How can anyone serve back to back tours in combat???


New Member
Hello all,
This question is not about ones sanity of wanting to serve back to back tours (like me!!) but how is that done now a days. I did try to or only would re enlist if I could stay in iraq to serve with another unit foe another year etc..... It Wasn't possible. my guess I have to somehow PCS to a unit deploying, turn in my gear to CIF just to get it reissued again from the new unit,??? I signed on for 2 years orginally 11b august 2002. GOt deployed with my unit late feb to Kuwaitt then into iraq March 28 (Hey sandstroms grounded the birds). unit left Jan 15 2004 but I volunteered to stay until the the vehicles left Feb 4 2004. At the Time offered $5000 to re enlist for 2 years (which included my time left on my orginal contract). I turned it down because I would stay in the unit which ended up being non deployable for 1 year and 9 months when we got back. I got out aug 2004 and still can't figure it out? I told local recruiters, retention reserve NCOs etc..... the same with no answers. So my question is how did they do it in vietnam? Back to back to back tours? And why not now with a stretched out all vollunteer army?
Probably because of the quality of the drafties back then and the need for experience in the field to help train the drafties and new soldiers coming into country. Today our soldiers are better trained and equipt to rotate the way they do now. Plus... there are guys over here that are able to extend. We just sent a guy home who was over here for 18 months. That and I knew a guy who went home in June who was here since he crossed the birm.
TI, do they do any sort of psych eval on these guys who want to stay on? Even an informal one by the soldiers CO or Plt Sgt?
No I don't believe they do. There was an Air Force guy here who's original assignment was for 6 months. He extended for another 6 months because he has a kick ass job. When he told the AF he wanted to extend they wanted to get him an eval, but he blew them off.
It was very simple in the day.

All you had to do was to go to personnel, sign one form and the extention process was started. Of course, it helped if you were in a critical mos. It was sometimes difficult to get a specific skilled mos replacement when the training pipeline was sometimes two or two 1/2 years long.

I would assume that one of the reasons it is harder to get back-to-back tours today is the fact that MOST of the troops involved in combat are reservist (citizen weekend warriors). That wasn't the case during Vietnam.
What Chief says applies today as far as the critical MOS and such goes. Easy to extend with a critical MOS. There is a reason you are supposed to have 6 month stand down after deployment. I am not sure of the perticulars but it is also true that people are bette equipped and trained so the critical MOSs are fewer and fewer as time goes on.
So the answer is no. Damn. 11b's are a dime a dozen. I guess during vietnam we were still had the threat of the soviet union, civil unrest, and the draft tied up Guard, Reserve, and even active units stationed in germany, korea, etc...I only ask because I am thinking of going back in (gotta do a least 3 years which is too long for me at my age). My goal is to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan for the duration. mission Impossible! I did find out a month before I ETS that they were asking volunteers to serve for security for transportation units in IRaq. Not sure of the details. Thanks for all for the knowledge.