Army officials announced that beginning January 1, 2012, most soldiers will deploy for nine months, giving them more time at home between deployments. That being said, most augmentees and those with particular skills or in low-density skill sets and grades will remain on 12-month deployments.
So what does this really mean? Those in uniform and their loved ones will tell you that whether it is a nine-month or 12-month deployment, the impact on family is about the same. When they are “home” they still aren’t home – they are involved in trainings and exercises that prevent them from investing any quality time at home. This will only change when our conflicts change.
But enough of the commentary.
The official word is that implementation of this change is based on the projected demand for Army forces, and remains contingent on global security conditions and combatant commanders’ requirements.
This change in policy, to be implemented fully by April 1, 2012, will affect soldiers in all named operations, including Afghanistan, Kosovo and Egypt. The Army will continue to review how to increase the amount of time Soldiers spend at home, depending on the amount of time they are deployed.
To read more about the extended dwell time, please go to: Defense News.
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.