Coast Guard Commandant announces parental leave policy expansion

WASHINGTON – The Coast Guard Commandant announced an expansion to the service’s parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child.

The change comes in accordance with the Department of Defense Military Parental Leave Program.

Previously, Coast Guard policy authorized 12 consecutive weeks of maternity convalescent leave to female service members, and 10 days of non-chargeable leave to service members whose spouse gave birth.

The new policy outlines three forms of non-chargeable leave following a qualifying birth event or adoption: maternity convalescent leave, primary caregiver leave and secondary caregiver leave. Now maternity convalescent leave and primary caregiver leave are both 42 days, while secondary caregiver leave is 21 days. Every birth mother will have maternity convalescent leave.

The policy applies to all Coast Guardsmen who are birth mothers and fathers, same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents. The new policy also applies to reservists on active duty.

It is effective immediately and retroactive to December 23, 2016. The full bulletin sent out by the Coast Guard can be found here.