I wouldn't want to be the guy to try to explain why folks doing the same mission are on such vastly different timetables.
As Pentagon officials scramble to find troops to maintain an expanded force level in Iraq, they are considering extending the time Marines are scheduled to stay there, a senior military official said yesterday.
"We are looking at the Marines' tour," the official said during a briefing on plans to send 3,600 soldiers from South Korea to Iraq.
The study could result in nearly doubling the Marines' expected time in Iraq...
Those Marines and the similar number who are due to replace them later this year are slated to stay for seven months; Army troops remain in Iraq for at least one year.
Marine commanders decided on seven months in Iraq because that was close to the 6-month deployments Marines normally make with amphibious task forces.
But the shorter time deployments are offset by the chance that the Marines could be sent out again in seven months. Troops are promised a year at home after a yearlong deployment, the military official said.