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BAMBERG, Germany — Soldiers who chose not to re-enlist or extend when their units are getting ready to deploy downrange will be getting out of the Army a little earlier than they planned, according to Army guidance released this week.

Under the Enlisted Involuntary Early Separation Program, soldiers who have fewer than 180 days left on their enlistment will be given a choice when their units deploy: They will be offered incentives to complete the deployment or be involuntarily separated up to 90 days prior to the end of their enlistment, according to an Army message.

The message does not say what incentives will be offered to the soldiers. U.S. Army Europe personnel experts were TDY and unavailable for comment.

The message also confirms that the Army will end its stop-loss program to all active-duty units who are deploying downrange beginning Jan. 1.

The new policy applies only to active-duty soldiers who have more than three years but less than 71 months of total service.

Other than their regular pay and allowances, soldiers who are subject to the involuntary discharge will not lose any rights or benefits they would have received if allowed to complete their tours of duty, the message states. Furthermore, unearned portions of enlistment or re-enlistment bonuses will not be recouped.

Soldiers shouldn’t worry about being sent packing too quickly. Commanders must give soldiers a minimum of 90 days to complete all the necessary separation requirements, the message states.

On the soldier’s discharge papers, the reason for separation will be listed as a “reduction in force.”


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