First off, thank you very much for your service, I am in your debt.
Secondly, I hope you don't mind a civillian posting in here. I know at least at the Military.com boards this is kind of a no-no in certain forums.
Now for the purpose of this thread. It is my understanding that you get 30 days of paid "vacation" time every year:
1.) Does this number change when you're deployed?
2.) What is the standard - if any - duration of a deployment (i.e., if you are sent to Iraq, how long will you be likely to stay there)?
3.) Do you have any say in how your "vacation time" is used? For instance, if you are in Afghanistan, can you opt to go home for 15 days twice a year, 10 days three times a year, etc., or does the length of your leave just get assigned to you? If so, how long is a typical "vacation" (5 days, 10 days, etc.). I really hope you guys get to go home and see your families at least a couple times a year...
Please forgive me for my (probably numerous) misuses of the correct terminology (or the lack thereof), and again, thank you for your service.
The 30 days a year is accrued no matter where you are stationed. In a combat zone, you will be given the opportunity to take "Mid Tour" leave up to 30 days. Mission dictates if you get leave at all.
The tours are generally 12 months but OIF III guys got dicked and have to do 18 months. This is an attempt to get the normal tour rotation world wide back on track. It will help but not fix the rotation problem. The Army finally recovered from Desert Storm messing up the rotation schedule in 1999-2000.