When you deploy for a period of time, you get a legally guaranteed amount of time equal to your time deployed up to 12 months during which you cannot be involuntarily deployed. The idea is that you should be protected from returning from deployment and being sent back in a short period of time, unless you voluntarily do so. If your unit deploys while you are on dwell time, you do not have to go until the dwell time ends. My unit was deploying a month prior to the end of my dwell time.
My battalion was under pressure to get every body on the plane because a different brigade in the division had deployed under strength which made some superiors unhappy. I made my intentions clear when I arrived at my new unit. I had arrived home from Iraq in Late december after a 14 month tour. My new unit was to start deploying at the beginning of the next December. I told my command that I intended to stay for Christmas but would join my unit on the first flight after the holiday. Shortly after I was told to go to the company office and given a stack of papers to sign. I was told the papers were to "guarantee my dwell time". I began reading and was immediately told that batallion said I " had to sign them". I was suspicious because dwell time is guaranteed, there are no required documents...i did my research and read the milper messages. The third page clearly stated the document would waive my dwell time. I refused to sign. My first sergeant found out about 15 minutes later. First my platoon sergeant was called into the office. Five minutes later I was called in. I stood on the carpet in front if the man for what felt like an eternity of berating. I was told that i was a disgrace to the unit, endangering my fellow soldiers, disloyal, coward...stuff like that. Keep in mind this is all over a two to three week difference in flight date so I could go home to see my family for Christmas before my second deployment in two years. I should mention that my platoon sergeant defended me, but it only got him some of the same treatment. Also, this unit had two years since their last deployment so none of them were in my situation. Third, two friends of mine from my old unit were also transferred to this batallion. They had the same dwell time rights but signed the papers not knowing their rights because they were told the must sign.
The next day I was called back into the first sergeants office. I was told that batallion was not happy that I decided not to sign the papers. The command sergeant major personally guaranteed that I would be given 24 hr staff duty for Christmas so I could not go home to see my family, but my dwell time would be "allowed".
Unfortunately for him, when you are on dwell time and your unit is deploying, you temporarily are assigned to a rear detachment command whom you report to until your late deployment. The new command means I technically did not fall under his command. I worked my ass off for my new NCOIC. I lead a section in my rear detachment company, processing in new soldiers, helping injured get to medical appointments, working on chaptering out soldiers. Basically I helped the guys get through the admin to get them and myself ready to fly out. My supervisor was pleased. When I told him about the sergeant major situation he said " fuck that" and personally pushed my leave packet through. A phone call to my congressman also happened, who put me in touch with his veterans affairs department. I spent 369 days in the states between 26 months in Iraq, flying out 29 Dec like I promised.
Sorry for the novel, tldr I had a shitty command that made a petty threat over using a guaranteed right.