Armed Forces News

Soldiers who are new parents now will be given more time off. Under a directive issued by Army Secretary Mark T. Esper on Jan. 22, the change does not apply to soldiers who have given birth. They are considered primary caregivers. As such, they already get 12 or more weeks of non-chargeable maternity leave. The new policy is retroactive to Dec. 23, 2016, and brings the Army in line with parental-leave guidelines of the other armed services.
Soldiers who are considered to be secondary caregivers now can receive up to “a total of 42 days or no more than 21 days” of non-chargeable leave, which they must use within 18 months of the birth or adoption of a child.
In instances where a soldier is married to another soldier, one parent can be considered a primary caregiver and the other a secondary caregiver.
Soldiers who give birth and require convalescent leave can do so, provided they have a written diagnosis by their care provider and their commander’s approval. Such leave is limited to six weeks and must be taken immediately, unless otherwise specified. Other provisions and conditions apply.