Peace Time: October 13, 2002


The US Army has issued a new policy regarding "stop loss" orders. Such orders are given in times of impending war to keep soldiers who have critical specialties from leaving the service. The orders are extremely unpopular as soldiers who had planned to leave the service are prevented from doing so, and even worse, are not told how long the "stop loss" order will remain. The new policy is that anyone under a "stop loss" order can leave one year after it begins, even if his specialty is still one the Army needs. Many soldiers will be encouraged to re-enlist or agree to voluntary extensions, but the Army is going to have to scramble to retrain and transfer other soldiers into the short-handed career fields. About 12,000 people in the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard who are under stop loss orders will be able to leave next January. Some very critical specialties will still be prevented from leaving, but this applies to only a few hundred people.--Stephen V Cole


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