Today, the Department of Defense will be adopting a new policy that will give some servicemembers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan as many as 15 days of administrative absence (Non-Chargeable Rest and Recuperation Leave) said Sam Retherford, the director for officer and enlisted personnel management in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
“This designation provides an additional benefit specifically for those servicemembers deployed to the most arduous combat areas,” said Retherford. “Administrative absence days, in conjunction with government-funded transportation for R&R, allow servicemembers to save and use their annual leave for reintegration with their families and communities when they return home,” he said.
The approved absences are contingent upon mission requirements, and are only authorized for those servicemembers who participate in the NCR&R program.
NCR&R benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan are effective March 23.
Each combatant command may request the under secretary of defense for Personnel and Readiness designate additional locations for NCR&R, provided they meet all of the following eligibility criteria.
- The areas/locations must be a location where U.S. forces have been engaged in combat operations against a hostile force within the last six months and where actual combat operations are expected to continue.
- The area/location must meet R&R leave program criteria.
- The area/location must be a combat zone designated by presidential executive order.
- The area/location must be an area where servicemembers are exposed to the most arduous conditions (for example, those locations authorized hardship duty pay).
Read more about the new policy on Defense.gov.