US Military Accused of Not Discharging Troops

US Military Accused of Not Discharging Troops

( – The US Army is currently experiencing a recruitment problem. Officials estimate the service branch will suffer a shortfall of about 20,000 recruits in 2023 out of its projected goal of 485,000. A new report revealed a group of soldiers recently alleged that Army officials aren’t discharging troops when their terms of enlistment expire to make up the difference.

On April 24, the Daily Caller published an exposé discussing recent claims by aviation officers that the Army was extending troops’ discharge deadlines in violation of the service’s published guidelines. The news organization confirmed the servicemembers sent a letter signed by 61 aviation officers to at least 11 members of Congress.

The letter alleged the Army’s Human Resources Command (HRC) and other officials misled officer recruits entering active duty through the Reserve Officers Training Corp and the US Military Academy at West Point regarding the “exact length of [their] service contract.”

The officers said they operated under the belief their service commitment “generally” lasted from “7.5 to 8 years” from the date they received their commission. They based the assumption on published guidelines provided by aviation branch officials and HRC career counselors. However, beginning in the fall of 2022, Army officials began denying Aviation Officers’ Release from Active Duty (REFRAD).

Instead of receiving a discharge under the terms of their service contract, HRC officials advised the officers they were required to serve additional time on active duty — as long as three years. Additionally, the extension included the possibility of “permanent changes of [duty] station” and overseas “deployments.”

The officers asked their congressional representatives to investigate the HRC’s “significant mismanagement” of the enforcement of Active Duty Service Obligations (ADSOs).

Army officials may be extending the aviators’ ADSO under its longstanding “stop-loss” program. The practice dates back to 1984, according to a recent article published by However, delaying service members’ REFRADs usually requires congressional approval or a presidential directive, and it remains unclear if President Joe Biden authorized the extensions.

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