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Today's Focus:

Paternity Leave

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"They serve and sacrifice in their own way. So it's important that we recognize their vital role in our community - not just once a year. Military spouses make positive differences every day, a fact we recognize and honor this week."

- Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa

U.S. Army Africa honors military spouses

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"A lot of times you will have to make sacrifices, but hang in there and maintain your motivation. You are Sustaining Soldiers; you are working for a great cause."

- First Sgt. Keith Edwards , 51st Transportation Co., 30th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, awarded the "Honorable Order of St. Christopher" medallion

Transportation first sergeant awarded St. Christopher medallion

CALENDAR

2009: Year of the NCO

2009: Year of the Military Family

2009: 100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

May 2009:

- National Mental Health Month

- National Military Appreciation Month

- Asia Pacific American Heritage Month

May 6: 2009 Army Birthday Ball Registration is Open

May 8-10 : Best Ranger Competition

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Paternity Leave

What is it?

The Army's new paternity leave policy gives fathers additional time to be with their families when a new child is born. The policy, which was signed into law under President George W. Bush on Oct. 14, grants married Soldiers up to 10 consecutive days of non-chargeable administrative leave after the birth of a child. Paternity leave must be taken within 45 days of the child's birth; deployed Soldiers must take the leave within 60 days after returning from deployment. Leave not taken within the established timeframe will be lost.

Single Soldiers who father a child out-of-wedlock are not eligible for paternity leave.

What has the Army done?

The Army recognizes the importance of families being together during significant events such as the birth of a child. It has developed a flexible paternity leave policy that allows male Soldiers to support their spouses during the joyous, but possibly stressful, time of adjustment following the arrival of a new family member. It also provides Soldiers returning from deployments uninterrupted time with their child to begin building bonds that will last a lifetime.

The policy allows Soldiers who have taken annual leave in connection with the birth of a child since October 2008 to request up to 10 days of leave be restored/re-credited to their leave account. Soldiers must provide documentation to support their claim (e.g., DA Form 31 or LES) and submit it through the unit S1 or Personnel Administrative Center.

What continuing efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army will continue to promote this new benefit to the Army community through in-house, installation and electronic media outlets. Soldiers and officers are encouraged to take advantage of this valuable family bonding opportunity and supervisors and commanders at all levels should approve paternity leave whenever it is feasible.

Why is this important to the Army?

Paternity Leave provides greater stability and predictability to Soldiers and their families. By providing a benefit that is increasingly more common in the civilian sector, the Army is building on its reputation as an organization at the forefront of changing societal trends.

Resource:

Ref: ALARACT Message 062/2009, released 10 Mar 2009

STAND-TO! NEWS

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