A U.S. military leave is a scheduled time away from the assigned duties. There are different types of leave, and the process to apply depends on which type of leave is appropriate. Each request is evaluated on an individual basis before it is granted.

Apply for U.S. Military Leave

Expect to accumulate 2.5 days of leave every month you serve in the military. This accounts for the 30 days that are allowed yearly. Service members can use the time as they choose. Vacations and family time at home are the most common reasons for taking a military leave.

Keep account of your accumulated leave time by reviewing your Leave and Earnings Statement monthly. This document records your pay and available leave status, so you can know at any time when you're eligible to apply for leave.

Ask for ordinary leave as a common request. This is regular chargeable leave time that is scheduled in advance, usually for the purpose of vacationing. Request the appropriate forms to apply from your Human Resources Department or your commanding officer.

Use what is known as emergency leave for situations that must be processed immediately due to an unplanned, urgent need. This is still charged to your accumulated leave time for the year.

Apply for convalescent leave when medical issues prohibit you from fulfilling your duties. This is not time charged against your accumulated leave time, and it requires a doctor's signature to verify the inability to perform. This leave is extended until the doctor states you are released.

Recognize permissive TDY is leave granted for the purpose of station to station travel. It is not charged against your leave time, and neither does it qualify for travel pay.

Accumulate leave up to 60 days. The U.S. military allows you to roll over your leave time from one year to the next before you have to apply for time off. If you go beyond the 60 days without taking leave, you will lose the excess time accumulated.


  • If you choose to leave the military before all of your leave time is used, you will be paid for the remaining days at the time you separate from the military.


  • If you take more days of leave than what you have accumulated and are discharged from the US military, the amount of pay for the excess days will be deducted from your final check.