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Army Guard Asks States to Validate Eligibility for Post Deployment Mobilization Respite Absence

Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill, National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. 02.22.2010At the request of the Army National Guard, states are determining if thousands of Soldiers are entitled to receive extra money for serving long overseas deployments.

"The Army National Guard is providing the states with individual Soldier information, such as names, ranks and days earned, and asking that the states validate their Soldiers' eligibility for Post Deployment Mobilization Respite Absence compensation," said Lt. Col. Robert Ditchey, a National Guard Bureau spokesman.

Army National Guard Citizen-Soldiers who mobilized between Jan. 19, 2007, and Aug. 18, 2007, and served longer than a year may be eligible to receive this compensation.

About 6,800 Army National Guard Soldiers from every state and territory and the District of Columbia may be affected, NGB officials said. Numbers range from single digits in some states to hundreds in others.

Payments are expected to go out beginning in March through October. The Army National Guard's reimbursement authority under the program expires Oct. 28.

"The Army Guard is coordinating with the states and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to ensure appropriate management controls are in place to validate PDMRA entitlements and assist reimbursement action for unused PDMRA days before our reimbursement authority expires," Ditchey said.

Soldiers who have left the service honorably or retired are included under this authority.

Among Soldiers expected to benefit are members of the 34th Infantry Division, the Minnesota National Guard's Red Bulls.

The 34th ID repeated history when it served the longest tour of any military unit in Iraq. The Red Bulls also served the longest tour of any military unit in World War II, a Minnesota National Guard spokesman said.

The Iraq deployment lasted for 16 months from 2005 to 2007. Defense Department rotational policy called for about 12 months.

The Minnesota National Guard has estimated that, on average, Soldiers who deployed with the Red Bulls are due about 20 days of PDMRA.

The Department of Defense developed PDMRA for servicemembers, who were deployed longer than established dwell ratios. A dwell ratio is a measure of time at home against time deployed. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review calls for the National Guard to have a dwell ratio of about five-to-one.

The PDMRA lets Soldiers earn administrative leave days for deployments lasting longer than policy. As an example, a National Guard Soldier who serves longer than 12 months during the most recent 72 months gets one PDMRA day for each additional month or fraction of a month. The number of PDMRA days awarded increases after 18 months and again after 24 months served.

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