Refining ways of reintegrating Soldiers post deployment
***image1***U.S. Army Europe leaders and community agencies responsible for the reintegration of Soldiers and civilian employees returning from deployment will soon find updated tools at their disposal.
The key tool in negotiating the reintegration process − the USAREUR reintegration checklist − has been refined to bring it in step with the Army’s recently revised reintegration process and to provide more depth on post-deployment issues such as alcohol abuse, mental health concerns and brain injury awareness, said Sgt. 1st Class Steven Stanfill from the policy branch of the USAREUR personnel directorate.
The refinements were the product of a four-day conference in Bad Kreuznach in January. The conference brought together unit leaders, attorneys, chaplains, educators, amily readiness group members and medical professionals, many of whom have deployed and experienced the reintegration process themselves.
Their goal was to “validate, create and organize the reintegration process for our Soldiers and civilians returning from downrange,” Sergeant Stanfill explained. “We (now) have a more detailed, user-friendly product for commanders to use, and it is user-specific.”
Conference attendees focused on the development of tasks, conditions and standards for a unit or community reintegration program, Sergeant Stanfill said. Although many of the tasks have been updated or modified, the basic reintegration process that spans seven half-days immediately following redeployment has not changed.
“We want to help the units reintegrate their Soldiers as easily as possible,” Sergeant Stanfill said. “But it is also a must to reintegrate with their family and friends.”
Family members are encouraged to attend several briefings provided by the unit’s rear detachment in preparation for their spouses’ return.
USAREUR was the first major Army command to codify its reintegration policies and operations into regulatory guidance, Sergeant Stanfill said. Soon after, other Army commands adopted these procedures and incorporated them into their reintegration programs.
USAREUR will change some of its reintegration procedures and add some new tasks to the process, such as in-depth counseling and medical reviews, now required by the Department of the Army.
“We ripped apart our current checklist to ensure that we are in compliance with the new Department of the Army Deployment Cycle Support Directive,” said Sergeant Stanfill.
Personnel specialists and other service providers can go to USAREUR’s reintegration Web site at www.per.hqusareur.army.mil/reintegration/ to see what tasks they need to perform and how to perform them.
“[The Web site] is what commanders, first sergeants and units are using as a tool to reintegrate their Soldiers,” Sergeant Stanfill said. “They should not be creating their own (reintegration programs).”
“Some units have modified the current program to fit their process for an easier reintegration experience,” he added, “which is fine as long as all the tasks are completed and validated.”
Any Soldier or Department of Defense civilian employee deployed for more than 90 days will go through the same reintegration modules.
The reintegration checklist is divided into several sections for redeploying units, rear detachments and communities. The sections make it easier for service providers to find the part of the reintegration process pertaining to their areas of expertise.
“There is a section for IMCOM, chaplains, legal and other service providers,” Sergeant Stanfill said. “The checklist also includes sections pertaining to reserve component Soldiers and civilian personnel as well.”
The new steps will be added to the checklist when the approval process is complete. The USAREUR reintegration regulation, USAREUR Regulation 600-8-109, is being rewritten to reflect the changes. Additional USAREUR deployment and reintegration resources are also available in the USAREUR “blue box” at www.per.hqusareur.army.mil/bluebox/