Some GIs in S. Korea get a better chance at choosing next assignment
April 20, 2003
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A group of South Korea-based U.S. enlisted soldiers just got a better shot at getting the new assignments they want.
Affected are those due to leave South Korea from June through September, and who received orders for their next duty station before April 15, 8th Army officials announced Saturday. If they wish, and they do so by April 30, these soldiers can request a new duty station, said Maj. Cecile Warren, chief of personnel, System Division. However, those who received a duty assignment after April 15 are not eligible to request a change.
8th Army officials also have asked the Army to approve another involuntary extension for some soldiers, said Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, 8th Army spokesman.
If the extension is approved, those affected also would not be eligible to request a new duty station, Warren said. She said she had no immediate assessment Saturday morning of how many soldiers would be eligible for the new program.
The new-assignment announcement is “definitely an incentive” for soldiers, said Lt. Col. Emily Graves, director of Theater Army Personnel Services for 8th Personnel Command. The Army’s personnel command is “very interested in soldiers taking advantage of this. The intention … is to be a positive thing for the soldiers.”
She said the Army has analyzed planned troop transfers to ensure that the needs of the service are met.
Army headquarters made the decision to “alleviate the pains” associated with shifting forces around the world, Boylan said.
Eligible are enlisted soldiers — officers and warrant officers can’t apply — scheduled to leave South Korea from June through September.
To make a request, soldiers must use the personnel command’s Web site at [BOLDFACE]www.perscom.army.mil,[/BOLDFACE] in the Assignment Satisfaction Key section.
Eligible soldiers will receive an e-mail through their Army Knowledge Online accounts, and via the mail, saying that they are eligible.
Putting in a request does not guarantee an assignment change, Boylan said; changes still depend on the Army’s needs. New assignments will be issued by May 30, he said.
“They are trying to accommodate as many soldiers as they can with whatever is open,” he said.
In February, about 2,800 soldiers in Korea were involuntarily extended for 90 days. The 8th Army has asked the Army for another extension. The Army has not yet decided whether to grant the request, Boylan said; it’s still trying to determine how other deployments “may affect movement of soldiers back to their normal cycles. We don’t know yet.”
If a second involuntary extension is granted, those affected will be notified before a public announcement is made, he said.