Army to Expand Stop-Loss Program
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2004 Army officials are expected to expand the stop-loss/stop-movement program soon to include more soldiers deployed in support of the war on terror.
An Army announcement, expected within the next week or two, will broaden the number of soldiers whose separations, retirements and reassignments are temporarily placed "on hold."
The expansion of the stop-loss/stop-movement program comes just as the Army prepares for a major rotation of troops in Iraq within the next few months.
Lt. Gen. Dennis Cavin, commander of U.S. Army Accessions Command, said during a CNN interview today that the stop-loss program is designed "to provide continuity and consistency" for deployed units and to enhance their ability "to execute their mission to the highest degree of their effectiveness."
He insisted that the program does not mean that the Army has a shortage of qualified troops to support the war on terror. Cavin said the Army remains "very successful" in its recruiting efforts and continues to "bring in top-quality men and women who want to make a difference."
The current stop-loss restrictions took effect Nov. 13 and cover active-duty soldiers while they are deployed outside the continental United States in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
The restrictions bar voluntary separations and retirements for soldiers in designated units beginning 90 days before deployment until 90 days after their units return to their home stations.
In addition, the stop-movement policy essentially suspends the normal rotation of soldiers into and out of affected units.
The Army's Reserve Component Unit Stop Loss policy took effect in November 2002. It applies to Reserve and National Guard soldiers deployed in support of the war on terror, from the time their unit is alerted until 90 days after demobilization.