Things to Consider When Choosing to Join the Army


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Army Soldiers deploy more than any other branch, with the possible exception of the Navy (although most Navy deployments are on ships at sea). The standard Army deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan is 12 months "boots on the ground." This was changed from 15 months "boots on the ground" in 2008. How often you deploy depends on your Army job. For example, a combat job, such as infantry, or armor, would deploy more often than an administrative job, such as finance clerk, or legal specialist (keep in mind that administrative jobs do deploy, just not quite as often as combat or combat support jobs).

The current Army average deployment rate is 12 months deployed, followed by 12 months at home station assignment. The Army is working to change the average to 12 months deployed, followed by 18 months at home, and ultimately wants to have a rate of 12 months deployed, followed by 24 months at home. The Army is currently the only branch actively using the "Stop-Loss" program, which means they keep Soldiers beyond their normal separation date if they have been scheduled for a deployment. On average, about 12,000 Soldiers each month are affected by Stop-Loss.

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