Is the One Year Combat Deployment Right for the Army?
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The United States Armed Forces currently operate with varied combat tour lengths. The U.S. Army is generally on a one year deployment cycle. The other services have shorter combat tour lengths. The U.S. Navy, Marines, and Air Force operate on a four to seven month deployment cycle and have for many years. With some exceptions, the U.S. Army has used the one year deployment cycle for most of its combat operations. The House of Representatives has recently passed a measure written by Congressman Tanner Tennessee, requiring the Army to consider shortening the length of deployments. Senior Army leaders have expressed the desire to shorten deployments, stating that a six or nine month deployment would be preferable. This paper evaluates three strategic policy courses of action i.e., nine month, six month or four month combat tours for the Army, for its deployment length and the effects on Soldiers and their families. It will address the core question of what are the effects of the varied combat tour length and recommends a policy change to six month combat deployments.
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