Morale: July 31, 2004


The U.S. Army, which has constantly had about a quarter of its reservists on active duty for the last three years, is paying closer attention to the morale of these troops. The activation process, which was often a nightmare of muddle and bureaucratic blunders, has been improved considerably. That muddle included reservists not getting paid for months, and their families left without any income. Now that was a major morale problem and was eventually fixed. Since then there have been numerous new payments and benefits given to the reservists, as well as more publicity given to benefits that already exist. One example of this is eligibility for Veterans Administration VA home loans. This is a major benefit for many reservists, who joined partly to get the second income of what was, essentially, a part time job. For many of these men and women, the very favorable terms of a VA mean the difference between getting a home, and not getting one. So the army is pointing out that, while reservists normally have to serve for six years to become eligible for a VA loan, they only need to be on active duty during war time for 90 days to be eligible. When it comes to the morale of a mobilized reservist, every little bit helps.


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