Army to lift stop movement
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army is preparing to announce a phased lift of the “stop-movement” order that now affects all active-duty soldiers deployed to Iraq, an Army official said Tuesday.
Details of the stop-movement lift won’t be available for “another couple of days,” possibly Thursday, said the official, who asked not to be named.
But the order will affect soldiers whose plans to move stations or attend a service school were frozen back in January, when Army officials said that units in the Pentagon’s secret war plans for Iraq were now under a stop-movement order.
The order will give details about the dates soldiers can now expect to move, if their move was delayed, and what will happen in terms of schools that they were or are scheduled to attend, but whose start date has either come or gone, or looks as if it might begin while the soldier is still deployed.
Meanwhile, there are no immediate changes pending to the Army’s stop-loss policy, which affects the same group of people and was announced Feb. 20, the official said.
Stop-loss restrictions prevent servicemembers from retiring or leaving the service at their scheduled time, while stop movements mostly prevent permanent change-of-station moves.
“There’s no indication when [stop loss] will change,” although “the Army wants to lift it as soon as it practically can do so,” the official said.
There are about 225,000 Army troops now deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, including units from the V Corps, 3rd Infantry Division, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and the 4th Infantry Division.
The Air Force has a stop loss in effect that affects 56 enlisted career fields and 43 officer fields — about 21,000 people. Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens said Tuesday that there are no current changes to the policy, “but I would anticipate we’ll hear something in a couple of weeks.”
The Marine Corps, which enacted a Corpswide stop loss Jan. 7, has no changes to that policy immediately pending, spokeswoman Capt. Gabrielle Chapin said Tuesday.
The Navy, which has a stop-loss policy that affects only hospital corpsmen, also has no changes, according to spokesman Cdr. John Kirby.
Sandra Jontz at the Pentagon contributed to this report.