Expert's View

If you are a federal employee whose appointment isn’t limited to one year, under 5 U.S.C. 6323(a) you are entitled to take military leave when your branch of service calls you to active duty, active duty training or inactive duty training.

If you are a full-time employee, you’ll be entitled to 15 days every fiscal year. And you can carry over a maximum of 15 days into the next fiscal year. If you are a part-time employee or are on an uncommon tour of duty, the amount will be prorated based on the number of hours in your regularly scheduled biweekly pay period.


Note: If you request military leave for inactive duty training, you’ll only be charged for the amount of military leave needed to cover the period of training and necessary travel.

Federal law (5 U.S.C. 6323(b)) also provides 22 workdays each calendar year for emergency duty ordered by the President. This is duty performed either by the military in support of civil authorities engaged in the protection of life and property or by those who are called to active duty in support of a contingency operation, as designated by the Secretary of Defense.

While those entitlements are the ones provided to most employees, some employees are controlled by other rules. For example, under 5 U.S.C. 6323(c) members of the National Guard of the District of Columbia are granted unlimited leave when ordered or authorized under tile 39 of the District of Columbia Code.

More on Military Leave at

Under 5 U.S.C. 6323(d) Reserve and National Guard Technicians are entitled to 44 workdays of military leave for overseas duty.

If you are entitled to military leave, it can be used only if it occurs during hours that you would otherwise have worked and been paid. It cannot be used for weekends and/or holidays that may occur within a period of military service. Note: The minimum leave charge is one hour; the maximum during any work day is eight hours.

As a rule, you will have your civilian pay reduced by the amount of military pay you receive for those days of military leave. Of course, if you want to get both your military and your civilian pay, you are free to take annual leave instead of military leave.

Regardless of what set of rules you are operating under, the time you are on military leave will be considered to be creditable service.