Rest and Recuperation (R&R)
Frequently Asked Questions
- R&R Program Information
- Eligibility Rules for R&R Leave
- Transportation Issues
- Emergencies While on R&R Leave
- Retroactive Reimbursement Information
- Military One Source Information
R&R Program Information - top
What is the Rest and Recuperation Leave Program?
The U.S. Central Command Commander established the Rest and Recuperation Leave Program in the Central Command Area of Operations to provide the opportunity for U.S. service members and Department of Defense civilians who are deployed in the combat theater for 1 year to take up to 15 days of leave during their deployment.
Is R&R leave chargeable? How are days of departure and return calculated with travel time to and from the area of operations?
Yes, R&R leave is charged to the normal leave account; however, the Government pays for transportation to and from the leave destination. Leave does not start until the day after arrival at leave destination. Leave ends the day before travel begins to return to the theater of operations.
Why was the program instituted?
The program provides respite from the stresses associated with the combat mission and allows participants to focus on family and friends when they return home. This is seen as an investment in the well being of our forces that will improve mission performance.
Is their any medical or psychiatric data driving this decision?
No. The purpose is to provide relief to servicemen and servicewomen and DoD civilians and enable them to get away form the stress of the combat mission - if only for a little while.
Do you foresee any problems allowing personnel to spend 15 days at home and then trying to get them to return to theater?
The program is beneficial and appreciated by all participants. Service members have enjoyed some variety of R&R in every major conflict in our Nation's history, and promptly returned to duty at the end of their leave. Like every privilege, however, there may be instances of abuse. If so, unit commanders will take swift action to deal with those who abuse the privilege so the overwhelming majority can continue to benefit from the program.
Are there other programs for those who do not want to take leave or are not selected for R&R leave?
Yes. Numerous programs exist that enhance the quality of life for personnel serving in the in the U.S. Central Command Theater. For example, the Rest and Recuperation Pass Program within the theater provides opportunities for travel to Qatar. Additionally, other programs offer service amenities, such as Internet cafes, food courts, gymnasiums, etc.
How long will the R&R Leave Program be in effect?
The program will remain in effect until terminated by the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. At that time, regular leave procedures will govern.
Is there any kind of preparation for people before they start on R&R leave?
Service members undergo an assessment and briefing by the commander, and receive medical and suicide prevention briefings, a reunion briefing (a different one for single and for married service members), and tip cards are issued. When service members return to theater, they receive a reintegration briefing by the commander, who determines if follow-up referrals are needed. If traveling to a foreign country, learn and comply with passport, visa, and medical requirements well in advance.
What are the limitations on taking R&R and how does it differ from ordinary leave?
Unlike ordinary leave, R&R leave periods are limited to one per 12-month period for service members who are deployed in a combat theater on an unaccompanied tour, and provide respite from hostile fire and imminent danger areas. However, R&R leave is chargeable against the ordinary leave account.
How can families learn about the R&R Leave Program?
In addition to this website, information on the R&R Leave Program is accessible through the Army Homepage (http://www.army.mil), the U.S. Army Europe website (http://www.per.hqusareur.army.
mil/RnR_Home.htm), and the U.S. Army Pacific website, (http://www.usarpac.army.mil/deploy.asp).
Are members of the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai eligible for the CENTCOM R&R Program?
Under current policy, members of the MFO are not eligible for the USCENTCOM R&R Leave Program for the following three reasons: 1) While the MFO is located within the USCENTCOM AOR, Egypt is not one of the seventeen eligible designated countries; 2) USCENTCOM has not imposed any restrictions on MFO travel and/or ordinary annual leave programs; 3) The MFO does not support OEF/OIF. The MFO pre-dates OEF/OIF by over 20 years and was created as part of the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Initiative and is a peace keeping mission. MFO forces are under US State Department control and operational control of MFO Rome, not USCENTCOM. Click here for further information.
Eligibility Rules for R&R Leave- top
Who is eligible for the R&R Leave Program and where can they take leave?
All service members and Department of Defense civilians who meet the following conditions are eligible.
Members who are deployed to a 12-month tour of duty in the Central Command area in one of the 17 designated countries. Reservists must be on a 1-year mobilization and serve at least 270 days of continuous duty within theater.
Members who are serving in an area specifically designated by Department of Defense as an area authorized Imminent Danger and Hazardous Duty Pay.
All individuals should check with their commander to determine their eligibility. The commander determines priority for personnel who are eligible for R&R leave based on the criteria above, as well as operational, safety, and security requirements. Leave may not be taken in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Leave may not be taken in countries listed in the State Department’s “Current Travel Warnings”.
How are service members selected for the R&R Leave Program?
Commanders select participants based on mission requirements and specific command policies and priorities.
Why are some personnel offered the opportunity to take R&R leave and others are not?
R&R leave is available only to those who are deployed to the theater of operations for 1 year (Reservists who are mobilized for 1 year generally must be in theater a minimum of 270 days). Although many service members are eligible, required personnel strength levels, unit redeployment schedules, mission requirements, and the need to maintain security and safety within theater often preclude some from taking leave.
If I took an R&R pass (4 days, non-chargeable), am I ineligible for R&R leave (15 days, chargeable)?
No. The R&R pass and leave programs are separate, yet complementary programs. Participation in one does not preclude participation in the other, unless dictated by local command policy.
Are there differences in the R&R Leave Program for Active Duty, National Guard, or Reserve personnel? Does one component have priority over another?
No. Service members from all components who are deployed are on active duty and have the same opportunity for R&R leave, except that mobilized National Guard or Reserve Soldiers need only be in theater 270 days to qualify, instead of a full year as for the Active Component. There is no prioritization based on component.
Transportation Issues - top
Do I have to pay for my airline ticket home?
No. Effective 19 December 2003, the Office of the Secretary of Defense authorized fully-funded travel for R&R participants. Fully funded travel was officially implemented on 1 Jan 04. The Government pays airline costs from the airport nearest the duty location to the airport nearest the leave destination, and return.
What if I traveled before 19 December 2003?
Public Law 108-220, 22 Apr 04, authorizes the Secretary of Defense to retroactively reimburse personnel who traveled on R&R leave under the USCENTCOM R&R Leave Program during the period 25 Sep-18 Dec 03. Procedures for submitting a claim for reimbursement can be found on this website in the FAQ section pertaining to Retroactive Reimbursement.
Can I have access to items in storage, such as personal property or my POV, while on R&R leave?
Access to personal belongings and/or POVs is dependent upon coordination with Rear Detachment Commands. The time required for accessing and returning stored personal property and a POV is part of the leave period and could be quite lengthy; therefore, accessing POVs or personal belongings in storage is discouraged. Additionally, in some cases, the storage facility may require the individual to bear some costs associated with early access to property and return of the property back into storage at the conclusion of the leave period.
Can I see the manifest for personnel scheduled to arrive on R&R leave?
No. Due to Privacy Act regulations and force protection issues, flight manifests are for official use only and are not available to the public.
Are there any restrictions while traveling in the Desert Battle Dress or Camouflage Uniforms (DBDU/DCU)?
Yes. All service members must wear the uniform properly during travel while traveling on R&R chartered aircraft, and consumption of alcohol is prohibited while in R&R travel status and wearing the Desert Battle Dress (DBDU) or Army Combat Uniform (ACU). However, if service members are departing or returning to theater by commercial aircraft, they may wear civilian attire, the Desert Battle Dress Uniform or Army Combat Uniform is authorized for wear on commercial aircraft while R&R leave travelers are traveling in CONUS.
How do I receive my airline ticket?
Leave participants traveling under the USCENTCOM R&R Leave Program receive their tickets at the Kuwait gateway, prior to departing the USCENTCOM Area of Operations, for travel within the United States, its territories, and commonwealths, or to other leave destinations. The Government pays for these tickets. Participants who traveled during the period 23 Sep 03-18 Dec 03, before fully funded R&R leave travel was authorized, and those who traveled after the authorization date but before official implementation of the onward R&R leave travel program (19-31 Dec 03), will be reimbursed for cost of their airline tickets, upon submission of pertinent paperwork.
Emergencies While on R&R Leave - top
Do I need to stay in contact with my unit while on leave?
Yes, if you have received instructions to maintain contact with your unit. Otherwise, R&R travelers must be reachable at, or through the telephone number listed on the leave form. Notify the PAP if you change your contact number.
What do I do in case of a personal or family illness or other emergency while on R&R leave?
Call the contact number listed on your leave form to report your situation. For personal or family counseling, call Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647 (CONUS) or 1-800-3429-6477 (OCONUS). For emergencies that may delay your return to the gateway airport, call your Rear Detachment Commander at the number listed on your leave form.
For weather or airport delays, call the Airport Personnel Assistance Point (PAP) at the following numbers (all are toll-free):
Dallas-Fort Worth: 1-800-770-5580
What if I miss a connecting flight because of scheduling, bad weather, or other reasons beyond my control?
Call the Personnel Assistance Point (PAP) at the number listed on your leave form. Another resource for travel-related problems is the Army Travel Assistance Center (ATAC); you can reach them at 1-800-582-5552, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; the organization website is: https://www.perscomonline.army
I was told to call my Military One Source number if I have a problem while on R&R leave. What is Military One Source and how can I reach it?
Military One Source provides information and assistance in several areas to include: parenting and child care, military life, education, midlife and retirement, older adults, disability, financial, legal, everyday issues, work, managing people, health, emotional well being, and addiction and recovery. The following link will take you to the Military One Source webpage where you can access information applicable to all components, or you can link to the One Source website for your branch of service, and/or organization.
Military One Source - For All Branches/Componentswww.militaryonesource.com
User ID: military
Overseas toll-free: 1-800-3429-6477
Overseas collect calls - 484-530-5747
Spanish speakers - 1-877-888-0727
Retroactive Reimbursement Information - top
What is retroactive reimbursement?
On 19 Dec 03, the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness (USD [P&R]) authorized the payment of airline costs associated with the USCENTCOM R&R Leave Program. This authorization was officially implemented on 1 Jan 04. For those who traveled prior to this authorization and had to purchase their airline tickets, the USD (P&R) subsequently was given authority to reimburse R&R participants for airline costs they paid, effective 21 Jun 04.
Who is eligible for retroactive reimbursement?
Eligible personnel are military members who participated in the USCENTCOM R&R Leave Program during the period 25 Sep-18 Dec 03, and whose airline tickets from the APOD to the final leave destination were paid for by R&R participants themselves, or by family members or other private individuals. DoD civilian personnel are not eligible for retroactive reimbursement.
How do I get reimbursed?
To claim retroactive reimbursement, eligible personnel must submit the following documentation:
- DD Form 1351-2, Travel Voucher must be submitted to file a claim for reimbursement.
- Participants can download the form from the Defense Finance and Accounting System (DFAS) website: (http://www.dod.mil/dfas/
- A copy of the leave form with fund cite.
- Airline ticket receipt showing who paid for ticket
- A statement certifying travel. The statement must contain the name, SSN, dates of travel, airline used, destination airport, and the ticket cost. Please go to page three of the Retroactive Reimbursement document to see an example statement and go to page four to get a blank statement form.
If available, submit a copy of the airline ticket and/or travel itinerary. Inclusion of these documents may speed processing of your claim.
Send your claim to:
Contingency Travel Operations
ATTN: R&R Leave
8899 East 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46249-3900
Allow at least 4 weeks for the claim to be processed and paid. Resolution could take longer if DFAS requires additional information or documentation. Personnel who have questions should call (317) 510-5372, or send e-mail to DFAS at: DFAS-INR&RLEAVE@DFAS.MIL.
(Copy and paste the DFAS e-mail address into the “to” line of your message. If you only click on the link (above) to the address, the portion of the address after the ampersand (&) does not appear in the “to” line and the message will not send.)
All personnel have 6 years in which to file claims.
What if I don’t have all of the required documents?
Those who no longer have airline ticket receipts must contact the airline flown for replacement receipts. If the airline is unable to assist, participants must contact Al-Shamel, the ticket agent within the USCENTCOM Theater of operations, to obtain copies of receipts. To contact Al-Shamel, call 011-965-433-8594; send an e-mail message to: email@example.com; or send written requests to the following address:
Shuhada Str. Cement House Bldg.
Sharq - Kuwait
For other missing documentation, contact DFAS at: DFAS-IN, Contingency Travel Operations, Department 3900, ATTN: R&R Leave, 8899 East 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-3900; or send an e-mail message to: DFAS-INR&RLEAVE@DFAS.MIL, or call (317) 510-5372.
Military One Source Information - top
The definitive source that provides information and assistance in the following areas: Parenting & Child Care, Military Life, Education, Midlife & Retirement, Older Adults, Disability, Financial, Legal, Everyday Issues, Work, International, Managing People, Health, Emotional Well-Being, Addiction & Recovery. The following links will take you to the One Source page to fit your needs, branch of Service, and/or organization.
User ID: military
Number for Spanish speakers - 877-888-0727 Overseas toll-free: 1-800-3429-6477
Overseas collect calls - 484-530-5747
User ID: army
User ID: airforce
User ID: marines
Password: semper fi
User ID: navy
User ID: central