tour of duty

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Petraeus: My Son Served in Afghanistan

Deployment was kept 'very quiet'

(Newser) - In the midst of an emotional exchange today on Capitol Hill, David Petraeus revealed that his son had recently served a combat tour in Afghanistan, "which thankfully we were able to keep very quiet," the AP reports. Republican Rep. Walter Jones had pressed Petraeus to "be honest"... More »

Army Phasing Out Program Holding Soldiers After Service

Gates announces end to forced extensions

(Newser) - The Army plans to stop forcing soldiers to serve again after their enlistment contracts are up, reports the Washington Post. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced plans yesterday to phase out the “stop-loss” program—which keeps soldiers in the Army beyond their service obligation—over the next two years. Some... More »

Pentagon Extends Tours for Marines in Afghanistan

(Newser) - As the situation in Afghanistan worsens, 1,000 Marines deployed to train local security forces will stay there for at least another 30 days, mirroring an identical move last month for another group of Marines elsewhere in the country, Reuters reports. A defense official confirmed the move, which has yet... More »

Repeat Combat Tours Zap Troops' Mental Health

Survey finds steep rise in mental problems among soldiers on third, fourth tours

(Newser) - Cutting the time soldiers have between tours of duty helped the Pentagon boost troop numbers in Iraq—but has taken a heavy toll on soldiers' mental health, Reuters reports. An Army survey found a steep rise in mental health problems among soldiers returning for their third or fourth combat tour,... More »

Uncle Sam Wants ... Anybody

Military lowers standards, hits new low in recruiting high school graduates

(Newser) - The Army is lowering standards to meet recruiting goals, with the percentage of high school-educated recruits dropping to a new low of 70.7% last year, reports the Washington Post. The Army hasn't reached its goal of 90% since 2004. A new study also shows that the number of "... More »

Army Seeks to Shorten Tours

As security improves, military leaders push to cut 15-month tours to 12 by summer

(Newser) - With violence slowing in Iraq, many Army leaders want to drop the 15-month tours of duty imposed on soldiers earlier this year to sustain the surge, the AP reports. “We can’t sustain that,” says Army Chief of Staff George Casey, the former top commander in Iraq who... More »

Soldier Sues Over Fifth Deployment

Reservist takes Army to court over tour he says could cost him home, job

(Newser) - A 26-year-old sergeant is suing the army to prevent his fifth deployment to Iraq, claiming that the Army follows inconsistent policies in mobilizing reserves. The military wants reservist Erik Botta return to Iraq next week, the Miami Herald reports, but Botta is suing to stop the order he says will... More »

Troops May Double in 'Second Surge'

Analysis of Pentagon orders shows 8 more brigades in Iraq by year's end

(Newser) - The number of US combat troops in Iraq is being quietly doubled this year in what the San Francisco Chronicle calls a second surge, the paper concludes from an analysis of Pentagon orders. The combination of new combat brigades and lengthened tours for troops already stationed in Iraq could bring... More »

Troops to Serve Longer in Iraq

Many will spend more time in combat zones than the boys of World War II

(Newser) - Army units in Iraq and Afghanistan will have their tours of duty extended to 15 months, from the standard one year, the military said yesterday. The policy—enacted to alleviate troop shortages—allows soldiers to remain at home for at least one year between assignments.  “Our forces are... More »

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