Weeks after the Department of Defense released its new guidelines for parental leave, the Army has finally released its new policy. The Army is doubling the amount of time soldiers can take off as new parents. This change is long overdue and I hope it helps make the transition to parenthood easier for our service members.
The new policy authorizes 12 weeks of leave to new parents, including those who have adopted a child and long-term foster parents who have accepted a new child. This is a significant increase from the previous policy, which only offered six weeks of leave. Birth parents can also take up to six weeks of convalescent leave, which would be on top of the 12 weeks already allotted.
The changes to the parental leave policy stem from the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, and it is retroactive to December 27, 2022. Other branches of the military released their new policies shortly after the Pentagon announced the new guidelines.
The hope is that the new policy will ensure that our service members receive the time they need to care for their families.
Furthermore, the new policy also provides a significant increase in leave for secondary caregivers, who were previously only given just three weeks of leave if a child was born in their family. This change will make it easier for our service members to balance their responsibilities at home and in the military.
In conclusion, the Army’s new parental leave policy is a much-needed change for our service members and their families. It offers a more comprehensive and supportive approach to parenthood, which is essential for our soldiers to succeed both at home and in the military. I am proud to see the Army making this change and I hope it will set a standard for other organizations to follow.