Pentagon officials have granted requests from combat commanders to extend by two weeks the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas deadline in light of the fast-paced operational tempos and extended troop deployments, a CFC official said.

The Defense Department extended the deadline from Dec. 3 until Dec. 15, if needed, said Greg Sassman, director of CFC-Overseas Europe.

“DOD reacted to overseas requests from Central Command and Pacific Command, saying they needed more time, and based on those two requests, gave the option to all overseas commands to extend if needed.”

European Command, however, declined to take the Pentagon up on its extension offer, and kept the deadline at Dec. 3, Sassman said.

“That doesn’t mean we’re not accepting donations” from units who collected funds up until the deadline and are “just late in turning their stuff in for whatever reason,” he said.

“It just means there is to be no future active solicitations and events for CFC,” Sassman said.

As of Friday, EUCOM had raised more than $6.5 million dollars, exceeding last year’s total of nearly $6.4 million, he said.

“We think it had a lot to do with the leadership, especially Army leadership, which really got behind and the program this year and supported it,” he added.

Troops operating in the Central, Southern and Pacific commands’ areas of responsibility have that extra time to both turn in their pledge cards and to actively solicit and host events in order to get donations for the federally-sponsored fund-raising campaign for charitable organizations, Sassman said.

CENTCOM, which includes the current conflict areas of Iraq and Afghanistan, so far has collected $2.7 million, also exceeding last year’s total of $2.6 million, he said. SOUTHCOM’s $62,591 total makes it the sole combatant command to lag behind last year’s sum of little more than $85,000, Sassman said.

Because of time zone differences, the PACOM total was not available by deadline.

CFC is open to all U.S. government personnel, military or civilian, and DOD contractors and foreign nationals employed by the U.S. government.

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