Our mission is to prepare you for yours.

Understanding deployment can help ease any uncertainties you or your family may have.

A female Soldier in combat uniform holding her son in the air at a playground

Defining deployment

Deployments not only vary by mission, but they can also differ in how Soldiers experience them. Here’s what you need to know about being deployed.

The length of deployment varies.

Deployment lengths can vary depending on certain factors like the Army’s needs, the mission itself, or other world events. Army missions can be located overseas or within the United States.

It’s not always for combat.

Soldiers and supplies may be sent around the world for various missions besides combat operations. Other types of deployments include natural disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, evacuation, and peacekeeping.

Every mission is different.

Deployment can depend on the Army’s need for unit-level skill sets, resources, and other factors. Since all types of support are needed for a mission’s success, every Soldier is trained and prepared for possible deployment.

Any Soldier can be deployed.

Deployment can affect active-duty Soldiers or U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers, who all receive full-time pay and benefits while deployed. Part-time Soldiers’ civilian jobs are protected by federal law while serving full-time during deployments.

Every Soldier is trained to succeed.

During deployment, difficult and sometimes dangerous situations are a reality. Units will build tactical and technical skills, as well as train under challenging and realistic conditions, to prepare for anything that may happen.


While you may not always be able to discuss certain details, Soldiers are encouraged to stay in touch with family and friends during deployment through email, phone calls, text messages, social media channels, letters, or care packages.

A Solider uses his phone to FaceTime with his wife and watch their new-born daughter
When I came back from deployment, I had this whole newfound concept of pride. Sgt. 1st Class Jean-Noel Howell

Here’s what to expect after deployment.

Your experiences during deployment can have a lasting impact on your life and those around you. It could be the people you meet, the friends you make, the work you do, or the challenges you face.


The camaraderie and relationships you’ll form during deployment are some of the strongest bonds you’ll ever have, continuing well beyond Army service.


You’ll have the opportunity to experience different places and cultures during deployment where you’ll engage in humanitarian work, build leadership skills, and take on new challenges.

How the Army supports you and your family.

Soldier Family Readiness Group (SFRG)

An SFRG serves as a link between families and units. It provides access to official news about the unit, support groups, and counseling services.

Family Training Programs

Family Training Programs consist of resilience-building training courses and other services to help families prepare for deployment.

Army Chaplains

Army Chaplains are spiritual counselors who help provide emotional guidance to Soldiers and their families during difficult or emotional times of need.

Army Community Services (ACS)

ACS is a community center found on most Army bases that offers support programs to Soldier families.

We’ll always be here for you.

Although we do our best to anticipate and minimize danger, there’s a risk that comes with being a Soldier in the Army when deployments involve dangerous situations. That’s why we have dedicated counseling and support, along with federal Veteran Affairs (VA) programs, designed to sustain your mental health while serving in the Army, after your service ends, and for the rest of your life.

There’s no doubt that the Army Reserve has prepared her for deployment and to be the best Soldier she can be. Molly Anderson, Mother of Sgt. Autumn Anderson


Find out more about becoming a Soldier and if a career in the Army is right for you.

Common questions about deployment.

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How often will I be deployed in my Army career?

There’s no way to predict if or how often you’ll be deployed in your Army career. You could be deployed at any time for a variety of reasons based on your Army unit’s skill sets.

Rest and recuperation, or R&R, may be authorized while you’re deployed. The Army also aims to balance a Soldier’s time deployed to their time at home, which is called Dwell Time.

How will I find out if I am being deployed?

Your unit commander will notify you if your unit has been selected to mobilize for deployment. Though sometimes unpredictable, commanders aim to give units as much notice as possible. You’ll get a checklist of everything you need to do to prepare, like putting your rent on hold or managing your finances.

Can I see family or friends during deployment?

No. Deployment is an instance where your family and friends cannot come with you or visit while you are away.

Can I volunteer for deployment?

Most units typically deploy at the same time with the exception of what’s called a rear detachment, or a portion of the unit that remains behind to fulfill other duties. However, there are some circumstances where you can be chosen to support special missions or volunteer for unique training opportunities.

Can Army Civilians be deployed?

Since the United States has an all-volunteer force, Army Civilians may be called upon to take on support roles that would have been previously filled by Soldiers during times of a draft.

What do Soldiers eat during deployment?

During deployment, Army culinary specialists use different foods, cooking techniques, and more mobile equipment to prepare meals. In some instances, Soldiers may need to eat Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs), which are prepackaged options that require less time and prep work to consume.

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