Rethinking the Legal Limit

Speaking Feb. 9 at the Reserve Officers Association’s national convention in Washington, D.C., Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, Air Force Reserve chief, said he’s open to re-examining—and implicitly extending—the five-year legal limit on a deployed reservist retaining reemployment rights with an employer given the enduring contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq with reservists supporting them every step of the way. Stenner subsequently told the Daily Report that “it’s theoretically possible” that some airmen could exceed the five-year limit, and this situation “may continue for some years.” And just as reservists’ commitments extend, so, too, do the contributions of civilian employers “who are key partners,” he said. Accordingly, there may be some portions of the USERRA law of 1994 that “could be slightly modified to better accommodate their needs,” offering them more repeatability, and hopefully predictability, and sustainability, he said.