Tester backs bill to restore promised leave for Montana servicemembers

Senator calls decision to strip leave from troops ‘unacceptable’

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is fighting a Defense Department rule that strips leave from National Guard and Reserve troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senator Tester sponsored a bill to restore leave lost by National Guard members and Reservists when the Defense Department changed its leave policy.  The bill also ensures that any changes to troop leave do not affect those already deployed overseas.

Last fall, the Defense Department decided to cut leave for National Guard and Reserve members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  As a result, at least 36 members of the Montana National Guard were negatively affected by this change.

“Our Guardsmen have done more than their duty in fighting for Montana and this nation,” Tester said.  “Promising our troops leave time to see their families and then reneging on that promise is completely unacceptable.”

Tester previously sponsored legislation to ensure time deployed by National Guard and Reserve members is credited toward retirement.

Tester’s bill is available online HERE.