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Army Expands Chances For Soldiers To Take 3-Year Breaks From Service
The Army program, launched in 2014, was originally limited to just 20 enlisted soldiers and 20 commissioned officers and warrant officers, but the service has removed that cap. Soldiers are now eligible for the pilot program even if “they haven’t completed their initial active-duty obligation, enlistment period or service obligation for a retention bonus,” notes Army Times.
All participants in the program are temporarily placed on inactive ready reserve status while they “pursue personal or professional growth,” the service says; that’s mil-speak for going to school, starting a family, or hitting the private sector and adding new skills to your toolbox before returning to the military fold.
Participants are required to return to active duty, reserve, or Guard service at the end of their sabbatical, which can last up to 36 months. But for each month off, beneficiaries must serve two months in uniform. Once a soldier returns to duty, they’ll be able to receive special pay and incentives, which are put on hold while they’re in IRR status.
Congress authorized the program in 2009 as an incentive to retain troops. However, many soldiers have shied away due concerns over how a break from active duty will impact their careers, according to Army Times. Just 14 soldiers have actually used the program since the Army launched it in 2014 — three officers and 11 enlisted soldiers.
For those who do take the option, it seems like a pretty sweet deal, if you can swing it: Take a break from the uniform without having to close the door on your military career.
‘We constantly have them on our minds’ — A little-known agency searches all over for the remains of MIA service members
The 80-minute ride each day to the site in Lang Son Province, Vietnam, through mostly unspoiled forestland and fields, reminded Air Force Master Sgt. Aliah Reyes a little of her hometown back in Maine.
The Eliot native recently returned from a 45-day mission to the Southeast Asian country, where she was part of a team conducting a search for a Vietnam War service member who went missing more than 45 years ago and is presumed dead.
Reyes, 38, enlisted in the Air Force out of high school and has spent more than half her life in military service. But she had never been a part of anything like this.
A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle burst into flames on the side of a Polish roadway on Saturday, the Army confirmed on Monday.
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."