ARLINGTON, Va. — Start packing your bags, Marine: If you had orders to leave the Corps but couldn’t because of stop loss, you again have permission to move out.

Monday the service lifted its four-month-long stop loss, which prevented Marines in all military occupational specialties from separating or retiring as planned because of combat operations.

“The Marine Corps implemented stop loss and stop move to increase our combat effectiveness for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now that Marine Corps involvement in Operation Iraqi Freedom is beginning to decline, there is no longer a need to maintain a stop-loss and stop-move policy,” said Lt. Col. Brian Byrne, enlisted plans section head for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

As of Thursday, 3,389 active-duty Marines were being kept past departure dates, and of the 5,603 Reserve Marines told to stay on, 443 were actually mobilized, Corps spokeswoman Capt. Gabrielle Chapin said.

Though the enactment is lifted, the impact will have a trickle-down effect, and by Sept. 30, about 6,000 Marines could have been affected, Byrne said.

With the lifting of stop movement, Marines also will be able to start work on their permanent change of station orders. Some jobs, however, might require replacements to arrive before Marines can move on, Byrne said. Many orders will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Details of the phaseout are listed in Marine Administration message 228-03, and certain rules might apply to a few Marines here and there, but in general, the lifting of the policy affects three groups of Marines:

• Those serving in Iraq, Kuwait and with Marine Central Command who planned to separate on or before Sept. 30 must return to their permanent stateside duty station no later than June 15. Marines there who plan to leave after Sept. 30 must return no later than 90 days before their separation date.

• Marines assigned to a Unit Deployment Program, such as some of those in Okinawa, and those currently deployed with the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units, will be able to separate no later than 90 days after returning to their permanent stateside base. Marines who are stationed outside of the United States who are past their planned date or will be within 90 days will be able to separate no later than Sept. 15.

• Marines already stateside can begin out-processing between now and 90 days, with plans to have their separation completed no later than Aug. 12.

In spite of plans to return Marines with near-term departure dates from the Middle East by June 15, there are no guarantees, Byrne said.

“Keep in mind, they are in a hostile environment and the needs of the operational mission still need to be accomplished.”

And others, including the MEUs, don’t have established return dates.

Reservists who had been activated and also affected by stop loss will get new “reserve end of current contracts,” which means they can leave within 90 days of their deactivation date.

However, none of those Marines have yet received a deactivation date.

“No units that had been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom have been deactivated yet,” said Maj. Carolyn Dysart, spokeswoman for Marine Forces Reserves.

“The key thing for them now is when are they going to be deactivated, because based on that deactivation date, they get to separate within 90 days,” said Maj. Chris Mace, Reserve policy specialist for the Reserve Affairs Division.

Reservists facing mandatory retirement as of June 1 or later must submit the proper paperwork requesting a retirement date no later than 90 days from their deactivation. Those Marines who fail to do so will be discharged and have to petition the board for a correction to their records.

The end of stop loss does not release Marines with a contractual obligation for drill participation based on initial enlistment contracts.

MARADMIN 228-03 is available at:

Source: Army soon will lift stop loss for active duty

The Army is planning to lift stop loss for active-duty soldiers sometime within the next two weeks, an Army official who asked not to be named told Stripes on Monday.

“We’re expecting to lift stop loss for the active component some time this month,” the official said.

As for the Army Reserves, “We’ll be adding [the Reserve] component separately, because it’s more complicated” to lift Reserve stop losses, the official said. The official did not have a time frame for the lift on the Reserve stop loss to take effect.

The Army is also preparing to issue details this week concerning a phased lift of the “stop movement” order that now affects all active-duty soldiers deployed to Iraq, according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Stan Heath.

The phased lift will affect soldiers whose plans to move stations or attend a service school were frozen in January, when Army officials said that units identified in secret war plans for Iraq were under stop-movement orders.

Amy officials said last week that the phased lift was imminent.

Stop-loss restrictions prevent servicemembers from retiring or leaving the service at their scheduled time, while stop movements mostly prevents permanent changes of station moves.

Army stop loss currently affects both units deployed to Iraq and specific military occupational specialties.

The Air Force has no changes to announce regarding its stop-loss program, which is affecting about 21,000 people, Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens said Monday.

The Navy’s targeted stop loss affects hospital corpsmen with Navy enlisted classification code of 8404 (field medical service technician) in pay grades E-1 through E-6 also is still in effect. The measure affects between 300 and 500 corpsmen who had plans to leave the Navy between now and December, said spokesman Cmdr. John Kirby.

— Lisa Burgess

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