WASHINGTON — The policy allowing servicemembers to carry-over up to 75 days of leave from one training year to another has been extended until Sept. 30, 2015.
The leave carryover policy was set to revert back to only 60 days on Sept. 30 of this year. But the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act passed this month extends the 75-day carry-over.
“Otherwise there was going to be a big push the last few months of the year for everybody to burn up their extra 15 days of leave,” said Victor Bosko of the G-1 Compensation and Entitlements Division at the Pentagon. “Now they have two more years.”
The 75-day leave carryover policy was implemented in 2008 due to the high operations tempo, Bosko said. “Everybody was complaining about losing leave,” he said about troops at that time. The policy was geared at easing some of the OPTEMPO stress.
The message states that commanders will monitor leave balances via the unit commanders finance report, known as the UCFR, and encourage them to use their leave in the year it is earned.
“It’s the Soldiers’ responsibility to manage their leave,” Bosko said.
Leave balances exceeding 60 days will be lost on Oct. 1, 2015, he said, unless coded as “special leave” accrued in theater.
Soldiers can actually accrue up to 120 days of leave and carry it over while serving in a combat theater of operations, Bosko said. Soldiers have up to four years to use that special leave.