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Old 01-03-2005, 11:02 AM
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Post Military Leaves, Passes, and Liberty

One of the entitlements most new military personnel want to learn about is LEAVE. Leave is paid vacation from duty for recreation and relief from the pressures of job-related duties. You may also take leave for personal reasons and emergency situations. A "pass" (called "liberty" in the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps) is time-off, not chargeable as leave.
Leave is a RIGHT (not a privilege) that is granted by Congress under Federal Law. While leave is a RIGHT, that doesn't necessarily mean you can take it whenever you wish. As with all things, "military necessity" determines when you can take your leave.

The overriding directive for leave (which applies to all the services) is DoD Directive 1327.5, Leave and Liberty.

Air Force -- Air Force Instruction 36-3003 - Military Leave Program

Navy -- MILPERSMAN 1050, Leave and Liberty

Marine Corps -- Marine Corps Order (MCO) P1050.3H - Regulations for Leave, Liberty, and Administrative Absence

Accruing Leave
Leave accrues at the rate of 2 1/2 calendar days per month. Congress recognizes that military requirements may prevent members from using their planned leave. Thus, the law permits members to accrue a maximum of 60 days (the maximum that may be carried over into the next the fiscal year [FY]). The expression “use or lose” means that leave in excess of 60 days is lost if not used by the end of the FY (30 September).

Also, the military can pay members for unused leave at certain points in their career, such as reenlistment and voluntary retirements, separation, or discharge. By law, members may receive accrued leave payment up to a maximum of 60 days during their military career. When a member "sells" leave, he/she receives one day of base pay for each day of leave "sold." However, the legislative history of the law clearly expresses congressional concern that members use leave to relax from the pressures of duties and not as a method of compensation.

NOTE: Members do not earn leave when they are absent without official leave (AWOL), in an unauthorized absence status, serving a court-martial sentence, or in an excess leave status.

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