Soldiers on deployment will have to figure out where to store their personal cars and other belongings and pay for it out of pocket after the Army cracked down on reimbursing unauthorized storage fees.

As of Oct. 1, 2023, Army Sustainment Command stopped funding storage requests for deployed soldiers, according to a memo confirmed by Task & Purpose. The Army will no longer store household goods or privately-owned vehicles for “soldiers deployed for contingency operations,” the memo states. 

“We understand the burden this could potentially place on Soldiers,” Army spokesperson, Sgt. Pablo Saez told Task & Purpose. The Army’s G-1 deputy chief of staff for personnel is currently drafting a policy “that would enable such storage,” Saez said. 

Army Sustainment Command stopped using operational funds to store soldiers’ private vehicles and household goods due to policy and funding constraints, according to Saez.

The Army did not respond to questions from Task & Purpose on how much those fees have cost over the years or why the Army cracked down on the practice.

Reaction on social media was, predictably, negative.

“Not only are they going to go fight and put their life on the line, now for a year or 15 months out of the little paychecks that they have to begin with, they’re going to have to pay to store all of this stuff, to have it maintained, to have it taken care of,” said user letfreedomring79 in a TikTok video. “A lot of people on here might not think it’s a big deal, but  I would challenge you to look up the military paychecks. See how much they don’t make to begin with.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2022, nonfamily households had a median income of $45,440, which is almost twice the salary of the lowest ranking enlisted soldier. 

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The most junior enlisted military members at the E-1 pay grade, which in the Army is a private, make roughly $24,200 while a staff sergeant at E-6 with eight years of experience earns $51,000 according to the new 2024 salary breakdown. In 2022, enlisted soldiers made up 79% of the entire Army’s force.

Officer salaries start at about $45,900 for a 2nd lieutenant and grow to $97,500 for a majorwith eight years experience. Officers account for roughly 17% of the Army.

The Joint Travel Regulations which dictates per diem funding for travel, transportation and relocation, states that soldiers on temporary duty assignments “may” store their goods and vehicles “if authorized/approved.” The ACS memo says that previously published guidance “is not authoritative in nature, and that there is no Army policy” which authorizes household goods and personal vehicle storage for deployed soldiers.

Until a new storage policy is announced, unit commanders can use their motor pools or other secure areas to store vehicles for soldiers on temporary duty for free, Saez said. 
Deployed soldiers have long stored their vehicles on base. A 2010 article from the base newspaper at Fort Cavazos — then known as Fort Hood — offered indoor storage for soldiers’ personal vehicles. The service also included checks for the vehicle’s engines, fluid levels and tire pressures.

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