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Military Leaves, Passes, and Liberty

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Except for emergency leave, the first leave taken after reenlistment shall be considered reenlistment leave and should normally begin immediately upon reenlistment. However, it may be delayed so as to begin upon completion of a course of instruction that begins within 30 days of reenlistment or upon transfer from an overseas station incident to the Service member's reenlistment. In addition, reenlistment leave may also be deferred for reasons of operational necessity. Re-enlistment leave is chargeable leave. Up to 60 days "saved" leave and 30 days "advanced leave" (if approved by the commander) can be taken.

Excess Leave. Excess leave is granted for personal emergencies over and above the amount the member can earn before discharge, separation, or retirement. The total amount of accrued, advance, and excess leave cannot exceed 60 days for any one period of absence. Excess leave is a no-pay status; therefore, entitlement to pay and allowances and leave accrual stops on the member’s first day of excess leave. A member will not receive disability pay, if injured, for time spent on excess leave; he or she is ineligible by law to receive disability retired pay or disability severance pay. The only exception to the 60-day limit is to give indefinite periods of unpaid absence to the member being processed for certain discharges as awaiting approval of a court-martial sentence.

Environmental and Morale Leave (EML). EML is authorized at an overseas installation where adverse environmental conditions require special arrangements for leave in desirable places at periodic intervals. Funded EML is charged as ordinary leave, but members are authorized to use DoD-owned or -controlled aircraft; plus, travel time to and from the EML destination is not charged as leave. Unfunded EML is also charged as ordinary leave, but members are authorized space-available air transportation from the duty locations, and travel time to and from the leave destination is charged as leave.

Regular and Special Passes/Liberty

A pass (called "liberty" in the Navy/Coast Guard/Marine Corps) is an authorized absence, not chargeable as leave, for short periods to provide respite from the working environment or for other reasons.

Regular Pass. A regular pass starts after normal working hours on a given day and stops at the beginning of normal working hours the next duty day. This includes nonduty days of Saturday and Sunday and a holiday for up to 3 days total if a member normally works Monday through Friday or up to 4 days for a member who works a nontraditional works schedule, such as a compressed workweek. The combination of nonduty days and a public holiday may not exceed 4 days. DoD or higher management levels may determine that a Monday or Friday is compensatory (comp) time off when a holiday is observed on a Tuesday or Thursday, in which case a regular pass may consist of a weekend, a comp day off, and a public holiday.

Special Pass. Commanders grant special passes for unusual reasons, such as comp-time off, reenlistment, and special recognition. The special pass may be for 3- or 4-day periods. Commanders will not grant special passes combined with regular pass or holiday periods when the combined period of continuous absence exceeds the 3- or 4-day limitation. Also, special passes may not be combined with leave. Special pass periods begin the hour the member departs from work and end when the member returns to duty. Members may be required to return in the event of an operational mission requirement such as a recall, unit alert, or unit emergency. Members should always have their military identification card in their possession for identification purposes while on authorized absences from official duty. When it is essential to control authorized absences for security or operational reasons and other special circumstances, commanders can use DD Form 345, Armed Forces Liberty Pass

Permissive TDY (PTDY)

PTDY is a period of authorized administrative absence to attend or participate in a designated official or semi-official program for which funded TDY is not appropriate. PTDY is not chargeable leave. Commanders may not authorize PTDY in place of leave or special pass nor in conjunction with special passes.

Types of authorized PTDYs include, but are not limited to:

  • Traveling to or in the vicinity of a new PDS to secure off-base housing before the member outprocesses the old PDS. (Generally, members request PTDY after signing in at the new PDS.)
  • Accompanying a dependent patient or military member patient to a designated MTF not in the local area when the medical authority deems it essential.
  • Attending national conventions or meetings hosted by service-connected organizations such as the Air Force Sergeants Association and the Noncommissioned Officers’ Association.
  • Participation in the Recruiters Assistance Program (RAP).

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