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R&R is the 2 weeks leave that a soldier who’s on a 6-month deployment gets halfway through their tour. If the deployment is less than that then they won’t get R&R at all. It stands for Rest and Recuperation. Something desperately needed for both of you. R&R starts the moment troops step off  the plane in the UK to come home until they step on  the plane for their return flight. In effect a 2 weeks leave is 14 days having the 2 days of travelling time which is not eating into their leave. 


As from 22nd July 2010 there are new guarantees to ensure that everyone gets the time off that they are owed.


Under the new guidelines, all Service personnel serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq of six months or longer will continue to receive two weeks leave in the middle of their time away. This now comes with a guarantee that any days lost, due to delays in transit or for any other operational reason, will be made up at the end of their tour



R&R is the time you could never visualise. Time has dragged its feet for so long now that it seems to have taken forever to arrive. You will usually be given the official dates 6 weeks into the tour. Hopefully the date will be halfway through the tour to break it up just perfectly but there are no guarantees it will be then.


Sometimes a date given might change suddenly. This is such a disappointment – usual story though hey. The majority of reasons will probably be due to necessity in the plans that have occurred officially. Keep in mind that changes can be altered more than once at the drop of a beret with very little warning.


They have their job to do and they have to do what is required of them. It is for us to deal with in the best way that we can and that’s not a very easy thing to do.


Have a brilliant time. Enjoy yourself and try not to think about the fact that it has to end. Everyone will want to see you but sometimes spreading yourself out across the country trying to see everyone just means you spend your entire R&R stuck on the M1.  

For once, you are allowed to be completely selfish and guilt free! Be sure to use the time mostly for quiet relaxing because, when you think about it, how often do they get to laze around and do nothing ? Rest is so essential with the feeling that they can unwind, with no hassle and completely safe too. Perhaps it is best not to plan on doing much and go with the flow as to how they decide they want to do things on a daily basis. When & what is their key to making the most of things. This is a time when the choice is totally theirs with a free hand as to what happens. Time does fly so make the most of it even if its doing just lots of nothing or going out sometimes. Do not make it hectic. That is why it is called rest and recuperation.


For some people things might not go quite how you expected so look through the "Help Me" section where you will find an item on "Feeling Neglected"  in the "Is My Relationship Over".




My son has been to quite a few war zones over many years and most of his R&R dates that he gave me have all turned out to be right which proves the majority are fine but a couple haven’t which can be a shame. However we can’t predict it. One Christmas the leave was cancelled for most of the soldiers. Tears flowed with disappointment and with a lot of anger mixed in. Out came another box of tissues again. One of many used so far. His little girl and wife were so looking forward to having him home. His 7-year-old daughter couldn’t understand why her daddy wouldn’t be able to wrap his arms around her and take her out. Daddy being home was to be so special. The happiness of them opening Christmas presents together was now gone. Then at the very last moment he was told he could have 5 days. A fantastic surprise all round. That’s better than none at all. So smiles appeared again.