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DoD makes changes to current leave system

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Department of Defense is presently coordinating a conforming change to the
DoD Instruction governing leave and liberty for the U.S. Armed Forces.

The revised issuance will incorporate all previous policy changes since the last publication and should be published within the next few months.

Sections 551 and 552 of the National Defense Authorization Act 2008 (reference (b)) established significant changes to military leave policy. These changes must be implemented immediately to conform to the time-sensitive leave and liberty-related provisions of the law. It is essential that the Military Departments and other DoD Components disseminate these policies to the maximum awareness and benefit of all Service members.

The following four new leave policies are effective immediately, retroactive to the date of NDAA enactment, January 28, 2008.

(1) Annual leave accrual is temporarily (until December 31, 2010) increased from
60 to 75 days. Service members may now carryover up to 75 days of accrued leave, beginning with the fiscal year changeover from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2009 (i.e. a Service member with 75 days of leave on September 30, 2008 will not lose that leave on October 1, 2008).

(2) Special leave accrual (SLA) retention limits are increased. Under the new limits, SLA earned in combat zones may now be kept for 4 fiscal years; SLA earned in support of operations may now be kept for 2 fiscal years. Absent further statutory revisions, the higher combat zone retention limit applies only to SLA accumulated during the period of October 12, 2008 through December 31, 2010.

(3) An additional one-time SLA sell back is authorized for enlisted Service members. Under this provision, an enlisted Service member may sell back up to 30 days of
SLA (this does not apply to officers). Such a sell back counts towards the Service member's cap of 60 days over a career. This provision has no termination date. 

(4) Authorized special rest and recuperation (SR&R) absence with transportation benefit is increased from 15 to 20 days. This applies to personnel completing an overseas duty tour extension longer than 12 months. This SR&R authorization is distinct from and not to be confused with the rest and recuperation program in paragraph 6.15 of reference
(a). This provision has no termination date.
These policy changes are issued pursuant to the authority in paragraph 4.1 of reference (c). These changes will be formally incorporated into the revised reference (a).

To find out more about the changes visit www.defenselink.mil.