If you haven't been deployed yet......


10-Year Member
Jul 9, 2006
If you haven’t deployed yet, stand by for orders

Search for soldiers without a combat tour could result in break for multiple deployers
By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Feb 25, 2008 6:04:38 EST

Officers at Human Resources Command are drilling deep into branch personnel data, mining for soldiers who have yet to pull a combat tour so that those eligible can be served with a set of deployment orders.
Their target population comes from a pool of about 37,000 active-duty officers and enlisted soldiers, or 7.2 percent of the component, who are available to do a rotation in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The HRC effort to identify soldiers for first-time deployments evolved last year as the relentless demand for troops to rotate into Iraq and Afghanistan required many soldiers to serve repeat combat tours.
After more than six years of fighting in Afghanistan, and nearing the five-year mark in Iraq, the Army is exhausted. Soldiers are weary, family members are fed up, gear is worn out and readiness levels are suffering.
HRC officials are seeking nondeployers not just to get them into the fight, but also to clear some institutional billets to assign to combat vets so they can get out of the rotation grind for a couple of years.
“If we have a soldier with multiple deployments, we would want to put that soldier into an institutional assignment in order to give the soldier time away from another deployment,” said Col. Louis Henkel, deputy director of the Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate at HRC.
The officers who manage enlisted assignments at HRC are using a software program that can sift through reams of data to zero in on potential first-time deployers.
They can pinpoint individuals by specialty and rank who have yet to deploy. In some cases, their tracking is so specific that they know, for example, the reasons why three sergeants first class in a particular branch won’t be deploying, out of 16 E-7s in that branch who haven’t deployed.
The officer corps is managed with a similar computer program, but that is conducted mostly off-line; at 20 percent of the active-duty population, the officer corps is easier to manage, Henkel noted.
An estimated 33.4 percent of soldiers in the active component have never deployed but are in units with deployment orders, or are not deployable because they are at basic training, graduate school or other Army training; have medical or legal issues that keep them out of rotation; are serving as instructors, recruiters or drill sergeants; or are in transit or otherwise on hold.
Soldiers charged with combing through the rolls at HRC indicated that many troops yet to deploy have been ready and willing to go, and many have volunteered but haven’t had the opportunity.
“We’re trying to get soldiers on assignment about six months out, then it could be 12 to 18 months before they actually deploy,” said Lt. Col. Ricky Nussio, who manages 21,000 enlisted armor soldiers.
Finding the deployable

To find deployable soldiers, officials are looking for soldiers not in school, in basic or advanced training, disabled physically, indisposed legally, or working in mandatory time-on-station jobs such as drill sergeant or recruiter.
The software program uses a Web application to reach into the HRC database to display critical details on every enlisted soldier’s status and deployment history.
“We can discern soldiers with no deployment, multiple deployments,” Henkel said. “We can sort it in a variety of ways to include the skill or military occupational specialty level or grade level.”
Nussio demonstrated for Army Times the software program that he and the other enlisted branch managers use and showed how much detail he has at his fingertips.
Of about 21,000 enlisted soldiers in the armor branch, about 14,300 have deployed to the combat zone, and 3,200 are in units pending deployment.
Of the thousands of armor soldiers who haven’t deployed, there are 440 that Nussio can look at for possible transfer to an operational unit for eventual deployment.
Using the armor branch’s population of military occupational specialty 19D, cavalry scout, to demonstrate how much detail he can see, Nussio displayed a screen that shows there are roughly 11,000 cav scouts, of which 565 are in basic training, 8,158 are deployed and 2,056 have a pending deployment. Only 179 have no deployment history.
Going deeper into the database, Nussio displayed his population of sergeants first class. Out of those, only 16 have no deployment history, and three of those had been on station more than 42 months, a target that would seem ripe for deployment. But two are retiring and one is an Olympic athlete at the Army Marksmanship Unit and a successful recruiting spokesman for the Army, he said.
Nussio showed how he is also able to review the other 13 sergeants first class and explained how he can fish out information on every single soldier’s time on station from those who have fewer than 12 months, from 12 to 24 months, 25 to 36 months and more than 42 months.
Deployment “could be a timing issue for a lot of these soldiers,” Nussio said. “We have a good working knowledge of our populations and many of my soldiers are serving in brigade combat teams whose rotations are known.”
Playing the percentages

As the war in Iraq slides into the start of its sixth year, about 130,000 soldiers are on duty there. About 45,000 soldiers are on duty in Afghanistan and Kuwait, and soldiers will continue to play a role in persistent global conflict for decades to come, Army leaders say.
About 60 percent of the Army has been to the war zone at least once in one of these locations. Many of those who have deployed have served three or four tours — some even more, although not necessarily full 12- or 15-month rotations.
About 80 percent of the active component has either deployed, is preparing to deploy, is in initial military training or is not available to deploy, according to numbers from the office of the deputy chief of staff for operations. But in air defense artillery, for example, 59.5 percent of enlisted soldiers fall into these categories, along with about 75 percent of military police, 85 percent of mechanics and 88 percent of armor soldiers.
Of the remaining nondeployed soldiers, officials know how many in each career field have the potential to deploy. Among enlisted mechanics, for example, 11 percent of them who have not deployed are assigned to operational units, where the potential exists to deploy. Some of them will soon be packing their bags for the war zone for the first time.
Health services has high demand for specialists on the home front, but even so, medics in MOS 68W, health care specialist, have deployed at a rate of more than 75 percent, compared with health services overall, which has deployed at a rate of 60 percent, the lowest deployment rate in the active Army.
Those medics also need a break from the war zone to keep current their emergency medical technician certifications and other advanced schooling.
The rate of deployments is “really based on timing, on the lifecycle of a unit or on an individual soldier’s career,” said Lt. Col. Mark Bertolini, who manages the careers of about 2,700 armor branch officers, 90 percent of whom have deployed at least once.
“We not only take into account Army readiness and soldiers’ requests and needs, we take into account the family’s needs and other things” that may be involved with tapping an as yet undeployed soldier for deployment, said Lt. Col. Jackie Chando, the enlisted branch manager for 35,000 health services soldiers in 16 MOSs with 16 additional skill identifiers.
Not for everyone

Many of the soldiers who haven’t deployed yet work in places such as the Pentagon, Installation Management Command, HRC and other units in the Military District of Washington.
Many others are in positions that sustain the institutional Army, the largest being Training and Doctrine Command, which manages 33 Army schools and centers at 17 installations.
The Army adds about 80,000 new soldiers each year as a similar number leave.
Because assignments are made according to the needs of the Army and because of the shifting level of activity in the war zones, the service will never deploy every eligible soldier on a combat tour.
Giving soldiers the chance to earn a combat patch is a part of what defines Army readiness, Henkel said, but the absence of a combat patch does not necessarily tell a soldier’s full story.
“At [Guantanamo Bay] they don’t get a combat patch,” said Lt. Col. LaTonya Lynn, who manages the assignments of about 17,000 enlisted military police, of which about 64 percent have deployed to the war zone at least once.
Deployment to Guantanamo is a one-year assignment away from family, she noted, and others in the 31 series MOS are needed in the U.S. for assignment at the Army’s disciplinary barracks, which is a Table of Distribution and Allowances unit.
As a result, she said, “they rotate all around.”
The same is true for 7,500 soldiers in the air defense artillery field, whose jobs take them to South Korea, Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Lewis, Wash., Japan and other locations in the Central Command area of operations.
“When the war began, 90 percent of the Patriot force was deployed. There has not been an air and missile defense threat development in Iraq or Afghanistan, so the need is not there,” said Maj. Thomas Cooke, who manages the ADA soldiers.
“They’re rotating in and out, but those Patriot forces are not being called for in theater,” he said. Many also work on the military transition teams.
More than 80 percent of ADA captains have deployed to the war zone, according to the ADA officer branch manager, Lt. Col. Charles McMurtry.
As soldiers return from deployments, some of them are asking for a break.
With the return of the 1st Cavalry Division, for example, Nussio said he is getting requests from soldiers who want to do recruiter or drill sergeant duty.
“Recruiters get unparalleled access to the U.S. They can go anywhere to do recruiting,” he said, noting that he still has soldiers who don’t want to do those jobs.
“They say they want to stay in a BCT.”
one is an Olympic athlete at the Army Marksmanship Unit and a successful recruiting spokesman for the Army, he said.

I am trying not to let this rub me the wrong way, but, somehow, it does.
Why? He's serving his country...not like he tried to get out of his committment to play football or something....
All the services have Olympic athletes who are on permanent change of station orders to the US Olympic Center in Colorado Springs.
Yes, I know. However, our all volunteer force has been totally strapped for the last 4 years or so. Our non-Iraqi miltary budget is cut to the bare bones and then some. There are soldiers deploying/deployed for their third tours. The reserves are decimated. I am sure these olympians count against the end strength of each service and the military is paying for both the training camp and salaries. Perhaps it is time for our level of sacrifice to step up a notch or two.
Yes, I know. However, our all volunteer force has been totally strapped for the last 4 years or so. Our non-Iraqi miltary budget is cut to the bare bones and then some. There are soldiers deploying/deployed for their third tours. The reserves are decimated. I am sure these olympians count against the end strength of each service and the military is paying for both the training camp and salaries. Perhaps it is time for our level of sacrifice to step up a notch or two.

I agree wholeheartedly with you on this.
Do any of you know how well having military members participate in the Olympics translates into better recruiting? Is there even any way to know that a particular Olympian is a service man or woman, besides what the TV announcers say? I guess I don't see the value here, not with so many people serving multiple tours....