Army Maternity Leave Update 209
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Military Parental Leave Policy Update 2019
FORT MEADE, Md. -- The Army has doubled the amount of parental
leave available to fathers and other secondary caregivers of newborn
infants with a policy that also provides more leave flexibility for mothers.

Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper signed a directive Jan. 23 that
increases parental leave from 10 to 21 days for Soldiers who are
designated secondary caregivers of infants. The new policy makes
the Army's parental leave comparable to that of other services and in
compliance with the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

Mothers will now be granted six weeks of convalescent leave directly
after giving birth and can be granted another six weeks of leave as
primary caregiver to bond with their infant anytime up to a year after

The new policy is retroactive to Dec. 23, 2016 -- the date the NDAA
legislation was signed for fiscal year 2017.

In other words, Soldiers who took only 10 days of paternal leave over
the past couple of years can apply to take an additional 11 days of
"uncredited" leave as a secondary caregiver.

An alternative would be to reinstate 11 days of annual leave if that time
was spent with their infant.

Eligible Soldiers need to complete a Department of the Army Form
4187 and submit it to their commanders for consideration regarding
the retroactive parental leave.

Fathers can also be designated as primary caregivers and granted six
weeks or 42 days of parental leave, according to the new policy.
However, only one parent can be designated as primary caregiver,
Lock pointed out.

If a mother needs to return to work and cannot take the six weeks of
leave to care for an infant, then the father could be designated as
primary caregiver, he said. However, if the mother has already taken
12 weeks of maternal leave, that option is not available.

Download the new leave policy here >>
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