"We asked our Soldiers to sprint, and they did. We asked them to run a marathon, and they have. That marathon has become an enduring relay and our Soldiers continue to run, and at the double time. Does this exhaust the body and mind of those in the race, and those who are ever present on the sidelines, cheering their every step? Yes. Has it broken the will of the Soldier? No. Our Soldiers do not quit. They stand on a tradition of victory for this country, and don't just want to run the race, they want to win it. We can not take their resiliency for granted."
-Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody, to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, April 9, 2008
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody Testimony
Active Army 12 Month Boots on the Ground (BOG) Policy
What is it?
Following President Bush's announcement on April 10, 2008, the Army will return to 12-month deployments for active component units and Soldiers. The "Boots on the Ground" policy states that beginning Aug. 1, 2008, no active component Army unit or Soldier will deploy to named operations for more than 12 months. The modified BOG policy does not affect units and Soldiers currently deployed and those who will deploy prior to Aug. 1, 2008. Those units and Soldiers will complete their scheduled deployments. In accordance with established policies, these units and Soldiers will not be deployed again for at least 12 months. It is possible that there will be exceptions to this policy to cover unforeseen increases in requirements or other circumstances. This policy does not apply to reserve component units nor does it apply to units or personnel from any other service. Mobilization and deployment policies for the reserve component (Army Reserve and Army National Guard) remain unchanged.
What has the Army done?
In April 2007, the secretary of defense decided to extend unit and individual "Boots on the Ground" time from 12 to 15 months. His decision was based on the needs of commanders on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan and other theaters of operation. The extended tours were required so we could sustain the troop buildup as part of the surge strategy for stabilizing Iraq. The president's recent decision to reduce troop strength in Iraq reflects the improved security situation in Iraq - one made possible by your unwavering commitment and willingness to sacrifice - and has enabled the Army to modify the BOG policy. The modified policy is contingent on global security conditions and combatant commanders' requirements. It does not affect current dwell policies. (Dwell time refers to the time active component units or Soldiers are not in the area of resonsiblity, where they might be at their home station conducting reintegration tasks, RESET or training.
What continuing efforts does the Army have planned?
We are improving force management polices, increasing force stability, and increasing predictability in the lives of our Soldiers and Families as we pursue victory in the war on terror. The continued interim goal of the Army is a deployment-to-dwell ratio of 1:2, (e.g. 12 months deployed with 24 months dwell; 9 months deployed with 18 months dwell) with a long-term sustainable goal of 1:3 (e.g., 9 months deployed with 27 months dwell).
Why is this important to the Army?
This modified BOG policy will aid immensely in bringing the Army back into balance while meeting the security needs of the nation and sustaining the all-volunteer force. It is an initiative that will reduce the strain on the force and increase "predictability" for Soldiers and Families while the Army continues to experience a high operation tempo in this era of persistent conflict. It is a necessary change for Soldiers and their Families.
- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal
- Stories of Valor
Saturday, June 14, 2008: The U.S. Army Birthday Ball