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Paternity Leave

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Updated December 21, 2008

The Air Force has announced the implementation of their paternity leave program. The 2009 Defense Authorization Act allows up to 10 days of paternity leave for married active duty fathers, but the law allows each service to establish their own rules to implement the new law.

Eligible Airmen are now authorized 10 days of nonchargeable paternity leave following the birth of their newborns.

The Air Force policy applies to married, active-duty Airmen, and the Airman's wife wife must have given birth to the child on or after Oct. 14, 2008.

Under the Air Force program, paternity leave, which may be authorized in conjunction with ordinary leave, must be taken on consecutive days and within 60 days following the birth of the baby. For extraordinary circumstances, commanders may authorize paternity leave up to a maximum of 90 days following the baby's birth. This differs from the Navy program, announced earlier this month, which allows maternity leave to be taken up to 365 days following birth, and does not require it to be taken in a single block.

As with any administrative absence, the commander may disapprove paternity leave when it would have an adverse impact on the readiness or operational mission of the unit.

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