense policy for utilization of the total force. Implementation of this change is based on the projected demand for Army forces, and is contingent on global security conditions and combatant commander requirements.

Why is this important to the Army?

The nine month deployment policy will reduce stress on Soldiers and improve unit readiness with full spectrum operations training. Reduced deployment time in theater will also enhance leader development with increased opportunities for professional military education and stability at home. The policy also aids in re-balancing the force and supports combatant commander requirements.

What continued effort does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army will refine and adjust future deployment period policies based on global security conditions and combatant commanders’ requirements.

Resource:

Related article: Soldiers to begin 2012 with nine-month deployments

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Senior Leaders are Saying

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of many outstanding Americans in uniform and of their Afghan counterparts earlier today in Afghanistan. Their courage was exemplary, as was their determination to make this a safer world for their countries and for their fellow citizens."

- Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta , expressing his sorrow for the loss of American and Afghan forces in an International Security Assistance Force helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.

Leaders offer condolences in wake of helicopter crash in Afghanistan

What They're Saying

"This policy will enhance operational success by reducing the friction that comes with having ten percent of a commander's personnel being away on leave in the middle of a deployment.Operational continuity is enhanced and risk to the individual Soldier is reduced by not having to move a warrior around on the battlefield to go on leave."

- Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry, an Army spokesperson, highlights the benefits of the Army's nine-month "boots on the ground" policy for deployed Soldiers, in addition to providing more "dwell" time at home for Soldiers and families.

Soldiers to begin 2012 with nine-month deployments

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