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Some Get Shorter Duty Days for the Winter

The families of soldiers who keep regular training hours at Fort Carson, Col. are in luck starting this week.

A new decision by the post's commanders means that soldiers there won't be reporting for duty at the crack of dawn for the duration of the winter, according to this story. Instead they'll be keeping what this story calls "banker's hours" -- showing up at 8 a.m., working until 3:30 p.m., doing PT for an 1.5 hours and then calling it a day.

That's right -- soldiers at Fort Carson who work typical duty days will be home for breakfast with their families and then home again for dinner that night. That's TWO meals every day. TWO.

While post officials have broader reasons like cold weather and bad roads behind their decision to implement what is essentially a permanent late call, they've also cited the benefit this change brings to family time.

From the story:

The new hours are a step toward healing. Borrelli said the schedule will allow soldiers to spend more time with their children, including that compressed time before they head off to school.
Whoa. Can you imagine it? Your military spouse there, in your home, impeding helping with the morning rush? It boggles the mind.

In all seriousness, we know that not all service members spend every hot second of their day doing productive work or training. There's a lot of downtime in there spent, well, waiting. In theory, shortening the duty day could do away with some of that wasted time.

Of course, there are people this won't help. This household, for example, hasn't seen typical duty day hours -- shortened or the regular kind -- in what feels like ages. For those folks this won't do an iota of good. But it's still a nice idea.

But the idea that leaders are actually considering family time when designing (or, in this case, redesigning) the duty day is a major cultural shift for the military. It's also a sign of the draw-down times. A decreasing training load as troops are no longer constantly getting ready to deploy or spend time in the field means troops have more time for other "stuff" -- like their families.

Do you think this schedule change should be given to other troops who aren't getting ready to deploy?

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