paternity leave in army

Paternity Leave for Army Soldiers

Updated on May 18, 2023

In December 2022, a new policy went into effect that allows 12 weeks of paternity leave to servicemembers who have a baby, adopt a child, or have a child in foster care for at least 24 months.

This leave is non-chargeable and paid. This is amazing progress in allowing soldiers to be with their new babies!

Previous Policies

In the past, it was up to the command to grant leave to a soldier who became a father.

Previously, there was a policy in place that grants the new dad (whether for the first child or subsequent children) ten days of non-chargeable leave. The leave had to be taken all at once and within 45 days of the baby’s birth.

Since this passed, it was no longer up to command whether it should be granted – it is guaranteed leave for a new parent.

Now, the leave can be taken within one year and has to be taken in a minimum of one-week increments.

Also, it’s important to note that this policy applies to the parent of the child who didn’t give birth. Female soldiers who give birth fall under different leave policies and may be granted additional leave if medically necessary.

Kudos to those who pushed for this new policy. It is definitely a step in the right direction and ensures all new fathers will receive the same amount of time with their new family regardless of their unit or command.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. I thought I read a new policy where they get 21 days.. I know my husband found it last year when we adopted but have not been able to find it again.. do you know if this is still true and where can I find it for the Soldiers that I work for? Thank you.

  2. Since I don’t know what OSUT or AIT stands for, I might be repeating the above question, if so I’m sorry. My husband is set to be in Ranger School when our second is born, would he be able to get this leave or does the policy not apply to the men in various schools? I had no clue they had enstilled something like this, and was thinking the other night how they should. I’m glad they listened to my thoughts before I even had them! ;p

  3. My husband will be at basic training when my little man arrives
    Many people are telling him he’ll get sent home, but i just don’t see it happening
    Do you know if this is true or not?

  4. Thank you for the info. My husband was to finish his AIT right before we had our baby, but his class date may not start for 2-6 weeks! 🙁 So if all goes well maybe he can take that leave after. I know this sounds morbid, but my dr keeps reminding me we might not have a live birth. (My condition puts us at risk for losing the baby at any point.) Is the leave the same with a still birth?


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