Rest and recuperation
The term ‘Rest and Recuperation’ (R&R) is generic by nature and has widespread usage throughout the Services. Eligibility is frequently linked to the Operational Welfare Package (Overseas) (OWP(O)), but certain deployments, not necessarily operational, may also qualify.
The aim of R&R is to provide Service personnel, who have been mentally and physically challenged by continuous service, usually in an operational area, time to rest out of line and ‘recharge their batteries’ in order to sustain operational effectiveness. The decision to grant R&R rests with the in-theatre operational commander.
R&R is not leave and is to be taken at a time, location and for a duration specified by the operational commander. R&R may only be granted to individuals and units on periods of continuous operations in excess of 4 months. R&R does not count against an individual’s entitlement to annual leave.
The maximum permissible period for each instance of R&R is 14 nights inclusive of travelling time. The number of permissible periods of R&R is dependent upon expected tour length and is subject to the following restrictions:
- Over 4 months (120 days) but less than 7 months (210 days) - one period of R&R.
- Over 7 months but less than 11 months (330 days) – two periods of R&R.
- Over 11 months – three periods of R&R.
Policy changes in Jul 10 now mean that R&R policy has changed slightly.
The MOD says the move delivers on the commitment outlined in the Coalition Programme for Government to maximise R&R as part of rebuilding the military covenant. It follows the recommendation of Service Chiefs.
Under the new guidelines, all Service personnel serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq of six months or longer will continue to receive two weeks mid-tour leave, but now with a guarantee that any days lost, as a result of delays in transit or for any other operational reason, will be made up at the end of their tour.
To help minimise delays by easing pressure on military flights, the Service Chiefs have also recommended that those Service personnel due to serve on short tours will in future be posted for less than four months, thus removing the need for them to take R&R. This will mainly affect those serving with the RAF.