Monday, March 2, 2009

Stop loss

It's one of many military terms that strikes terror into the hearts of parents and loved ones of soldiers. While there hasn't been a lot of talk around Ft. Bragg about soldiers being stop lossed (new verb), it's a hot topic at Ft. Lewis. I haven't seen much in the media about it but there has been some Joe talk.

Stop loss works like this: You sign up for eight but you really think you are doing four years plus basic and AIT. But in the end, if someone up the chain decides that your departure will threaten a unit's integrity and ability to achieve its mission, they might tack on some additional time.

When units are deployed, stop loss is often unavoidable. But when they are home and families have set their countdown clocks, stop loss keeps everyone up at nights.

I actually thought that with the recruiting numbers up that stop loss out of theater would stop.

Apparently not.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, me too. And it seems to be the exact opposite.
Maybe the stars aren't aligning, I don't know.
But Christopher's worried about the same thing when his contract is up.

Is Mark threatened by this at all?

Airborne dad said...

We hope not. But it's the Army. Very unpredictable.

MightyMom said...

run this by me again.

you sign up for 8. But think you're gonna get out after 4? Please explain the AIT thing I"m not familiar with it.

Now, here's my question. Is the "extra time" that the army tacks on in addition to that 8 you signed up for or are they just saying you have to fulfill the entire original 8?? Cause those are two totally different kettles of fish!!

Airborne dad said...

Way back in the day when I joined the Army I signed up for two years active duty, four inactive reserves. After six years, you receive your honorable discharge.

Today, you sign up for four years active duty, plus basic, plus advanced infantry training (AIT). So after you complete your four plus years of active duty, you are released to inactive reserves.

Stop loss is a provision in which the Army can keep you on active duty up until your eight years are up. Virtually everyone going in is expecting to do four years of active duty and then be released.

I think ID's point is it is very difficult for soldiers to plan their civilian lives when they have no clue when the Army will release them. It's pretty tough on parents too.

MightyMom said...

Okay, I'm coming way back here to post this in the hopes that no one else will see it...more or less. I don't care to ruffle feathers or hurt feelings. But I'm having a rather hard time sympathizing. Perhaps you can help me.

Considering that all our folks in the Reserves understand at this time that they will be called up. I have friends whose son joined the reserves last year. with the full intention of being called to active duty...last I heard he was in Iraq. Shouldn't those already on active duty also understand that there's a good chance they won't be able to do reserve time?

Another thing I struggle with is the different mindset of our nation's youth. (yes, myself included). My husband's father literally tore the draft office apart because they told him he COULDN'T join during WWII for some very minor medical reason (they then found a way to let him in).

My Grandad was upset when he was sent home after his brother was killed which left him as last surviving male in the family.

I'm not trying to belittle the sacrifice that these wonderful soldiers have already made. Please do understand that.

But what has happened to our society to where after 2 generations we've gone from wanting to do anything and everything for our country to being downright angry when we aren't allowed to get by on the bare minimum??

You might also note that my husband is a 22 year career guy --a "lifer". The mindset I understand is "different".

MightyMom said...

again. I totally support all our troops and do NOT want to upset anyone. I just do not understand.