Colorado

Mar 5, 2010 8:24 AM by Matt Stafford

Army Chief of Staff says time at home should increase for soldiers

Soldiers set to deploy are usually seen off by family and friends, but these men and women got a special visit from the Army's Chief of Staff, General George W. Casey, Jr.

"We talked through their training and preparation, and I'm very pleased with what I saw," Gen. Casey said.

Things may have looked familiar to Gen. Casey; he was stationed at Fort Carson for about 12 years.

"I originally thought I was going to retire here, until I had grandchildren on the East Coast, then I was told differently," explains Casey.

The General says he still visits, but this trip was more about business, and a job that looks to be continuing on.

At Fort Carson, many soldiers will be heading overseas in 2010. For many of the 3rd brigade combat soldiers who are getting ready to deploy, this will be their 2nd, 3rd and even 4th deployment. Many of them got home 13 months ago. However, the next time they return home, they may get to stay longer.

"There's a few of these brigades here now, and they'll have 18 months before they go back, and it's a huge difference from having 12 months at home," Gen. Casey says.

That trend may continue because of the tough job these men and women have.

By 2011, the Army's goal for active duty soldiers is one year serving and two years at home. For reserve guard, they would like those soldiers to serve one year and then be home for four years.

"The human body wasn't made to deal with the brutality of combat for sustained periods. It just wasn't," Gen. Casey explains.

So with the road ahead, precautions are being taken.

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