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Policy for Leave

Military requirement for leave, Annual leave program, Leave Accrual Policy, Payment of accrued leave

Military requirement for leave

The Army leave policies are an important
command requirement and care must be taken to prevent misuse of leave.

The frequent use of leave will make a positive
contribution to morale, level of performance, and career motivation.

Operational missions and essential supporting
functions of each command must be accomplished to the extent permitted by the
manning provided.

Leave will be granted within the constraints of
operational military requirements and to the degree of support for leave
provided in the unit manning document.


Annual leave program

The leave and pass program is designed to allow
soldiers to use their authorized leave to the maximum extent possible.

Commanders will establish an annual leave
program to manage leave designed to provide

  1. The maximum opportunity for all soldiers to
    take leave to minimize loss and payment of leave not taken.
  2. A caution to soldiers who do not take leave,
    that they may lose leave at the end of the fiscal year (FY). Also, soldiers
    who maintain a 60-day leave balance, and wait late in the FY to take leave,
    will be informed that they risk loss of leave over 60 days if the operational
    situation requires their presence.
  3. Allowable leave within the constraints of
    operational military requirements and to the degree of support for leave
    provided in the unit manning document.

In pursuing the maximum use of leave,
commanders must place emphasis on granting leave:

  1. Upon permanent change of station (PCS).
  2. After periods of particularly difficult
  3. After prolonged deployments.
  4. When there is evidence leave would improve
    health and morale.
  5. During a specified period to all soldiers in
    a given unit. This type of leave is called block leave. (Commanders may
    authorize all soldiers in a given unit to request leave during a specified
    period. Block leave is granted per local command policy when consistent with
    military requirements and is a chargeable leave period.)
  6. Upon reenlistment and accession to Regular
    status from Active Reserve status.
  7. During traditional national holiday periods
    of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  8. When soldiers or their families have been
    personally affected by floods, hurricanes, and similar natural disasters.
    (Emergency leave may be appropriate, see chap 6. AR 600-8-10)
  9. For attendance at spiritual retreats or for
    other religious observances for which a pass is inadequate.
  10. During preprocessing period incident to
    release from active duty, including retirement, to the extent of unused leave.
  11. Together with a consecutive overseas tour
  12. To allow the use of an average of 30 days
    per year.
  13. To provide opportunity for leave to be taken
    as earned.
  14. To allow use of leave prior to separation.
    (It is not the intent of leave policy that large leave balances be accrued
    expressly for settlement upon soldier’s release from active duty (paras 2-4d
    and 4-21 AR 600-8-10).)
  15. To key personnel by designating an acting
    commander or temporarily assigning appropriate medical personnel, by ensuring
    availability of civilian medical services, or by responsive transportation to
    other military or civilian medical facilities (AR 40-5 and AR 40-121) while
    key personnel are absent.

Soldiers undergoing treatment for an infectious
or contagious disease will not be granted leave unless the attending physician
verifies that the soldier does not pose a threat to the public health. The
verification will be provided to the soldier’s commander before leave is


Leave Accrual Policy

Soldiers on active duty earn 30 days of leave a
year with pay and allowances at the rate of 2 1⁄2 days a month. This entitlement
excludes periods of:

  1. Absent without leave (AWOL), unless excused
    as unavoidable (see AR 630-10).
  2. Confinement resulting from a court-martial
  3. Confinement for more than 1 day while
    awaiting court-martial provided soldier is convicted.
  4. Excess leave.
  5. Unauthorized absence because of detention by
    civil authorities (see para 2-4a AR 600-8-10).
  6. Absence in custody of civil authorities
    under provisions of Article 14, Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
    provided soldier is not entitled to receive pay and allowances (see DODFMR
  7. Absence over 1 duty day due to use of drugs
    or alcohol or because of disease or injury resulting from soldier’s

Soldiers in a missing status under section 551,
title 37, United States Code (37 USC 551) earn up to 150 days leave. This is in
addition to any previous leave earned.

  1. Leave is not for use but is paid for (para
    2-4 AR 600-8-10).
  2. Soldiers who die while in a missing status
    earn leave through the date evidence of death is received by the Secretary of
    the Army (SA). The death may be prescribed or determined under 37 USC 555.

Except when authorized special leave accrual
(see para 3-2 AR 600-8-10), soldiers may accrue and carry forward up to 60 days
leave at the end of each fiscal year.

Accrued leave that exceeds 60 days at the end
of the fiscal year is lost except as authorized in chapter 3.

Soldiers who continue on or are recalled to
active duty after retirement may be authorized by the SA to have leave accrued
before retirement that was lost to be recredited under section 701c, title 10,
United States Code (10 USC 701c). The SA may limit the use of consecutive days
of leave granted based on operational requirements. Soldiers may not be
prohibited from taking leave accrued during the new period of military service
as a condition of the continuation or recall action.


Payment of accrued leave

a. Payment of accrued leave is made per DODFMR

b. Payment of accrued leave is made per section
501h, title 37, United States Code (37 USC 501h) for leave earned in a missing
status (see para 2-3 for leave earned in a missing status). By law, payment of
accrued leave is limited to 60 days one time during a military career, unless
earned in a missing status or under d and e below.

c. Settlement is made for leave days accrued to
the actual date of death for soldiers who die while in a missing status. Payment
may exceed 150 days (para 2-3b).

d. Payment of accrued leave is made per section
501b, title 37, United States Code (37 USC 501b) for leave earned by a soldier
of a Reserve Component, retired Reserve, or retired member of the Regular Army
while serving on active duty in support of a contingency operation. By law,
payment of accrued leave is limited to 60 days one time during a military
career, unless earned under this paragraph. (See b above or e below.)

e. For soldiers who die because of an injury or
illness incurred while serving on active duty in support of a contingency
operation, settlement of accrued leave is made per section 501d, title 37,
United States Code (37 USC 501d). Settlement of accrued leave in excess of 60
days is authorized regardless of any leave previously cashed-in.

f. Payment of accrued leave is made to soldiers
who elect partial payment and carry forward a balance to new or extended

g. Payment for accrued leave, for preceding
period of service, is not authorized to soldiers who elect to have all leave
carried forward to new or extended reenlistment.

h. Accrued leave is forfeited when soldier is
discharged before completing 6 months of active duty per section 501e, title 37,
United States Code (37 USC 501e) when the discharge is based on unsatisfactory
performance or misconduct under any of the reasons cited below.

  1. Enlisted separation reasons.
    1. Defective enlistments and inductions
      (underage and fraudulent entry only).
    2. Entry level performance and conduct.
    3. Unsatisfactory performance.
    4. Homosexuality (unless the soldier receives
      an Honorable Discharge).
    5. Drug or alcohol abuse rehabilitation
    6. Misconduct.
    7. Separation instead of trial by
    8. Security (unless the soldier receives an
      Honorable Discharge).
  2. Officer separation reasons.
    1. Separation for cause.
    2. Dropped from the rolls.
    3. Homosexuality (unless the soldier receives
      an Honorable Discharge).
    4. Misconduct or moral or professional
    5. Separation instead of trial by
    6. Security (unless the soldier receives an
      Honorable Discharge).

Subtracting leave credit

Leave is subtracted for lost time, excess
leave, or other nonpay status.

Subtract 21⁄2 days leave for each full month of

For part-month absence, use table 2-1 to
subtract leave.


Part Month Leave Credit:

Date Separated    
Days Lost or Minus Add Credit Enlistment/Reenlistment
Leave Balance Subtract Credit Add Credit *
1-6 1⁄2 day 2 1⁄2 days
7-12 1 day 2 days
13-18 1 1⁄2 days 1 1⁄2 days
19-24 2 days 1 day
25-31 2 1⁄2 days 1⁄2 day


* Reenlistment. If a reenlistment within the
same month as a separation would result in a leave credit in excess of 2 1⁄2
days for the month, subtract the leave credit received on separation from 2 1⁄2
days (maximum monthly leave credit) to arrive at the remaining credit for the

Example: Soldier separates on 5 July. Credit
with 1/2 day leave. Soldier reenlists on 6 July. Credit with 2 days leave (21⁄2
days maximum entitlement minus 1/2 day credit received on separation equals 2
days remaining entitlement).

Reference: AR 600-8-10 Leaves and Passes

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