Army Preventing Soldiers From Leaving

Thousands of soldiers are being forced to stay in the service through "stop-loss" orders and many of them are very unhappy about it.

....thousands of soldiers [are being] forbidden to leave military service under the Army's "stop-loss" orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions.

"It reflects the fact that the military is too small, which nobody wants to admit," said Charles Moskos of Northwestern University, a leading military sociologist. To the Pentagon, stop-loss orders are a finger in the dike -- a tool to halt the hemorrhage of personnel, and maximize cohesion and experience, for units in the field in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Through a series of stop-loss orders, the Army alone has blocked the possible retirements and departures of more than 40,000 soldiers, about 16,000 of them National Guard and reserve members who were eligible to leave the service this year. Hundreds more in the Air Force, Navy and Marines were briefly blocked from retiring or departing the military at some point this year.

....To many of the soldiers whose retirements and departures are on ice, however, stop-loss is an inconvenience, a hardship and, in some cases, a personal disaster. Some are resigned to fulfilling what they consider their patriotic duty. Others are livid, insisting they have fallen victim to a policy that amounts to an unannounced, unheralded draft.

One soldier said, "I'm furious. I'm aggravated. I feel violated. I feel used." The military's response has not been sympathethic.

"We're all soldiers. We go where were told," said Maj. Steve Stover, an Army spokesman. "Fair has nothing to do with it."

Sounds like involuntary servitude to us. We just hope it's not another sign the draft is coming.

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