Leave and Vacation After Basic Training

Soldiers sign out for leave.

Everyone in the military earns 2.5 days of leave (vacation time) for every month of active duty service. That doesn't mean you get to use your vacation any time you want. Leave approval is subject to the "needs of the service." That means if the military or your unit has something important going on (such as your training), you can't take leave at that time. Supervisors and/or commanding officers must approve all leave.

Unless you have a verified family emergency (death or serious injury/illness of an immediate family member), you're not allowed to take leave during basic training.

If you joined the Navy or Air Force, you're not usually allowed to take leave until you finish your military job training. The one exception to this rule is that you're usually allowed to take a week or so of leave if you're attendingjob training during the Christmas week.

The Marine Corps grants ten days of leave immediately following basic training graduation, prior to reporting to the School of Infantry. The Coast Guard grants one week of leave following Coast Guard basic training, prior to reporting to the first duty assignment.

While on leave, you're responsible for all travel expenses. The military will pick up the tab for transportation directly from your old duty station to your new duty station, but if you have to go out of your way to get to your leave location, you pay the difference.

Most new recruits (except in the Coast Guard) then go directly from basic training to a military job school to discover how to do their new military job.

From Basic Training for Dummies, copyright © 2011 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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