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#R-03-010 February 20, 2003


In coordination with the Department of Defense, the Army Leadership has formulated an Active Component (AC) unit stop loss program for certain units deployed or alerted for deployment in support of operations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility (CENTCOM AOR). On February 14, 2003, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) (ASA (M&RA)) Reginald J. Brown approved the new AC unit stop loss policy. This new policy does not affect Ready Reserve soldiers.

This new policy supports the stability, strengthens unit cohesiveness and teamwork of deploying AC forces, and will bolster the trust and confidence of our soldiers as they prepare to deploy. Unit stop loss for identified AC forces deploying to CENTCOM AOR will be implemented as follows:

  • Soldiers will be subject to stop loss when their unit is alerted for deployment by their higher headquarters.
  • Soldiers in certain AC units already deployed to CENTCOM AOR will be included under this policy.
  • The current 12-month, skill-based and Reserve Component (RC) unit stop loss policies remain in effect and unchanged.
  • AC soldiers presently affected by the Army's 12-month, skill-based stop loss policy are not subject to AC unit stop loss for forces deploying to the CENTCOM AOR. These soldiers, if eligible per Army Regulation 601-280, will have the opportunity to continue serving upon completion of their 12-month obligation under stop loss.
  • From the date of approval, AC soldiers on terminal leave, or who have shipped household goods in preparation for transition from service, or are within 14 days of separation date will not be subject to AC unit stop loss for units listed on the deployment list.
  • Commander, U.S. Army Personnel Command remains the stop loss exception to policy authority for Active Army soldiers with compassionate and/or compelling reasons.

The total number of soldiers affected by this policy cannot be provided at this time. When stop loss is lifted, personnel strength managers will regulate separation dates to ensure no adverse impact on Army-wide readiness.

Mr. Brown has approved four increments of stop loss in support of Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom, dated November 30, 2001; December 27, 2001; February 8, 2002; and June 4, 2002.

Additionally, there have been three stop loss policy changes including: (1) on August 31, 2002, Mr. Brown changed the overall stop loss program from an open-ended policy to one of only 12 months duration by approving the 12-month Soldier Stop Loss Policy; (2) on November 4, 2002, Mr. Brown approved a second lift of stop loss for selected skills from stop loss 1 through 4; (3) on November 7, 2002, Mr. Brown approved the Army RC unit stop loss for all RC units alerted or mobilized in support of Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom, and the global war on terrorism.

Prior to Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Army last used stop loss during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990 when President George H. Bush delegated stop loss authority to the Secretary of Defense.

Stop loss does not affect most involuntary separations or retirements, nor does it generally limit laws, regulations, or policies that lead to involuntary separations, retirements, or releases from active duty.

The Army continues to reevaluate stop loss on a monthly basis and to use it as a tool to maintain unit readiness.


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