Army Done Storing Vehicles and Belonging for Deployed Soldiers

ArieStudio /
ArieStudio /

For decades now, the US Army has made a policy of storing the vehicles and household goods for its soldiers being sent abroad. Now per a change from the Army Sustainment Command on December 27th, those days are over with. According to a report from, they are doing away with funds to cover this expense. They stopped short of clarifying the impacts for those on traditional deployments and those assigned to temporary duty (TDY).

This policy change occurred back in October, but they failed to put this out to Soldiers or the press in any sort of capacity.

SGT Pablo Saez claimed, “We understand the burden this could potentially place on soldiers, and HQDA G-1 [The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Department of the Army] is drafting a policy that would enable such storage.” However, this ‘policy’ only came to be after a investigation in early December. No specifications about the implementation of this policy have been released.

COL Heather Carlisle is the directory for support operations at Army Sustainment Command, and in an internal memo, stated that the Army isn’t going to store them because it’s not their problem. “HQDA G1, the proponent for [storage] entitlements, recently determined that the Army would no longer support [storage] entitlements because there is no Army policy explicitly authorizing storage in support of soldiers deployed for contingency operations.”

For years now, smaller bases or those with space would often offer to store personally owned vehicles in the motor pool, but those facilities lack climate control and adequate security measures. For that reason, many undertook the personal responsibility of storing their goods off post in storage lockers and vehicle storage yards. An expense that has rarely, if ever, been reimbursed by the military.

This is just another reason why the Army and other branches are having a hard time recruiting people. An added expense like vehicle storage is a rough one to deal with while deployed. Too often stories having problems with payments resulting in units being auctioned off are reported while deployed. Overseas the network for card payments (often the only way to buy things on a base) is notoriously corrupted, and bank cards often need replacing. When they don’t update in time, things are gone.

Leaving our brave men and women who sign up to fight for our freedom to worry about their belongings back home is horrific. It’s bad enough that their lives essentially go on hold while they are deployed or sent TDY. Getting updates by phone (if they are lucky) or letter is hard enough, they shouldn’t have to stress about this too. The mindset from COL Carlisle is incredibly dangerous too.

Simply saying “no” because something (allegedly) didn’t already exist is also horrific. Officers can draft up documents and have them enacted with little more than an order, the printing of the order, and finally, the stroke of a pen. It would be easy for her to fix the problem, and given the amount of funding the federal government wastes on other programs, this should be a no-brainer.

For those currently on deployment, there was little guidance given as to what they would do, but this really should not be a difficult issue to resolve for the Army. If anything, they should be able to come up with a program to keep them secured and without any inconvenience to the service member.

As it stands, those who often make the most use of these programs are the lower enlisted. Already the lowest paid of the military, they need to keep every dime they can, so as officers, COL Carlisle and other officers have a duty and a charge to look after them and their wellbeing. It’s part of their charge, and abandoning this duty is nothing short of shameful.