JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
Unless approved for special leave accrual, active duty and Active Guard Reserve members who have more than 60 days of leave must use it or lose it by Oct. 1, 2013, when the temporary leave carryover extension provision expires, Air Force Personnel Center officials said today.
The 2010 National Defense Authorization Act included a provision that allowed members to carry up to 75 days of leave forward to the new fiscal year in response to limited leave opportunities tied to deployments and other mission requirements, said Senior Master Sgt. Kreig Cressione, AFPC Special Programs Branch Chief.
"It's possible that the provision could be extended, but Airmen shouldn't count on that. Members must plan ahead to ensure they're able to use their excess leave," Cressione said. "Supervisors need to be aware, as well, so they can work to deconflict leave in their work centers."
"Airmen who do not have more than 60 days also need to be cognizant of the change," Cressione said. Between now and the end of fiscal year 2013, active duty members will earn 2.5 leave days per month, so an Airman with more than 30 days of accrued leave today could be over the limit by Sept. 30, 2013.
Some reserve members will be affected as well, said Lt. Col. Belinda Petersen, Air Reserve Personnel Center public affairs.
"Although traditional Air Reserve Component and active duty personnel programs differ slightly, AGR members accrue leave the same way active duty members do, so the extension expiration will affect them," Petersen said. "Some people may not be aware of the difference between traditional Reserve and AGR, so if you're affected, it's a good idea to make sure your supervisor and coworkers are aware."
Excepted from the use-or-lose rule are those with approved SLA.
"Special leave accrual approval is for members who couldn't use their leave because of national emergency, crisis, catastrophe, or national security situations," said Cressione. "SLA isn't granted when Airmen choose not to take leave under those conditions, but when they are unable to do so."
Airmen who have been approved for SLA, depending on their location and situation, could be authorized to carry as much as 120 days for as long as four years.
"Most Airmen won't be able to carry that much excess leave for that long," he said. "Airmen on active duty who are entitled to hostile fire/imminent danger pay are generally authorized to carry excess leave, but it isn't automatic - they have to request it."
For SLA approval, Airmen must submit a request to the unit commander. Deployed members must identify themselves to the Personnel Support for Contingency Operations team, and the PERSCO team will notify their home station Military Personnel Section for action.
"If you don't have approved SLA, you can only carry 60 days into the next fiscal year, though," Cressione said. "So don't wait until the last minute to plan your leave."
For information about the military leave program and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil