By Mr. Thomas Breslin, who served in Iraq as a fire support officer in the 1st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division from 2006-2007. He separated from the military in June of 2007 and is currently the Chief of Response Doctrine for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
I was sent an email by a friend early in the year that the Army was going to retroactively pay me for the approximately one year I was “stop-lossed” while I was deployed to Iraq. My initial reaction was one born of experience: “This is not going to be easy, I’m never going to see this money.”
The stop loss pay website isn’t the fanciest out there, but it no harder to deal with than filling out any other piece of military paperwork. I uploaded my DD214, which reflected my time in service, my original contract showing projected date for release from active duty and my orders to Iraq with the stop-loss language in it.
The website stated that I would need a memo stating my retirement was denied, I simply skipped it and provided the information I thought would be needed to prove I was stop lossed and crossed my fingers.
In the meantime I was sent a link to a Facebook page set up to handle stop-loss pay.
I was impressed — it seemed that someone was following up on folks’ issues and giving them helpful info. Reading through the page the stop loss folks were more than upfront about the issues they were dealing with and the best way to get your claim processed.
Two months later I received an email that my claim had been found to be valid and shortly after, my stop loss funds appeared in my account. Grand total, it took about 30 minutes of my time to submit my info. Beside the expected wait the process was easy.
If you do have issues, post them on the Facebook page and you should have an answer back, or call their helpline.
On a related note, we have scheduled a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable for Wednesday, July 28, at 12:00 p.m. EDT with Lernes J. Hebert, Acting Director, Officer & Enlisted Personnel Management for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness. He will be joined by U.S. Army Maj. Roy Whitley, who is the Army’s Project Manager for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. Mr. Hebert will be providing an update on Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay.
Listen to the interview.
Read a related article on Defense.gov: “Time Running Out for Troops, Veterans to Claim ‘Stop Loss’ Pay“