Army to Shorten Combat Tours to Nine Months
Starting Jan. 1, soldiers will deploy for nine months rather than a year, a move intended to provide greater dwell time for service members and their families.
The change, announced last week by the Army, should help to ease the strain on families forced over the past decade to cope with multiple deployments lasting up to 15 months, reported GovernmentExecutive.com. The move comes as the Pentagon draws down the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The change applies to active duty, National Guard and Reserve troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Egypt. Deployments for corps units and above, however, will remain at 12 months for the time being.
The Army said it will continue to review how to increase the amount of time soldiers spend at home, depending on the amount of time they are deployed.
“We are constantly analyzing all range of policies to address the issues of the mission, soldiers and families,” according to a spokeswoman. “We believe that the current operational environment allows us to adjust the deployment policy in a way that meets all mission requirements and better serve our soldiers and families.”