Starting this fall, the Marine Corps will guarantee nearly all Marines 14 months at home for every seven months they spend in war zones.
The Army hopes to make a similar change by the end of 2011, guaranteeing soldiers two years at home for every year they’re gone.
The lack of time at home between repeated combat tours – what military planners call “dwell time” – has been blamed for exacerbating a range of woes, including divorce and domestic violence among returning troops and a record-high suicide rate in the Army.
Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord commander who recently returned from Iraq, told reporters this month that the Army is making the changes, but it could be a while before the effects are felt.
“There’s a positive, downstream effect that will be felt in the military as we hit the transition in Iraq and reconcile that with the buildup in Afghanistan,” Jacoby said. “I’d say we’re still a couple of years out.”
The eventual scale and duration of the war in Afghanistan and other unforeseen conflicts could change that, he added.
Source: Scott Fontaine for The News Tribune