It’s a good day to be an Army family. The Army today announced after months of anticipiation and speculation that deployments will, indeed, be decreasing to nine months for most Soldiers starting Jan. 1, 2012.
That means that most of our Soldier spouses will only see nine months downrange at one time – instead of the 12 that’s common today or the 15 that many have endured in the past.
It’s unclear from this story exactly what this means for dwell time. As of this coming October, the plan was for most Soldiers to see 24 months at home to every 12 deployed. While the story, written by the Army, reiterates the 24 month dwell time goal, it doesn’t say exactly what the shorter deployments will mean for time at home.
Army leaders have said over and over again, however, that they want to continue to increase dwell time. Still all the story has to offer us in the way of dwell time details is this:
However, the Army will continue to review how to increase the amount of time Soldiers spend at home depending on the amount of time they are deployed.As with anything in the military, there’s always negatives and caveats. Most of those looking for a downside to the shorter deployments will find it here: according to the story, nine month deployments mean no R&R. Commanders will, however, still have the ability to grant Soldiers emergency leave.
"We are constantly analyzing all range of policies to address the issues of the mission, Soldiers, and Families. We believe that the current operational environment allows us to adjust the deployment policy in a way that meets all mission requirements and better serve our Soldiers and Families," Kageleiry said.
Here are some other important notes:
- The policy will be “fully implemented” by April 1, 2012. That means there’s a possibility that your Soldier could be deployed between January and April 2012 and still face 12 months.
- Those deployed any time before Jan. 1, 2012 will likely face a 12 month deployment.
- Most individual augmentees will remain on the 12 month deployment cycle.
- The policy change does apply to National Guard and Reserve in that their deployments will only be nine months. Their mobilization, however, will remain 12 months long. Leadership says they know there’s a lot of special details to work out for National Guard and Reserve and that they are still examining the issue.