Washington, DC - Following the January 28 announcement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter establishing a Department of Defense-wide 12-week maternity leave policy, the Navy released its guidance today in NAVADMIN 046/16.
This new policy applies to all Sailors in the active duty component, and those Reserve component members serving on mobilization orders for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
Since the Navy had previously implemented an 18-week maternity leave policy in 2015, Sailors who are pregnant or give birth on or before March 3, 2016, will be granted up to 18 weeks of maternity leave. The date of pregnancy will be determined by a privileged medical care provider.
Those who become pregnant after March 3, will be entitled 12 weeks of non-chargeable maternity leave. Sailors must take this leave consecutively and immediately following a child's birth, or release from hospitalization (whichever is later).
As always, unit commanders and medical providers may continue to grant convalescent leave based on the individual Sailors' fitness for duty; meaning, this policy does not constrict convalescent leave in excess of 12 weeks, where a health professional/medical authority deems that such leave is warranted.
Besides the changes to maternity leave, DoD is working to expand both paternity leave and adoptive leave for service members.
It will ask for legislation from Congress to expand the current 10-day paternity leave offered to service members to a 14-day, continuous leave.
Authority will also be sought from Congress to change the current three week leave policy for adoptive leave for one parent to include both parents of a dual military couple by authorizing the second military parent two weeks of leave.