Phil Carter (link bloggered) writes about a Pentagon plan to rotate 4th ID troops home for charged leave at the one-year point of their Iraq duty. The problem is they will be flown to Baltimore and have to pay their own way to and from their final destination. On the one hand, this sounds awfully cheap, given the amount of money we’re spending on the war effort. And, why Baltimore rather than say, Chicago or somewhere else more central? Still, it has never been military policy to pay for travel on leave. After my tour in Desert Storm–which, admittedly, was only five months–I was allowed to take leave (charged against my annual allotment) and had to pay full fare from Germany to Atlanta a back. And it never occured to me that it should be otherwise.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. IIRC, when we had our two overseas assignments back-to-back (back when I was a wee Air Force brat), we got a free round-trip ticket as far as the first stop on the mainland, but had to pay for the remainder.

    Our other trips back stateside, including bereavement ones, were all out-of-pocket, even though we had to take leave (and, indeed, Dad had to have leave orders for him to be able to leave the United Kingdom).

    My gut reaction: they should ask if they can fly to Barcelona and keep the difference. 😉

  2. Fredrik Nyman says:

    The reason for Baltimore is that it’s the major AMC (Air Mobility Command) hub.

  3. joy says:

    This is a bit differerent though, since the military isn’t going to bring back those guys to where they are normally stationed. That’s the rub.

    It’s one thing if you are stationed in Germany and get leave and have to pay out of pocket to return home to Wisconsin. It’s quite another if you are regularly stationed in Texas, and they’re gonna leave you in Baltimore with no way to get to Texas.

    If I were a family member, I’d be on the higher commanders about this. This isn’t right.

  4. Sherry says:

    Seems, if my memory serves me right, during Vietnam, which seems to be the measurement stick these day, of all things happening in Iraq…

    R&R was to Hawaii — not even to stateside. True, Hawaii economy spiked with folks from the mainland flying over. And I loved that visit!!!!

    Can’t find much to complain with in this one…