U.S. Army Overseas Service: Tour Length Policy Revision

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

What is it?

Army Regulation 614-30, Army Overseas Service, includes policy and guidance on the tour lengths for overseas areas. This regulation provided guidance for single Soldiers on unaccompanied tours to Europe and Japan to be placed on a 24 month tour, while Soldiers stationed with dependents overseas to be typically placed on orders for a 36 month tour.

Effective June 1, 2019, the policy on the tour length for single Soldiers has been revised. The tour lengths to locations in Europe and Japan, for Soldiers who are single with no dependents, will increase from 24 to 36 months.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

The changes to tour length in the Overseas Service regulation:

  • Improves readiness of overseas units and Permanent Change of Station (PCS) stability for Soldiers and Families in certain locations in Europe and Japan. The Army has no plan to expand this policy to other locations at this time.

  • Increases stability for Soldiers and commanders. Soldiers will remain in their units longer, reducing the frequency of training new Soldiers* Does not impact Soldiers who have dependents.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

This policy applies to all Soldiers, without dependents, who receive PCS orders to the approved locations in Europe and Japan after June 14, 2019. The Army estimates that this policy will affect approximately 3,000 to 5,000 Soldiers every year.

The change in the policy is part of the Army's larger efforts to reduce turnover to increase readiness which can minimize transportation issues for Family members. This revision is instrumental in:

  • Reducing PCS moves during peak season.
  • Increasing capacity of household goods carriers and increasing use of containerized shipments for select moves.
  • Developing standardized training for all transportation office staffs to improve consistency and customer service.
  • Setting up a 24/7 hotline to provide problem resolution when local offices are not able to; disseminating tips, checklists and articles to Soldiers and Families to assist them in preparing for moving season.
  • Reimbursing Spouse State Licensure and Certification Costs.

Why is this important to the Army?

The change in the overseas tour length policy will improve readiness by increasing Soldier stability for commanders. It will also increase permanency for Soldiers and their Families at assigned locations and ultimately help to reduce PCS-related costs for the Army.

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