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Owens asks McHugh for clarity on Army leave

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Rep. William L. Owens has penned a letter asking his predecessor, Army Secretary John M. McHugh, for some clarity on the Army’s leave policy.

In a June 28 letter, Mr. Owens told Mr. McHugh, who used to represent the north country in the House of Representatives, that members of the New York Army National Guard had contacted him to complain about being “misguided as to the possibility of leave during the unit’s recent deployment to Kuwait.”

The unit, the 108th Infantry Brigade of the 27th Brigade Combat Team, is based on Geneseo, and draws its soldiers from around the state.

Soldiers originally were told they wouldn’t have leave on their nine-month deployment to Kuwait; they were told after they arrived in Kuwait that they would have leave, and then told that they wouldn’t have leave, then were told they would have leave again and finally, right before Father’s Day, they were told they would not have leave to visit their families.

The Army recently changed to a nine-month “boots on the ground” deployment schedule, which may have caused the snafu.

“I hope you will consider investigating the circumstances detailed in this letter and making any adjustments you can to accommodate the ARNG soldiers referenced above that may have been poorly informed as part of this process,” Mr. Owens wrote.

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