Army Leave and Pass Policy
Paid vacation days are called Leave days in the Army. Soldiers earn 2.5 days of leave each month for a total of 30 days for a complete year of service. A soldier receives all their regular pay and allowances when taking leave.
The current Leave policy allows soldiers to accumulate 75 days of leave that can be carried over into the next fiscal year (the previous limit was 60 days). Once a soldier accrues over 75 days of leave, all days in excess of 75 are considered "use or lose" days which must be used in that fiscal year prior to October 1st or they lose those days (except when subject to special leave accrual). The 2010 Defense Authorization Act extends the right for soldiers to carryover 75 days of leave each year until September 30, 2013. It may be extended again or may go back down to the previous limit of 60 days.
Army Pass Policy
Unit Commanders are also authorized to give soldiers a weekend pass which is also a form of paid vacation day. These are often used as rewards for soldiers maxing their Army physical fitness test (APFT), winning a Soldier of the Quarter board, or similar achievement. Passes usually consist of two days off in conjunction with a regular weekend.
Pass in conjunction with Leave
Passes may be used in conjunction with Leave contrary to popular belief but the soldier must be at their permanent duty station at the start and end of their scheduled leave prior to going on pass (this change was made in Department of Defense (DOD) Instruction 1327.6 which was published in April 2005). Note that regular holidays are considered a special pass. Furthermore, soldiers are prohibited from stringing together three such periods of time-off in succession.
For complete information on Army Leave and Pass Policy, download Army Regulation (AR) 600-8-10.
Article Last Modified: September 3, 2010
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