Tag Archives: tour duty

US General Believes 15 Month Tour Is Traumatic

The commanding general of Ft. Steward told reporters his troops had done their job in Iraq and returning home after spending 15 agonizing months fighting was a welcome relief for men who had given more than required. He admitted adding three months to a 12 month tour of duty was devastating to morale. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the private or the general, 15 months is a long time.” He pointed out adding the addtional three months meant that many experienced a situation in which they missed out on the same family event twice such as a birthday. General Rick Lynch boasted his division had reduced attacks from an average of 25 a day down to two. “We did our job over there against the dirtbags. We killed or captured aout 6,000.”

The general made note when he referred to the “dirtbags” he meant insurgents, not the Iraqi people. Of course, the maority of the so-called “dirtbags” are those who were born and raised in Iraq.

One of the sad aspects of the Bush war in Iraq is the president is able to attend all family events while those he sent on the mad expedition continually have missed family affairs, not twice, but in some cases, four or five times.

What Happens If Withdrawal From Iraq Halts?

As the situation in Iraq becomes quieter, American military leaders are pondering their options regarding the future. Should troops be withdrawn who were sent during the surge? As their term of deployment winds down to an end, where will replacements come from? If present levels of troops are maintained in Iraq it will most probably require activating additional National Guard units and Reserve forces. There is considerable discussion as to whether a pause should be instituted, decisions which involve– tour length, th number of troops required, and the mix of National Guard, active duty and reservists who will constitute the force in the field.

Army units still serve 15 month tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is there a point at which maintaining existing forces in the Middle East creates serious problems about the morale both of those serving and family members at home?