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Navy asking Pentagon to increase paternity leave time

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin Crossley/Released)

The Navy is advocating a change that would give fathers and secondary caregivers more time off after a birth or adoption, the service’s personnel chief said.

Non-chargeable leave would rise from a maximum of 10 days up to a cap of 21 days under the recommendation, Vice Adm. Robert Burke, who serves as chief of naval personnel and deputy chief of naval operations, said in an interview with Stars and Stripes on Wednesday.

The recommendation stems from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the Pentagon to increase non-chargeable leave across the services. The recommendation is subject to approval by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

“We don’t know exactly where it’s going to fall out on the OSD policy,” Burke said.

“The current (policy) is 10 and 10 for paternity and adoption leave, so it could be going up to somewhere around 21 and 21, is what we’re guessing … that’s what we’re recommending. We’ll see where it comes out.”

In 2015, the Navy implemented an 18-week maternity leave policy. The policy was overruled in 2016 by then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who set a 12-week maternity leave policy for all the services.


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