Military Leave

  1. General Information.

    1. Military leave is approved absence from official duty, for a civilian employee who is a member of a Reserve Component of the Armed Forces or National Guard. Military leave is authorized for days in which the employee is ordered to active duty or inactive duty training. Any employee meeting the following requirements is entitled to military leave:

      • A member of a Reserve Component of the Armed Forces or National Guard;
      • On a full-time or part-time work schedule, or an indefinite employee who does not have an intermittent work schedule; and
      • Serving in an appointment that is not limited to one year or less.

      Although an employee may serve longer than one year on successive temporary appointments; there is no eligibility until the employee serves under an appointment that is not limited to one year of less.
      Employees are not entitled to military leave if they are temporary employees on appointments not to exceed one year (or less); employees on intermittent work schedules; and when-actually-employed employees. Generally, military leave is prorated for employees working a part-time schedule.

    2. Military leave is generally referenced in workdays. However, for timekeeping purposes, it is measured in increments of one hour. The minimum charge is one hour. An employee is charged military leave only for hours that the employee would have worked and received pay.

    3. Members of the Reserve and National Guard are no longer charged military leave for non-duty days; e.g., weekends and holidays, that occur within the military service period. An employee who requests military leave for inactive duty training is charged only for the amount of military leave necessary to cover the period of military training and necessary travel. Hours in the regularly scheduled workday that are not chargeable to military leave must be worked or charged to another category of leave; e.g., annual leave, LWOP, compensatory time, as appropriate.

    4. Military leave should be requested and approved as far in advance as possible to allow the supervisor to accommodate the absence; the same as any other type of leave. There is no requirement to use the OPM Form 71 to request leave but it is the recommend form. Employees need to include the specific dates/hours they want military leave to cover and attach a copy of the military orders which support the request (if available). Specify the type of military leave requested; e.g., normal active duty (see paragraph 2a below); support of a contingency operation; law enforcement support; technicians performing noncombat operations outside the US; or parade/encampment). Upon returning to work; the employee must provide the supervisor with acceptable supporting documentation ; e.g., properly authorized military orders, to support the specific military leave. Documentation must include dates, times, and signatures verifying that the period of active duty was performed.

    5. When an employee has followed leave procedures and provided acceptable evidence to the leave-approving official (i.e., properly authorized military orders), approval of leave requests for military service is mandatory.

  2. Types of Military Leave.

    Practically speaking, there are four types of military leave:

    1. Military Leave Under 5 USC 6323(a), Active Duty, Active Duty for Training, and Inactive Duty Training (often referred to as normal military leave) - An eligible employee must, upon request, be granted up to 15 workdays (120 hours) of military leave (to which entitled) each fiscal year.
      1. For timekeeping within DoD, military leave under this authority is coded as "LM".
      2. Leave is chargeable on an hourly basis without charge for non workdays or holidays. Eligible employees receive fifteen workdays (120 hours) of military leave credited to their account on 1 October of each fiscal year or upon appointment. Military leave is prorated for part-time employees and for employees on uncommon tours of duty based proportionally on the number of hours in the employee's regularly scheduled biweekly pay period.
      3. Employees on military leave under this authority keep both their military and civilian pay.
      4. Unused military leave remaining from the prior fiscal year, not to exceed 15 days; can be carried-over, giving a maximum balance of up to 30 days.

    2. Military Leave Under 5 USC 6323(b), Contingency Operations and Law Enforcement - An eligible employee is authorized to use 22 workdays (176 hours) per calendar year for emergency duty as ordered by the President, the Secretary of Defense, or a State Governor. This leave is provided for employees who perform military duties in support of civil authorities in the protection of life and property or who perform full-time military service as a result of a call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation

Content last reviewed: 6/19/2006-FMJ