The FY 2009 Defense Authorization Act established a new program which allows up to ten days of non-chargeable leave for new fathers. The act leaves it up to the individual services to develop plans to implement the new benefit. The Navy is the first service to implement the new program. The Navy paternity leave policy grants ten days of non-chargeable leave to a married member of the Navy on active duty whose wife gives birth to a child. Here are the basic of the Navy Paternity Leave program:
- Paternity leave may be granted in conjunction with ordinary leave.
- Commanding officers will grant leave on an individual basis dependent on the unit's mission, specific operational circumstances, and service member's billet (job).
- Paternity leave must be taken within 365 days of the birth of the child (waivers to this policy are available, based on exception circumstances that prevented the use of paternity leave within 365 days of birth).
- The full ten days of paternity leave need not be taken in a single block. However, periods of paternity leave may not be taken consecutively in conjunction with liberty (normal time off, such as weekends and holidays), or special liberty (such as a 3-day pass).
- The ten day entitlement remains the same for multiple births (twin, triplets, etc.).
- Members who have used earned leave in conjunction with the birth of a child on or after October 14, 2008 should contact their personnel support activity detachment to have up to ten days of leave reinstated.
For complete details, see Navy Administrative Message 341/08.