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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.
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
The Air Force is investigating whether an airman smoked weed at a missile alert facility for nuclear Minuteman ICBMs
The Air Force is investigating reports that an airman consumed marijuana while assigned to one of the highly-sensitive missile alert facility (MAF) responsible for overseeing 400 nuclear GM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
US troops withdrawing to Iraq from Syria can't redeploy there and have to leave in 4 weeks, Baghdad says
The 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will be allowed to stay in Iraq for at most four weeks, Iraq's defense minister said Wednesday, in an embarrassing rebuff to President Donald Trump's plans for withdrawing from Syria.
Najah al-Shammari's comments to the Associated Press came shortly after his meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who went to Baghdad to negotiate the redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq after they withdrew from Syria.