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Changes to Air Force leave program take effect

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The changes to Air Force Instruction 36-3003 on Military Leave include revised rules for determining the first and last day of chargeable leave, emergency leave requests, permissive temporary duty and educational leave of absence, officials said here April 8.

The leave rule for determining the first and last day of chargeable leave was changed to align Air Force procedures with Department of Defense guidance, according to Lt. Col. Jodi Riley, Air Force Military Pay, Entitlements and Allowances Policy chief in the directorate of force management policy.

The colonel explained that if a member is starting leave or signing up for space-available travel on a non-duty day, then the member is on leave and that day will be chargeable as leave. If a member returns from leave on a non-duty day, that day will not be charged as leave.

For example, if an Airman who works a typical Monday through Friday work week starts leave on Saturday, Saturday counts as the first day of leave, the colonel said. However, if the Airman starts leave during the work week and returns from leave on a Saturday, the last day of chargeable leave is Friday. In addition, if the Airman starts leave during the work week and returns from leave on a Sunday, the last day of chargeable leave is Saturday. If the Airman returns from leave on a Sunday or holiday, that day is not charged as leave.

The change means the rules for determining the first and last day of chargeable leave have been reversed, Colonel Riley said, adding Airmen were previously charged leave for returning on a non-duty day and now they're charged leave for starting leave on a non-duty day instead.

"There was nothing wrong with the way the Air Force implemented its leave policy," the colonel noted. "The change was made so the Air Force is consistent with the DoD leave policy. There is no need to correct anyone's records because the prior guidance was not wrong."

Because LeaveWeb is not configured to automatically differentiate between the last day of leave and the last chargeable day of leave, Airmen and supervisors will be responsible to input the correct chargeable days into the program based on an Airman's duty schedule.

Air Force officials said Airmen and supervisors should carefully read Air Force Guidance Memorandum 2 to AFI 36-3003, Military Leave Program, paragraphs (i) through (m), before finalizing leave requests under the revised guidelines.

Other leave policy changes are:
-- Expanding the conditions under which a member may request emergency leave, to include when the member or someone in the member's or spouse's immediate family is admitted into an intensive care unit in critical condition due to a major illness or accident

-- Clarification of ordinary leave start and end dates when leave is taken in conjunction with permissive temporary duty as well as clarification of circumstances under which commanders may authorize permissive TDY in conjunction with an adoption

-- Members granted an educational leave of absence will now be charged leave for scheduled school breaks and extended holiday periods unless they return to duty with their units of assignment during the break.

Airmen and supervisors with questions about changes in the leave policy may contact their servicing military personnel section or the total force service center at 800-525-0102 or DSN 665-5000.


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