U.S. Military Stop Loss Program: Key Questions and Answers
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Stop Loss is a frequently misunderstood DOD force management program that retains servicemembers beyond their contractually agreed-to separation date. Because of the involuntary nature of this extension, some critics have referred to the program as a backdoor draft or involuntary servitude. Stop Loss was initially used in the 1990-91 Gulf War and later in Bosnia and the Kosovo Air Campaign. All of the Services used Stop Loss at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF but only the Army has consistently employed some form of Stop Loss over the past five years. Today, there are over 12,000 soldiers in the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard who remain on active duty beyond their scheduled separation date as a result of Stop Loss. While many observers tend to empathize with those in Stop Loss status, others assert that every servicemember who has enlisted or reenlisted over the past several years has been made aware of the program.
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