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Military Maternity Leave: A Closer Look At 2022s Updated Policies

Military Parental Leave Updates 2022 -Maternity and Paternity Leave for Active Duty and Reservist

July 7, 2022 by USMilitary.org

Did you know that taking time off after giving birth not only helps the mother but the employers, as well? The odds of staying at the company for at least another year increase after maternity leave.

But in 2022, plenty of different policies have been set in place regarding military maternity leave.

For each branch of the military, there are different policies regarding maternity leave length and paid parental leave. The most impressive change seen in 2022 is the Armys new paternal leave policy.

In most circumstances, maternity leave doesnt provide an adequate amount of time for the mother. The mother usually returns early due to finances. But these new policies give more room for mothers in the military to take an effective leave.

If youre interested in learning about the updated military maternity policies, then keep reading!

The Crowding Out Of Other Leaves

We next examine whether maternity leave crowds out chargeable leave. We begin with panel a of , which shows weeks of chargeable leave used by mothers and matched female nonmothers . Under the 6-week policy, mothers always used more leave than nonmothers. Among all females, leave increased over time, possibly owing to the drawdown in Afghanistan, changes in the quality of leave recording, or changes in preferences for work and leisure. The change in nonmothers was fairly steady over time, with no discernible jumps upon any of the key policy changes. Mothers’ leave-taking paralleled that of nonmothers under the 6-week policy but decreased by more than a week upon the new policy implementation. Indeed, reversing the earlier pattern, mothers used less chargeable leave than nonmothers once they had 18 weeks of maternity leave. When the policy was reduced to 12 total weeks, nonmothers’ leave remained stable, but mothers’ leave usage increased to match the nonmothers.

Patterns are broadly similar when we use alternative comparison groups or the mothers with imputed low or high maternity leave. Mothers in the 6-week maternity leave period always used more than 6 weeks of all leave above and beyond the leave that nonmothers took, and the change in the mothernonmother gap was always smaller than the additional maternity leave granted under the more generous policies.

Can I Have A Little More Time

The drive to update parenthood policies began with The Army Mom Life, a grassroots movement of mothers in the Army, explained service officials.

One of the groups most prominent voices, Staff Sgt. Nicole Edge, told reporters Thursday that the services previous handling of miscarriages and other concluded pregnancies had derailed her career.

In 2016, I got pregnant for the first time, and unfortunately that resulted in a miscarriage for me, Edge said. She had surgery to remove the fetus.

She said her medical provider only authorized her two days of convalescent leave, despite her pleas.

I just lost my child. My whole life just changes, Edge recalled saying. Can I have a little more time?

Edge had to use two weeks of personal leave to be able to process and mourn the loss of my family and the future that I thought I was have.


The new policy changes that. Now, pregnancy losses include extended convalescent leave that increases based on the fetus gestational age at the time of loss. Soldiers whose spouses experience pregnancy loss can also receive convalescent leave. Military parents would also get 12 weeks of leave to care for new children under a congressional proposal.

Edge, who is an instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, also had difficulty attending a military course required for promotion to staff sergeant.

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Identifying A Comparison Group

We identify several potential control groups. First, there is some concern that females, in general, may be affected by maternity policy changes, even if they do not yet have a child. Male Marines who did not have a baby during the study were not affected by this policy and are a potential control group. However, male Marines differ in a variety of ways from female Marines, and female Marines’ behavior may be more similar to Marine mothers’ behavior for unobserved and observed reasons. Thus, female Marines who did not have a baby during our study period constitute another potential control group.

Maternity leave-taking is on a one-year timescale, but our observations are at the monthly level. Further, estimating event studies requires defining a discrete point of comparison. One difficulty in such a strategy is that we are comparing mothers at the point of birth relative to potentially millions of monthly observations of every Marine in the military. To allow for a point-in-time comparison across similar individuals, we use a machine learningbased matching strategy to identify additional comparison groups who are similar to the new mothers on a variety of characteristics at the particular month of birth. We use this strategy to identify parents who are observably very similar to the mothers. We repeat this exercise for the imputation sample and the pre-pregnancy sample.

How Do I Request Paternity Leave In The Army


To request this conversion of ordinary leave to non-chargeable primary or secondary caregiver leave, covered Soldiers may submit a DA Form 4187 with supporting documents ) through their supporting Defense Military Pay Office to the Defense Finance and

What is military paternity leave?

The birth parent, or if necessary, an active-duty spouse who is the primary caregiver for the child, can also receive another six weeks on top of that. Soldiers and airmen who are secondary caregivers can take three weeks of leave, but sailors and Marines only get two weeks.

Can you get paternity leave if not married army?

The Armys policy only allows paternity leave to be authorized for a married soldier on active duty, including Title 10 and Title 32 Active Guard and Reserve duty, whose wife gives birth to a child. It cannot be applied to unmarried soldiers fathering a child, and does not currently apply to soldiers who adopt a child.

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Paid Parental Leave For Federal Employees

Summary of Paid Parental Leave

Beginning October 1, 2020, paid parental leave may be granted in connection with a qualifying birth or placement . The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act makes paid parental leave available to certain categories of Federal civilian employees. As a result, the Family and Medical Leave Act provisions were amended in Title 5, United States Code to provide up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to covered Federal employees in connection with the birth or placement of a child occurring on or after October 1, 2020.

Paid parental leave granted in connection with a qualifying birth or placement under FEPLA is substituted for unpaid FMLA leave and is available during the 12-month period following the birth or placement. In order to be eligible for paid parental leave under FEPLA, a Federal employee must be eligible for FMLA leave under 5 U.S.C. 6382 or , and must meet FMLA eligibility requirements.

Paid parental leave under FEPLA is limited to 12 work weeks and may be used only during the 12-month period beginning on the date of the birth or placement involved. Within these 12 work weeks, paid parental leave is available as long as an employee has a continuing parental role with the child whose birth or placement was the basis for the leave entitlement.

Paid Parental Leave Bulletin and Forms

Army Revises Policies On Pregnancy Parental Leave For Soldiers

These changes stemmed from a grassroots movement within the Army.

The United States Army has announced new policies to expand soldiers’ and their family’s health.

The 12-part directive expands previous policies such as allowing paid medical leave for pregnancies and pregnancy losses for soldiers and/or their spouses. It also creates new policies such as ones addressing soldiers and spouses going through fertilization treatment.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth signed the Army’s Parenthood, Pregnancy and Postpartum directive 2022-06 on Thursday.

“It’s recognizing that in 2022, we have all different kinds of families going through all different kinds of life issues, and we can really take care of our families so we can retain our soldiers,” Maj. Sam Winkler said during a roundtable at the Pentagon on Thursday.

These changes stemmed from a grassroots movement within the Army and a Facebook group called The Army Mom Life, which has 8.2 thousand members.

One of those members is Staff Sgt. Nicole Pierce. Pierce worked with a committee at the Army headquarters to review the branch’s policies on pregnancy, parenthood and postpartum.

Pierce pushed for the Army to acknowledge the need for soldiers to have medical leave for parents who may have a miscarriage or a stillbirth.

Pierce had her first pregnancy in 2016. Unfortunately, it ended in a miscarriage. Pierce was expected to return to work two days later.

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Background And Related Literature

Maternity leave and other policies, such as job flexibility and unpaid leave, predict whether a mother will return to work after childbirth . The transition to motherhood is often highlighted as the moment the gender wage gap widens over the life cycle . estimated a motherhood wage penalty of 7% per child, which is even higher for high-skilled and high-earning White women . However, the availability and generosity of leave differ substantially by where women live and work.

What Is Edd Of Military Paternity Leave

Women in the Army: Maternity Leave

Much like the EDD in California, the Department of Defense is what withholds the laws and upholds the rights given to service members regarding paternity leave.

This is what will guarantee time off for those members who are new mothers and fathers, and they will be given whatever time off they are allowed in their respective branches.

Short Term Disability & Paternity Leave Discuss.Due to the very clearly outlined laws of paternity leave in the military. Disability leave is not able to be used as a leave for a new child for a father.

Since covered by FMLA and the military Department of Defense, there is not a qualification for paternity leave to be labelled as a disability. However, it is well covered in each branch of our dedicated military.

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Navy And Marine Corps Maternity Leave Policies

Women in the Navy and Marine Corps are given 18 weeks of maternity leave to use during the first year of their childs life. Commanding officers were also granted convalescent leave for up to 84 days. Before, they only received 42 days after the birth of a child.

With the increase of time after birth, there are benefits for the physical and mental health of the mother.

The FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act proposes 12 weeks for all service members. This is also for birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

Along with 12 weeks of parental leave, the FY2022 NDAA also created bereavement leave. This would allow service members to take up to two weeks of leave after the death of a spouse or child.

Military Parental Leave Program

The Military Parental Leave Program provides non-chargeable leave entitlements following the birth or adoption of a Child. The policy applies to covered Soldiers who are birth Mothers or Fathers, same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents.

On April 19, 2022, the Army releasedArmy Directive 2022-06 . The directive contains 12 components. Six are entirely new and the other six are updates to existing policies.

This directive will apply to:

  • Army National Guard of the United States

  • U.S. Army Reserve

Below are the 12 components that are included in the Parenthood, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Directive as well as some of the changes.

  • Postpartum Body Composition Exemption

  • The body composition exemption is increased from 180 days to 365 days after the conclusion of pregnancy.

  • Physical Fitness TestingExemption

  • Soldiers will be exempt from taking a record physical fitness test while pregnant and for a year after pregnancy.

  • Pregnancy and Postpartum Service Uniform Exemption

  • There will be exemptions for pregnancy and postpartum.

  • Child Development Program facilities may be designated as No-Hat, No-Salute areas.

  • Operational and Training Deferments

  • They want to ensure that at least one parent is home with their Child so all birth parents are deferred or excused for 365 days after the birth of their Child from deployments, mobilizations, field training, and other types of military assignments.

  • Education of Leaders

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Navy Paternity Leave Policy

The Navy was the first branch of the U.S. military to implement the 2008 DoD paternity leave program. It dictates that commanding officers will grant 10 days of nonchargeable leave to a married Navy member whose wife gives birth.

The Navy policy allows paternity leave to be used in conjunction with chargeable leave. Paternity leave is not required to be used immediately following the child’s birth, but must be taken the first year. It’s allowable to have the 12-month limit waived if there are extenuating circumstances.

Paternity leave cannot be used consecutively with other normal time off such as weekends or military holidays, or special time-off leave such as three-day passes. And even if a sailor’s wife gives birth to multiples, the paternity leave is limited to 10 days only, not 10 days per child.

How Much Is Paid Military Paternity Leave Allowed

No words

In most circumstances, an active military personnel will receive full pay while time is given off. This is allowing the family to continue to be supported even when the leave is active. It can be thought of as paid time off.

Differentiate Between FMLA and Paternity LeaveAccording to the United States Department of Labor: Eligible employees who are the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a covered servicemember may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period to care for the servicemember,

who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty on active duty.

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Army Overhauls Parenthood Policies: New Leave Guidance Postpartum Rules And More

The Army announced major updates to how it supports parents across the force Thursday morning in a media briefing accompanying the release of a new Army directive.

The document, signed Tuesday by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, updated or reiterated six existing parenthood policies and established six new ones all at once.

Some of the biggest changes include establishing clear miscarriage leave guidance that offers leave to non-birth parents, duty station stabilization for fertility treatment, and paid parental leave for reserve component soldiers.

Pregnant soldiers will now also be able to attend officer professional military education courses, and reserve component troops can accept many temporary active duty tours that previously required negative pregnancy tests.

Many of the policies also apply to troops who become parents through adoption or surrogacy.

Other tweaks include updates to postpartum body composition and fitness testing rules, pregnancy uniform regulations, deployment and training deferments, lactation policies, and family care plans.

Gen. James McConville, the Army chief of staff, said he hopes the new policies will help ensure our best and brightest people dont have to choose between service and family.

New Army Leave Policy More Flexible After Childbirth Gives Three Weeks Off To Fathers

New parents in the Army can take advantage of a revamped parental leave policy that went into effect in a Jan. 22 memo.

Getting the Army in line with the rest of the services, the directives language no longer automatically assumes that postpartum mothers are primary caregivers, while more than doubling the amount of time off previously allowed for new fathers.

The new policy is retroactive to Dec. 23, 2016, according to the memo, so new parents who are still within eligibility windows could be entitled to more leave.

The most significant change separates what has traditionally been known as maternity leave, which increased to 12 weeks immediately after birth in 2016, into two categories: maternity convalescent leave and primary caregiver leave.

Arin Lassiter practices changing a diaper on a premature baby while in an incubator during a Womack Army Medical Center Maternity Fair November 3.

Now, the Army allows six weeks immediately after delivery for a woman to recover physically, then another six weeks she can take at any time within that first year. At the time same, the childs secondary caregiver can take three weeks of leave at any time during that first year as well. The previous policy allowed 10 days, and fathers, for example, had to take the leave within 45 days.

Those limits are extended if a soldier becomes a parent while deployed, and the clock begins when they return.

Some other considerations:


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Troops Would Get 12 Weeks Of Paid Parental Leave As Part Of Defense Bill Deal

The $768.2 billion fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act will require the services to provide up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for military personnel who are designated as either the primary or secondary caregiver for a child.

This means that new military moms who also are the primary caregiver could receive 12 weeks of leave in addition to their six weeks of convalescent leave for a birth or adoption — roughly four months to stay at home with a new child.

The legislation also will expand what was previously referred to as paternity leave, now known as secondary caregiver leave, to 12 weeks. That’s an increase from as little as two weeks in some of the services.

The new benefit, to go into effect a year after the bill is signed into law by President Joe Biden, also will be available to those who enter into a long-term foster agreement for a child.

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According to the lawmakers who sponsored the original version of the bill, the provision brings the benefit in line with those offered by many other federal agencies and private companies and would help improve retention of service members.

“Parental leave for military service members is absurdly out of touch and outdated when compared to federal benefits and options provided by many private, large employers,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., when introducing the proposal in May with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

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