JULY 26, 2021 – Air Force and Space Force members performing active service, and Reserve and Guard Airmen on Title 10 or Title 32 orders, can now accrue up to 120 days of annual leave for fiscal year 2021 instead of the typical 60 days of leave.
Members will automatically be approved for the special leave accrual and can carry over use or lose leave earned Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021 until Sept. 30, 2024.
This update comes as many Airmen and Guardians have been unable to use their existing leave balances due to travel restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Rest and recuperation are vital to morale, unit and personal performance, and overall motivation for Airmen and Guardians. The Department of the Air Force recognizes the importance to provide opportunities for its service members to use their earned leave in the year it was earned and provide respite from the work environment,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth in a memo.
More detailed instructions are forthcoming, but leave accountability is based on a last-in, first-out system, so members are urged to plan and use leave accordingly. In addition, commanders are encouraged to provide service members opportunities to take leave in the year it is earned.
For more information, see the Department of the Air Force Guidance on Special Leave Accrual Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 for Fiscal Year 2021 memorandum.
Special Leave Accrual (SLA) allows service members who serve in hostile or imminent danger areas for a continuous period of at least 120 days to accumulate and retain up to 60 days of ordinary leave, plus 60 days of SLA-protected leave.
SLA is available to service members who are not allowed to take leave when in a combat zone or a situation preventing leave from being taken. The wing commander or wing vice commander has the final approval authority.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 11 – Sept. 20, 2020, members are authorized to accumulate annual leave in excess of 60 days as shown on the end the month Sept. 2020 Leave and Earnings Statement.
By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs