Excess Leave Can Stay

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Shawn Bryant
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing

With the current local area reduction and potential extension of the stop movement looming, many Airmen are concerned about how their leave entitlements will be affected as a result.  Luckily, troops will now be able to carry over excess leave.

Matthew Donovan, the Defense Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness states, “Leave is vital to the continued health and welfare of our service members and civilian workforce and is key to the secretary of defense’s first priority in responding to Covid-19 – protecting our service members.”

According to Donovan, members will now be able to accumulate more than the standard 60 days of leave, but not more than 120, and will have until Sept. 30, 2023 to use it.

This will likely be welcome news as many vacations have had to be cancelled and leave plans have been altered due to the current conditions.

Col. Andy Clark, Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing believes the current local leave restriction to 2 hours will stay in effect throughout any stop movement extensions.

“The idea behind limiting local leave is so that people aren’t driving all over the place [and risking exposure to COVID-19], but yet if they have a need to get something done that is fairly local in nature or they just want some time off and not come to work we are going to authorize that.” Col. Clark said “While we don’t want people traveling, we will see if we can’t relax that at some point.”

While members may not be able to take their dream vacation right now, they do have options at their disposal to maximize that entitlement in the future.

Col. Ron Cheatham, Director of Manpower and Personnel Services for Air Combat Command, voiced his concern over members burning their leave during a recent town hall, “We don’t want our members to have to burn leave just to sit on the same couch they would be on for the duration of the stop movement.”