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Stop Loss

Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by ynot, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. ynot


    Dec 5, 2004
    what do you guy's think about the stop loss deal?

    DOD data: More forced to stay in Army

    By Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON — The Army has accelerated its policy of involuntary extensions of duty to bolster its troop levels, despite Defense Secretary Robert Gates' order last year to limit it, Pentagon records show.
    Gates directed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the service secretaries to minimize mandatory tour extensions, known as "stop loss," in January 2007. By May, the number of soldiers affected by the policy had dropped to a three-year low of 8,540.

    Since then, the number of soldiers forced to remain in the Army rose 43% to 12,235 in March. The reliance on stop loss has increased as the military has sent more troops to Iraq and extended tours to 15 months to support an escalation in U.S. forces ordered by President Bush. The increase last month was driven by the need to send more National Guard soldiers to Iraq.

    Soldiers affected by stop loss now serve, on average, an extra 6.6 months, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said. Key leaders at the small-unit level — sergeants through sergeants first class — make up 45% of those soldiers. Soldiers typically enlist for four-year stints.

    "Secretary Gates understands the hardship stop loss poses to our troops and their families, but he also understands the need to maintain cohesive units on the battlefield throughout deployment," Morrell said. "Troops who have trained together and fought together should remain together."

    The trend is alarming, said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., who wrote a letter on April 17 to Gates urging him "in the strongest terms" to limit stop loss.

    Last year, Shays and three other House members wrote Gates a similar letter saying they were concerned about using the policy to bolster forces for the so-called surge. It hurts morale, burdens troops' families, damages the credibility of military leaders and threatens recruiting, they wrote.

    Stop loss can keep a soldier in the service if his or her unit deploys within 90 days of the end of the soldier's commitment. It is necessary, the Army says, to maintain the integrity of units headed to war. In all, 58,300 soldiers have been affected by stop loss since 2002, according to the Army. That's about 1% of active duty, Reserve and National Guard troops. For the 3rd Infantry Division, which is responsible for a portion of Iraq south of Baghdad, about 1,500 of its 22,500 soldiers is serving under stop loss, according to Maj. Alayne Conway.

    Shays said the nation needs a bigger Army. In the meantime, he urges the Pentagon to press more personnel from the Air Force and Navy into Army jobs.

    PENTAGON MEMO:Army's response to minimizing stop loss (pdf)
    The policy shows the Army is "unraveling a bit" while "under tremendous strain," said Rep. Joe Sestak, a Pennsylvania Democrat and retired vice admiral. Sestak, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said relying on stop loss could be masking problems the Army is having with recruiting.

    "We don't have the individual in terms of quality or quantity to take that next individual's place so that he could finish his tour and go home," Sestak said. "This is five years into the war. I don't think this is insignificant."

    James Martin, a social work professor at Bryn Mawr College and retired Army colonel, said stop loss is the result of an Army that's too small to meet its commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Sergeants are often most affected.

    "These are the guys who bear the brunt of it," Martin said. "They just get put back into the grinder continually."

    In January 2007, Gates wrote to secretaries of the services and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that included a directive to submit plans to "minimize the use of Stop Loss." In reply, then-Army secretary Francis Harvey wrote that the Army would pay soldiers facing stop loss $300 extra per month "to extend their enlistment to complete their deployment."

    PENTAGON MEMO: Gates addresses stop loss (pdf)
    Harvey wrote that the plan "could reduce the number of soldiers affected by (stop loss) by as much as 50%." Soldiers who didn't take the pay, he added, would still be subject to involuntary extension.

    Lt. Gen. James Thurman, Pentagon deputy chief of staff for operations, said Monday he hoped the Army could put a stop to mandatory extensions by fall 2009.

    Although some soldiers say they understand the reasons for stop loss, it doesn't boost morale, said Robert Sauder, 24, a staff sergeant who was involuntarily retained in 2006 when he was preparing to leave the service. By then, he'd spent 13 months in Afghanistan. Then he spent 15 months in Iraq.

    Sauder, of Baroda, Mich., said he "was pretty sour about the whole situation."

    Near Kirkuk, he and his comrades dodged rockets, mortars and roadside bombs. "It ended up pretty good for me and my guys. We made it back alive."

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  2. Currahee

    Currahee NRA Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    My roommate was stop lossed when we deployed to Iraq. He served an extra 18 months.

    He took it pretty well. He was a Sergeant and one of the best leaders in his platoon. I think without him they might have lost more guys and not been as effective. It sucks for the individuals, but it does help the unit overall and save lives IMO.

  3. xj0hnx


    Apr 19, 2007
    I saw a few guys get pretty screwed by our stop loss, but then again, like Currahee said experianced leaders are needed in combat, and it did more good than bad. The military is self-sacrifice. Personally, I just re-enlisted for the tour, though I can see how a lot of guys were really ready to move on and couldn't.
  4. Rakkasan


    Dec 17, 2002
    I was stop loss'ed for fourteen months. We had to deploy, I was a Sergeant and they needed me, I made it home. My buddy wasn't so lucky, he was supposed to get out before me, but he was killed by an IED while we were on patrol in Beiji. It's a kick in the ***** to be told you'll be on stop loss, but I will never ever complain about it because some men and women gave up more than just extra time in.
  5. tc556guy


    Mar 15, 2000
    Upstate NY
    I find their number of affectedpersonnel at the beginning of the article to be lowballed, IMHO.
  6. DriBak

    DriBak GUNS UP Millennium Member

    Jul 4, 1999
    West Texas
    I got stop lossed for Desert Shield/Storm. I did an extra 13 months. It didn't ruin me or anything
  7. ynot


    Dec 5, 2004
    hope you all get to rotate home soon.

    i think our government will eventually repeat the viet-nam deal. pull the troops and let the country fall to the next power broker.

    sad that so many young guys lives are altered by the decisions of our government.

    it seems our government does a fine job of placing our forces in no win situations, and is incapable of learning from the past.

    thanks for responding to this question, i am proud of all you guys doing a difficult, as well as dangerous job in the so called war on terror.
  8. AF-Odin


    Oct 12, 2007
    Central Texas
    At least it isn't like the 1940s. My dad was supposed to be released from active duty in January 1942, but some little incident in Hawaii created their own version of "stop-loss." ALL personnel were stop lossed for the "Duration of the War plus 6 months." He finally got discharged January 1946. Decided he liked active duty better and returned to AD in March 1947.
  9. the iceman

    the iceman Proud Veteran CLM

    Jun 2, 2007
    Northern Illinois
    I got out in 1/2004 as an infantryman and I thought for sure stop-loss was going to get me but I got lucky.

    I have mixed feelings about it. Yeah the military needs experienced people but then again I think about the millions of citizens out there that haven't done a god damn thing for their country.
  10. KG Dad

    KG Dad Lead by Example

    Dec 11, 2007
    You're singing my song. As a nation, we have a host mercenary military. And that's a problem that no one is addressing. We don't require accountability. We give in this country without asking people to pay for what they receive. But that's too much of a soapbox to start now.

    MJH (No stop-loss potential for this reservist as I've still got 4 years mandatory time. )
  11. MR. Fantastic

    MR. Fantastic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Phoenix, AZ
    Amen to that brother. Every day at school I see these dumb college kids and think to myself; we have patriots doing 3 tours while these jerkoffs sleep in till noon every day.
  12. tc556guy


    Mar 15, 2000
    Upstate NY

    If I recall the numbers correctly, only about a tenth of the population fits the criteria for military recruitment/ service. They work with an incredibly small recruitment pool........
  13. Currahee

    Currahee NRA Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    I totally agree. Our society in general has become one in which a hard working minority supports a lazy majority. Sadly, many Americans now feel like this is what our country should be.

    The liberal media (and many others) don't help - telling kids that only dumb people join the Army. Then there same people slap a "Support the Troops" sticker on their car and feel like, "well I've done MY part". This part of the public looks at us like we are hapless victims sent to the slaughter, with no will or idea of our own. They think that they have to save us!

    Who I have all the respect for are the guys who do 2, 3 or more tours. I wanted to do one tour, but there is no way I want to do two. We really need guys like that with the experience to keep the military together and keep the FNGs alive till they get it figured out for themselves.
  14. JesseCuster

    JesseCuster Army Dude Millennium Member

    Dec 30, 1999
    Currahee, I'm glad to see you say that, sir. I get very incensed when I see a bumper sticker on a Liberalmobile saying "Support the troops, bring them home!" I think they forget that it's a 100% volunteer force.
  15. 11P&Y


    Apr 13, 2008
    I am going to probably get beat up here, but i wish that they would stop the Stop-Loss garbage. Some of you say that without stop-loss, you might have lost more soldiers and so on...well, that soldier did his duty and is looking forward to getting out, only to be stop lossed. He should not have to return to do a job that should be done by another. If the Comapny your in depends on that one soldier to get kids back alive, it does not say much for the rest of the NCO's in your company.

    90% of the people i know that are stop lossed, would go home right now and ETS if given the chance, including me. I signed for 4 years and did my 4 years plus another year and 2 months so far and got another 4 more to go... This Stop-Loss garbage is BS. One of my best friends over here got killed in an IED blast a few weeks ago and he has been stop-lossed for about a year. He was planning to waive his stabilization and get out within a month of getting back...he had a wife and 3 kids...and a great job lined up. Tell his kids that their dad did his job and was killed in the war, when he should have been home with them. Stop-Loss is a way of involuntary retention and it should be illegal.

    Speaking of retention, the Retention NCO in my Batallion meets up with those who are stop-lossed about once every two weeks to badger them us to re-enlist. What a bunch of BS...and also in my Batallion, soldiers who are ETSing as soon as we get back have been told that they would be put on more details than others because they are getting out...but if they re-enlist, they can go to the baord and get promoted, and will not be doing any details when we get back. You know what i told them? "Put me on every single one of them, cause i am still getting out"!!!

    The Army is changing and not for the better. When i joined, i had high hopes it was just as my uncle said it was. Thing is, when i joined he had been in for 30 years and was at such a high rank, he did not know what it was like in the lower ranks. After a year, i basically called him a liar and he did not understand but after visiting my unit and touring him around my post for a day, he understood where i was coming from...
  16. ynot


    Dec 5, 2004
    my opinion is that since the clinton administration did everything they could to cripple the military, the stop loss deal is like a de facto draft.

    funny just the other day a girl in class saw a national guard bookmark i was using and said she could hook me up, her boyfriend was a recruiter, she said all i had to do was a weekend a month, and two weeks in the summer. i told her i wasn't interested, and asked her why she failed to inform me that i would also spend as much time as the government deems necessary in the middle east, and i would be released from military service not when my enlistment was over but when the government decided to release me. she didn't respond.

    i enlisted in 1968 and volunteered for viet-nam, my only complaint is the fact that so many young Americans gave their lives and limbs for no apparent reason in light of the government pulling the troops after so many paid the price. (every American should spend a week in an evac hospital)

    like it or not our government seems incapable of learning from the past, sooner or later they will do the same to the valiant soldiers of this war.

    i think our government has lost the will to do what it takes to actually win a war. amazing that the politicians have no problem sending other folks sons and daughters in harms way, however they seem reluctant to take an active role in the so called protection of this country themselves.

    i support all of you guys, however i can't say the same for the career politicians who value nothing except their position.
  17. GJ1981

    GJ1981 Pitying Fools

    Feb 10, 2008
    I agree with you on most everything you said. The only thing I could say is that a military contract is for 8 years. I believe if you signed up for X years active it should work that way but we know how it really works. I believe 40-50% of our Brigade was hit by Stop Loss in 2006. The way you describe the retention it sounds just like my last unit. I saw it happen the same when with the details when we were redeploying.
  18. deadday


    Aug 14, 2007
    Everybody signed the dotted line. Everybody knew it was a possibility. Everybody should shut the **** up and soldier on. I'd kill for another deployment now. Anyone of these people *****ing about being stoplossed can give me their kidney, back, and left leg, then they can sit on their asses and *****, while I go do what I signed up for.

  19. DriBak

    DriBak GUNS UP Millennium Member

    Jul 4, 1999
    West Texas
    AMEN brother
  20. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    N. Dallas
    Combat is definitely a young man's sport.