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New Army Stop-Loss Program

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Updated November 19, 2003

On November 13, 2003, Mr. Les Brownlee, Acting Secretary of the Army approved implementation of the Active Army Unit Stop Loss Program. For the purpose of this announcement the term Active Army means those units of the Army not part of the Army National Guard or Army Reserve Components. The current operational situation warrants that the Army implements the Active Army Unit Stop Loss Program based on the commitment to pursue the Global War On Terrorism for the immediate future, to provide our combatant commanders the force to decisively defeat those that threaten our security, and to ensure our unit formations are ready, cohesive and at their best to effect forthcoming rotational plans. Retaining the Reserve Component (RC) Unit Stop Loss and re-instituting the Active Army Unit Stop Loss and Stop Movement provides equity for all Components and ensures unit stability from alert through redeployment/demobilization.

This Active Army Unit Stop Loss program will only apply to Soldiers assigned to units selected for outside the continental United States (OCONUS) deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, 5th rotation (OEF5) and Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2nd rotation (OIF2). Additionally, Soldiers in units providing the transition from OIF1 to OIF2 will also be subject to unit stop loss/stop movement from OIF2 TOA for the duration of deployment. Implementation of the Stop Loss program will be executed substantially as follows:

This Active Army Unit Stop Loss program affects Soldiers assigned to units alerted for deployment overseas to participate in operations described above. It is intended that Active Army Unit Stop Loss would begin at deployment minus 90 days and continue through the unit redeployment plus 90 days.

Soldiers in Active Army units already deployed, participating in the above-designated OCONUS operations, will not be included under this policy.

From the date of approval, Active Army Soldiers on terminal leave or who have shipped household goods in preparation for transition from service or who are within 14 days of separation date will not be subject to this Active Army unit stop loss program. Other exceptions will be furnished in detailed implementing instructions to be issued by Commander, Army Human Resources Command (AHRC). The AHRC commander also remains the stop loss exception to policy authority for Active Army Soldiers with compassionate and/or compelling reasons.

The total number of Soldiers affected by this policy cannot be provided due to operational sensitivities. When stop loss is lifted, personnel strength managers will regulate separation dates to ensure no adverse impact on Army-wide readiness.

The Acting Secretary of the Army has also approved lifting the remaining officer specialty and enlisted Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) currently subject to the All Component, 12-Month, Skill-Based Stop Loss Program. The decision to lift officer specialty Area Of Concentration 53, Information Systems Management, and enlisted Military Occupational Specialty 55D, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist, will affect approximately 100 Active Army, 204 Army Reserve and 304 National Guard soldiers. These soldiers, as they begin their transition from the Army, will be provided sufficient time to complete transition/career counseling processing and demobilization activities. Personnel strength managers from all Army components will regulate separation dates to ensure there is no adverse impact on Army-wide readiness. This approval effectively discontinues the All Component, 12-Month Skill-Based Stop Loss program for both the Active Army and Reserve Components.

Prior to Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Army last used stop loss during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990 when President George H. Bush delegated stop loss authority to the Secretary of Defense.

Stop loss does not affect most involuntary separations or retirements, nor does it generally limit laws, regulations, or policies that lead to involuntary separations, retirements, or releases from active duty.

To ensure that personnel operating strengths are maintained, to provide cohesion and stability in units, and to ensure inventory is available to meet requirements, Headquarters, Department of the Army will also implement Stop Movement which will suspend the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves for Soldiers assigned to the units which are subject to the Active Army Unit Stop Loss program.

Detailed procedural instructions for Soldiers and Commanders will be furnished by the Commander, U. S. Army Human Resources Command in the form of MILPER Messages in the very near future.

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