The Department of Defense's actions to stem the spread of coronavirus disease 2019
(COVID-19), to include restricting travel, has significantly limited the ability of Service
members to take leave during the national emergency. Leave is vital to the continued health and
welfare of our Service members and civilian workforce and is key to the Secretary of Defense's
first priority in responding to COVID-19-protecting our Service members, DoD civilians, and
their families. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) civilian workforce policies already
make allowances for leave accrual under exigent circumstances pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 6304(d).
Therefore, in recognition of the impact of the Department's response to COVID-19 on
Service members' ability to take leave and properly manage their leave balances, effective
March 11, 2020 through September 30, 2020, and pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 701(f)(l)(A) and
(B)(iii), members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Space Force performing
active service (as that term is defined in 10 U.S.C. § 701(a)) during the effective period, are
authorized to accumulate annual leave in excess of 60 days (not to exceed 120 days) as shown on
the end of month September 2020 Leave and Earnings Statement. Such members are further
authorized to retain such unused leave until the end of Fiscal Year 2023 (i.e., September 30, 2023).
The active service described here shall be considered qualifying duty for purposes of 10 U.S.C. §
This authorization does not apply to Service members who would otherwise be
authorized to accumulate leave in excess of 60 days as of October 1, 2020, under section
70 I (f)(l )(A) and (B)(i) and (ii) or under 701 (f)(2) prior to this directive.