The Marine Corps is updating its policy on leave allowed for secondary caregivers, often referred to as Permissive Temporary Additional Duty or PTAD. The update comes from Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs increasing the previous 14 days leave to 21 days of leave. Per Major Jordan Cochran from Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, this “will further improve Marine and family readiness, as well as recruiting, retention, and overall talent management of the force.”
This policy is also updated for the Navy with a total of 21 days of leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Per Vice Admiral John Nowell Jr, the Chief of Naval Personnel, the “Navy is dedicated to supporting our new parents, and we fully understand that our families are as much a part of our service as our Sailors.”
These policy updates are short-term solutions “while we await more significant changes anticipated as part of [the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act]” which has a proposed change of paid parental leave for up to 12 weeks for all service members. The authorization was signed into law in 2021 but requires Congress to pass the defense appropriations bill for funding to be assigned and available for these changes.
The Army and Air Force have had 21 days of parental leave. The Air Force has a Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP) that provides non-chargeable leave entitlements following the birth or adoption of a child as long as the Service Member meets the eligibility requirements. The Army’s policy of 21-day of non-chargeable leave has been policy since 2019 and can be used within one year of the birth or adoption.
The flexibility for non-chargeable leave is a growing topic of discussion. Some large civilian companies offer up to 20 weeks of paid time for mothers and up to 12 weeks of parental leave for other new parents. These additions are welcome changes as per Pew Research, the United States is the only country that lacks government-mandated paid parental leave across the board in comparison with 40 other countries.