The “Deploy-Or-Out” Policy
There has been a recent push throughout all military branches to decrease the number of “non-deployable” troops. In fact the Army Chief of Staff recently stated that he wants to see 100% of military personnel ready to deploy by 2023. As part of this push, the Pentagon rolled out the “deploy-or-out” policy, effective 1 October 2018. Under this policy any military member who is on a profile which renders them “non-deployable” for more than 12 months “does not belong in the U.S. Military.”
What this means for military members and their families is that there will be a significant increase in the number of administrative separations. Military members who have served their country honorably will be facing separation as a result of illnesses and injuries they suffered while on Active Duty.
My comments on this policy are made in my personal capacity and should not be construed as anything other than personal opinion. I understand, as a veteran, we need fit and ready to fight troops. As a former active duty officer and a member of the reserves, I pride myself on achieving a maximum possible score on the Air Force fitness test every year. I have achieved that perfect score for more than six straight years. Even with my current fitness levels and lack of physical limitations for deployment purposes, there have been times in my career where I suffered two different injuries related to training events in the same year. Taken together the time that I was on a profile over a two-year period would have added up to about 12 months. While I would not have met the criteria for the “deploy-or-out” policy, I may have come very close.
As with any one size fits all policy that the military adopts, this policy will result in unintended consequences and hurt military members and their families as a result of administration separations. There will be those who will lose the opportunity to earn a military retirement even though they have invested fifteen plus years to serving the military, have been deployed multiple times, and moved their families all over the world. Military members invest time, energy, and the best healthy years of their life to military service. Any policy that results in mass discharges for entire categories of troops will have a tremendous negative impact on military families and will hurt morale. I sincerely hope that commanders at all levels will be given the discretion to do the right thing and consider each case on an individual basis.
If you or someone you know is facing administrative separation from the military under this policy or for any reason, it is critical that you understand your options and have someone on your side to help your fight for your career. The experienced attorneys at Crisp and Associates have over 30 years of combined experience representing military members and advising Commanders at all levels of command. If you are facing adverse action, Non-Judicial Punishment, administrative separation, or court-martial call Crisp and Associates, LLC for a free consultation.