Stop-loss/stop-move rumors persist in S. Korea
Stars and Stripes January 11, 2003
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Hold tight: Soldiers in South Korea aren’t subject to stop-loss/stop-move orders yet — but that hasn’t stopped them from speculating.
Rumors such orders might be in the pipeline have been so prevalent that the public affairs office is trying to calm people, said Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, 8th Army public affairs officer. He even recorded a spot for AFN Korea news on Wednesday.
“Nothing has been announced right now,” Boylan said. “Until Department of the Army says anything different … everybody just needs to relax.”
Soldiers are concerned they could be ordered to stay in South Korea beyond their PCS date if war kicks off with Iraq.
It would be déjà vú.
A stop-movement order for soldiers in South Korea was last issued during the 1990-91 Gulf War. The same kind of mobilization has been under way the past few months in preparation for another possible conflict with Iraq.
The concern is based on what soldiers have seen lately in the media, Boylan said.
“People look at that and go, ‘Oh, jeez, that last time we had this we had a stop loss,’ ” he said. “The main thing everybody needs to do is to continue focusing on their mission here. Focus on that and not worry what might or might not happen.”
Any message would come from the Department of the Army, then filter down from the personnel commands to the major level, Boylan said. But no order has been given, he said.
“The main thing,” he advised, “is people should stop listening to rumors.”