Thursday, June 03, 2004

From now on, all Army units tapped to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan will be placed under stop-loss and stop-move restrictions that prevent soldiers from switching assignments or voluntarily leaving the service, according to an order signed June 1 by Reginald Brown, the Army’s assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs.

The stop loss/stop move will take effect as soon as a unit is activated for deployment to a future Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom mission. It won’t end until three months after the unit returns to its home station, Maj. Gen. Franklin L. “Buster” Hagenbeck, the Army’s chief for personnel matters, told reporters at a roundtable Tuesday morning.

The stop-loss/stop-move order includes the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, which is on its way later this summer to Iraq from South Korea, Hagenbeck confirmed, as well as any units that will deploy for the third rotation into Iraq, or OIF 3.

Stop-loss restrictions prevent servicemembers from retiring or leaving the service at their scheduled time. Stop movements mostly prevent permanent changes of station.

The stop-loss/stop-movement restrictions will be in place “for several years” until the Army has finished “transforming” itself into a service based on 48 brigade combat teams that stay together for 36 months at a time, with a 12-month deployment period included, Hagenbeck said.

That project will take at least another six years to complete, according to Army plans.
As you read the coming firestorm about how the Government "violates" the contract it has with Soldiers, please keep in mind that paragraph 9. a. (5) of the enlistment contract actually tells the enlistee that his status may change at any time (that would include being on PCS (changing station), and ETS (leaving service) status. It also points out that if the US is at war one's enlistment is automatically extended until sox months after the end of the war.

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