Thursday, December 4, 2008

Army Utilizes Stop-Loss Policy

            Imagine serving the U.S. Army for a year in the hot, Iraqi desert. Each day, you risk your life and await your return to America. After your tour is over, you are supposed to be done and able to move on with your life. However, you return to the States only to find the Army will be shipping you back overseas against your will. Sounds unfair, doesn't it?

            The Army, along with the U.S. government, is allowed to do this because of the Stop-Loss order issued by the Department of Defense. This order, otherwise known as some sort of a "backdoor draft," is an unpopular practice forcing soldiers to stay in the service well beyond retirement or re-enlistment dates.

            In May of 2007, the number of soldiers affected had dropped to a 3-year low of 8,540. However, in March of 2008, despite Robert Gates' request for the Army to limit the use of Stop-Loss, this number had increased by 43%. From 2002 to April of last year, 58,300 people had already been affected by the policy. In addition to the Stop-Loss order, President Bush has extended tour lengths to 15 months.

            The Army says they will need the Stop-Loss practice until late 2009, but just how many more soldiers will this burden until that time? While most soldiers understand the necessity of the policy and the need to bolster troops in order to meet our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, not many are happy. The use of this policy does not boost morale, hurts recruitment of new servicemen, and definitely puts a strain on the men and women already generously serving our nation, along with their families.


LINKS: 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2008-04-21-stoploss_N.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/21/general-army-needs-stoplo_n_97844.html

http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/02/gates-stop-loss/


 

                        By: EfarmsQUACK

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18 comments:

Aesthetic Enzeru said...

I think it's really unfair. Soldiers are not a machine who can extend their service for the rest of their life once they joined in. Most people -like me who doesn't know anyone in the military - are completely oblivious with this Stop-Loss order. It would be more convenient if people know more about it.

Lola said...

When they joined the military they signed an agreement saying...
"In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States."
Paragraph 9c of their enlistment contract.
War meaning not just when Congress declares it but anytime America's Armed Forces are engaged in hostile conflict.
They should check and make sure they read all of the fine print next time and understand it.

The Professor said...

They idea of a soldier going on three or more tours is ridiculous. But, if you join the military you should be expecting to be shipped overseas to join the fight. Besides, I have personally been told by a Marine that he wanted to go serve in Iraq, because he wanted to contribute to the mission. I also know of several students who are planning on going into the military after High School.

hot butter said...

I think that if the Stop-Loss order was issued after the soldiers enlisted, then they have good reason to complain. But like lola and the professor, I think that most people enlist knowing the risks of serving in the military.

ace1453 said...

I'm thinking that the US Government should invest in "Iron Man" technology...haha...that would be great...but seriously, those are the only kind of beings that should be going on three or more tours. No one is invincible. People need to realize the numbers on the news are LIVES that have been LOST rather than just numbers.

ricebowl said...

I think that having soldiers serve longer than they were originally supposed to is unfair. But at the same time if our country needs them out their to protect our freedom they should be willing to want to do that because isn't that why most people join the military? To fight for their country?

Sidewalk Chalk said...

America should be happy that people are even sacrificing their time and lives AT ALL over there by joining the military. People give themselves to the government and the government is taking full advantage of that...but seriously take people from their retirement that they have worked hard for?
The people pulled away after re-enlistment dates? obviously they wanted to do something else with their lives after the military and it was a trial thing why would the government try and take people away from their happiness..there has to be SOMETHING against that..like not granting them pursuit of happiness?!

Evergreen said...

I agree with Lola.
You should make sure you understand what you are being asked to do & are willing to fulfill those duties before you sign up.

Al Pacino said...

Joining the military is a huge sacrifice. However, just because you join you should not be taken advantage of. It is unfair that soldiers are being sent back so soon. Imagine being away from your loved ones that long and finally coming home only to be shipped out again. Also, how would it feel if a loved one came home then was forced to ship out again and was killed?
It is unfair and wrong.

Lucky Charms said...

I don't think the policy is fair. When people join the military, it is usually assumed that they will not be forced to go on so many tours, or to serve beyond their time. However, they did make a commitment to the United States and should be willing to serve for as long as needed.

bulbasaur75 said...

I feel for the soldiers who have to go back away from their families and if I were in their position I would be upset also. But they were the ones that chose to sign up for the military, no one forced them into that. You should expect to keep getting sent back until the war is over. Think about the men and women who died there. They never get to come home. So be thankful for being alive and deal with it. You joined and it is your duty.

Inigo Montoya said...

My father has been over in Iraq twice, and he is willing to go over again if he needs to. Plenty of the men and women in the military are willing to keep going to Iraq and Afghanistan until the people are safe and towns are rebuilt. People talk about what it is like missing your family while they are deployed, but I actually know what that feels like. Soldiers make these sacrifices to keep our freedoms and to try to make the world a better place for future generations.

thejoker said...

Being shipped away is a major factor of military life and soldiers know this. Although I dont agree with the stop-loss order, soldiers are fully aware of the risks when they enlist and this order is one of them.

PJ Lover said...

hmmm. when i think about the soldiers that are bolding and nobely serving our country in the Middle East, i think about the families that they are leaving behind. Young mothers left without their companion and have to care for their kids and kids that are growing up without their father.

I do not agree with the act in the least. I know if I was a member of the family getting left alone, i would be very depressed and scared.

peace.to.all. said...

Well... these soldiers signed up for the army. willingly and fully aware of the risks. i do sympathize however for losing precious time with their family. but they signed up. they made the choice. now they have to deal with the consequence of that.

Bajablast said...

yeah, this is really unfair!! i totally agree with Enzeru, but my dad was in the military but he retired before i knew enough to ask him about things. I never knew that these sort of things actually happened, and people should be educated on this.

makemeasandwich said...

I didnt know what the stop - loss order was. People choose to go into the military. My two brothers are going into the Air Force. One is becoming a pilot and the other was like a crazy chief comander in an Maxwell Airforce Base during the summer. Bottom line. Support your military. They put themselves on the line for you. Never forget that.

Nemo said...

I agree with Al Pacino on this one. Soldiers ought to know what they are getting into, but they shouldn't be taken advantage of. That's pushing the limits a bit, I think.