WASHINGTON (March 4, 2016) -- The Army Directive 2016-09 regarding the Army's new maternity leave policy, was signed by Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy, March 1, 2016, is in line with a DOD-wide policy announced, Jan. 28, by Defense Secretary Ash Carter.The policy grants eligible regular Army or Reserve component Soldiers 12 continuous weeks of non-chargeable maternity leave following a birth event. The 12-week leave period starts immediately after a birth or the mother's release from the hospital, whichever is later.