Army Looking at Longer Tour Options for Army Servicemembers and Families, McConville Says

Army Looking at Longer Tour Options for Army Servicemembers and Families, McConville Says

Army Chief Gen. James McConville said Wednesday he wants longer tour options for Army families, saying the traditional system requiring new duty station moves every three years is antiquated, Stripes.com reported.

“I don’t see why people can’t stay four, five, six, seven, eight, nine years,” McConville said during a town hall at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., according to the report.

The military has periodically struggled with permanent change-of-station (PCS) move seasons that peak during summer break, and McConville said the Army is reviewing moves and suggested longer tours could be an option, the report said.

“Part of the future that we see in the talent management system is we do look at preferences … where you want to go and what you want to do.” McConville said. “If we can accommodate that (longer tours), why shouldn’t we?”

The Army’s current system moving most soldiers every three years is “industrial age,” McConville said, according to the report.

Distributing moves year-round rather than during summer has also been rejected, McConville also said.

“I don’t sign up for that,” McConville said. “I sign up for making less moves or stabilizing people longer, but we’re not going to have the soldier moving in March and the kids getting pulled out of school.”

McConville’s remarks reflect Army plans for a new talent management system overhaul to improve matching soldiers’ skills with the service’s requirements, while also reporting soldiers’ preferences to remain at a location, the report said.

 Army photo by Sgt. Ryan Jenkins

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