8th Army assesses stop-movement order
SEOUL — Officials at the 8th Army are analyzing how a new “stop-movement” order issued by the Department of the Army on Wednesday might affect forces here, a spokesman confirmed Friday.
Stars and Stripes first reported about the Army’s order on January 10.
Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, 8th Army spokesman, said while the directive does not initiate stop movement on any units in South Korea, commanders are gauging how it might impact mission readiness.
“There are provisions that allow us to request involuntary extension” for limited people and targeted jobs, Boylan said.
If soldiers aren’t leaving units affected by the order, they won’t be reporting to others in South Korea.
“There’s a whole bunch of people who we’d get in a normal rotation who may or may not be coming,” Boylan said. “We have inbound rosters. We have to find out how they’ve been affected. We don’t know yet.”
Boylan hopes to have more details soon.
The same holds true for U.S. Army Japan, which oversees Torii Station and Camp Zama, said a USARJ spokesman.
Wednesday’s stop-movement order affects “a limited number of active-duty soldiers … to maintain unit readiness in case called upon to support a possible conflict,” according to an Army news release, which did not identify specific units “because of operational security.”
However, servicemembers already supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle won’t be affected, the news release stated.
Officials stressed that stop movement is not the same as stop loss, in which soldiers are not allowed to retire or leave the service.
According to the release:
• Officers with orders to PCS or go on temporary duty between March 1 and May 31 will be postponed for 90 days. Officers slated to fill central selection list commands will move as scheduled, and those on orders to pre-command courses may defer their attendance. However, those who choose that option will be required to attend a subsequent course while in command, if necessary.
• Enlisted soldiers with assignment orders for Feb. 28 and earlier will proceed to the school or new duty station. Report dates for schooling or PCS moves on March 1 or later will be revoked for soldiers in affected units. Soldiers affected by stop movement who are currently TDY and are scheduled to return may have to return early. Commanders should use discretion when soldiers are scheduled for medical reclassification training or for mandatory reclassification training.
• Units affected by stop movement will be manned at appropriate levels and will continue to receive soldiers from initial entry training, the Officer Basic Course, Officer Candidate and Warrant Officer Candidate schools.
• All exceptions to policy will be submitted to the Personnel Command for approval, officials said.