Army Regulation (AR) 600-8-10, "Leaves and Passes" states, "The frequent use of leave will make a positive contribution to morale, level of performance, and career motivation."

Leave is an opportunity for leaders and Soldiers alike to relax, spend time with family and recover from the stresses often associated with Army life.

It is an earned entitlement for every Soldier, however, in most cases, the unit commander is the approving authority as to when leave is taken and number of days granted. Before granting leave, the commander should assess what impact if any, it may have on the operational military requirements of the unit.

Commanders are required to establish an annual leave program that provides Soldiers the maximum opportunity to take time off and minimize loss and payment of leave not taken. Although it is an individual Soldier's responsibility to monitor and manage his or her leave, commanders will also monitor their Soldiers' leave balance via the Unit Commanders Finance Report and encourage them to take leave within the year earned.

Soldiers should review their Leave and Earnings Statement regularly and bring any issues to their immediate supervisor.

The two main types of leave are chargeable and nonchargeable. Chargeable leave counts against the Soldier's leave balance. Some examples of chargeable leave are ordinary, advance, emergency, rest and recuperation, and transition.

Nonchargeable leave doesn't count against the Soldier's leave balance and is sometimes referred to as free leave. Some examples of this type of leave or absence are passes and permissive temporary duty; convalescent, excess and paternity leave, which is granted to male Soldiers whose wives birth children. Paternity leave will not exceed 10 days and must be taken within 45 days after the birth of the child. For more information on paternity leave refer to All Army Activities (ALARACT) 062/2009 dated March 10, 2009.

Soldiers on active duty earn 30 days of leave per year at a rate of 2.5 days per month. While on leave, Soldiers receive all pay and allowances. AR 600-8-10 states Soldiers can carryover a maximum leave balance of 60 days from one fiscal year to the next. But, leave in excess of 60 days will be lost with the exception of leave coded as Special Leave Accrual (SLA). See AR 600-8-10, Paragraph 3-2 for a detailed explanation of SLA.

To minimize lost days because of high operations tempo, the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act increased leave carryover from 60 to 75 days. The original end date for the increase was Dec. 31, 2010. The end date was later extended to Sept. 30, 2013, and the latest ALARACT 022/1213 dated Jan. 24 of this year further extended it to Sept. 30, 2015. Leave balances exceeding 60 days will be lost Oct. 1, 2015 excluding the above mentioned exception.

Leave should be used at every opportunity without compromising the operational readiness of the unit. Commanders are ultimately responsible for the management of the unit's leave program; however, every person should be aware of local policies as well as regulatory guidance.

For more information on leaves and passes refer to AR 600-8-10 or contact the Fort Sill Inspector General office at 580-442-3224.

Page last updated Thu December 19th, 2013 at 00:00