Friday, July 15, 2005

"Shanghai" Revisited

Stop-loss is essentially a draft and it's an unfair one at that since it exploits the endless loopholes in military contracts in order to deceive young people signing up. Regarding stoploss, I came across the following interesting posting on Spidel Net.

My son in law in Iraq said they are being pressured round the clock to re-enlist or face stop loss. They are being offering $30,000 signing bonus, tax free and told if they don't re-enlist, they are going to be stop lossed and get zero dollars. They are pushing the troops round the clock and Mark only got 3 hours sleep in 48 hours and when they get back, they are faced yet again with re-enlisting. Mark said many guys are scared and signing up and their families at home are very upset. (with good reason) We really need to push our media and congressmen to expose the horrible way our troops are being treated.


RTO Trainer said...

Stop-loss is not well understood. When stop-loss is in effect, the soldiers of a unit that has been alerted for deployment my not End Term of Service (ETS) or retire unless for attaining maximum military age (60), until either stood-down from alert or 90 days after redeploying (returning home). At either point all those who would have separated, do so. Nothing sinister in this. It is a policy that allows the military to stabilize rosters for planning purposes. Nothing more.

The soldier in the example you cite does not want to remain in the service a minimum of 2 more years and would rather ETS 90 days after coming home, he's better advised to forego the bonus.

Anonymous said...

Many people I know from the Guard and Reserves have had their ETS date moved up to 2031 or some similarly outrageous date. They can't just take off 90 days after returning home. If they aren't deployed with their unit, they sometimes have to wait until their unit trains, deploys, and returns (which can take about two years) and then then might get sent to Iraq themselves on a different deployment (in which case they're in for another 18 months to 2 years). I'm sure that they'll be allowed to get out sometime before 2031, but when is anybody's guess. Basically, they're in for as long as their commander wants to keep them in.

RTO Trainer said...

Actually that 2031 date is just an administrative widget to keep errors from happening in automated systems.

No one is held to 2031. Once a stop loss affected troop completes the 90 days after redeployment, the date is returned to the ETS date reflected on his contract and ID card. No guessing is necessary, if they were supposed to have separated between alert and 90 days after, they will do so on day 91 after. In fact, the purpose for the 90 day period is to give the admin folks time to process the separations.

No one has had a 2 year deployment. The longest was the 3rd ID at 15 months, tehy were extended 3 months past the 12 month deployment they were originally told to expect. My deployement to Afghanistan was 12 months. These lengths include preliminary train up and demobilization activities after (we were only 9 months on the ground in Afghanistan.)

The enlistment contract (speaking of being in as long as someone wants them in) says that any or all of us in a time of war or Presidentially declared emergency can be involuntarilly retained for teh duration of the conflict +6 months. So even if the DoD were to exercise its full options under the contract, 6 months from the end of the current emergency (see the War Powers Resolution for how emergencies work) they still would have to let everyone go.

Anonymous said...

"Once a stop loss affected troop completes the 90 days after redeployment, the date is returned to the ETS date reflected on his contract and ID card."

This simply isn't true. If someone is in the reserve is stop-lossed until their unit completes a deployment, and if there's training prior to deployment (which there always is--3-6 months of it), and if they don't go on that particular deployment (which often happens in Guard and Reserve units), they'll be stop-lossed for let's say 5 months + 12-16 months + 90 days. If they are then deployed towards the end of this time, they'll have to finish their deployment (in other words, double the above numbers. It ends up being over 4 years. And this isn't a very exceptional case. And this is just one type of stop-loss. After 9-11 hit, entire MOSs were simply put on stop-loss indefinitely. I think you're extrapolating from a particular case of stop-loss to all cases. The stop-loss orders are always different. As for the "emergency ending," we'd have to wait until terrorism disappeared from the face of the earth right? When's that? The Second Coming? Or perhaps the day mankind finally evolves into a different species.

Karlo said...

I've placed a lengthy rebuttal of rto trainer's comments on stop loss over on Swerve Left (