|New Army Stop-Loss Policy|
Soldiers affected by Stop-Loss will now be allowed to request voluntary separation from the Army under a new policy released Sept. 5 (2002).
The first increment of Stop-Loss was approved by Reginald Brown, the assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs on Nov. 30 to retain the critical skills needed to support the War on Terrorism.
Under the new policy, soldiers will generally be subject to Stop-Loss for no more than 12 months -- even though their military occupation specialty may remain affected by Stop-Loss in support of the global war on terrorism, said officials from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G1.
Enlisted soldiers under Stop-Loss can now voluntarily separate on the one-year anniversary of their original expiration of service or ETS date.
Officers and warrant officers, not retirement eligible, can apply to leave one year from the end of their original service obligation date. Officers and warrant officers who don't have a service obligation may request separation 12 months after they were first affected by Stop-Loss.
All retirement-eligible soldiers can apply for retirement one year from their original retirement eligibility date (defined as 20 years active federal service) or one year from when Stop-Loss took effect if the soldier was retirement eligible on the effective date of Stop-Loss.
Enlisted soldiers serving on an indefinite enlistment can apply to be separated 12 months from the date they became subject to Stop-Loss.
The most recent policy does not supersede Stop-Loss 4, which was approved on June 4 with an effective date of June 19, G1 officials said. The new 12-month policy supplements Stop-Loss 4, officials added. Stop-Loss 4 kept about 260 soldiers on active duty who had potential separation or retirement dates between now and Sept. 30, and it released another 370 who had been impacted by previous Stop-Loss decisions. The total number of active-duty soldiers affected by Stop-Loss during this fiscal year has been 2,900.
An expiration date for the Stop-Loss program cannot be determined at this time, G1 officials said. The Army will continues to evaluate and review the need to further expand or contract the Stop-Loss program, based on operational necessity, on a monthly basis, G1 officials said. Presently, no additional military occupational specialties have been added to Stop-Loss, nor have any been lifted.
The majority of the soldiers affected by Stop-Loss at this are: military intelligence, special operations, aviators and military policemen. For more information on what MOSs remain on the list of critical skills see www.odcsper.army.mil/directorates/mp/stoploss.
"After seven months, the time has come to provide more predictability for when Stop-Loss will be lifted with respect to individual soldiers," said G1 officials. "Stop-Loss was not designed to preclude soldiers from voluntarily separating or retiring from the Army for an indefinite period of time."
Currently mobilized reserve-component soldiers do not fall under the Stop-Loss program. However, guidance on a unit-based Stop-Loss program is currently being drafted to cover the reserve components, G1 officials said.
"For the active-component soldier, Stop-Loss is based on skill. Under the guidance being drafted, mobilized units can be kept indefinitely under Stop-Loss regardless of military occupational specialty," officials said.
Stop-Loss does not affect soldiers being processed for involuntary administrative separation under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Nor does it affect, in most cases, soldier facing mandatory retirement, those being processed for physical disability or pending separation for the convenience of the government, G1 officials said.
Article by by Staff Sgt. Marcia Triggs , Published in Army News Service