Using Military Leave

If you are in the National Guard or are an Armed Forces Reservist, are in a full-time federal civilian position and your federal civilian appointment is not limited to a one year duration, you are entitled to military leave for certain types of active or inactive duty. If you are a part-time career employee or on an uncommon tour of duty, you may also be eligible for military leave.

Visit the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Military Leave page for additional information, including the types of leave available, how leave is charged and how it impacts your civilian pay. Be sure to also check out OPM’s Frequently Asked Questions on Military Leave.

Available Law Enforcement/Military Contingency Leave
Effective November 24, 2003, if you perform full-time military service as a result of a call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation, you may be entitled to an additional 22 days of leave from your civilian duties each calendar year. You are also entitled to this leave if you are activated for a state emergency on orders from the Governor of that state.

For information about the increments in which leave may be used, please visit the OPM Military Leave page’s Days of Leave section.

If you meet the eligibility requirements for using the 22 workdays of military leave, you may elect to use accrued annual leave or available compensatory time earned prior to using the 22 workdays of military leave. Please note that the absence period may not be charged to sick leave.

Required Documentation and Information
If you request Law Enforcement/Military Contingency Leave, you must provide certain documentation to your Customer Service Representative (CSR) when you request the leave and after you actually begin your service. (Your immediate supervisor can direct you to the appropriate CSR.)

When You Are Initially Activated
A copy of each of the following items must be submitted to your CSR prior to the start of your service:

  • Your Military Orders
  • An Estimate of Your Military Entitlements

The military entitlements estimate must be received before your leave can be approved. Since all monthly military compensation is included in the calculation of your military pay, telling your CSR about these entitlements as soon as possible will also help ensure the accuracy of your pay. Entitlement examples that are important to inform your CSR of include, but are not limited to:

  • Basic Pay
  • Basic Housing Allowance
  • Basic Subsistence Allowance
  • Family Separation Allowance
  • Imminent Danger Pay
  • Hardship Duty Pay
  • Sea Duty Pay
  • Flight Pay
  • Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay
  • Monthly Medical Pays

Your military leave cannot be approved and entered into the payroll system until all of your documentation is received.

Once You Are Serving
A copy of each of the following items must be submitted to your CSR once you have begun your military service:

Your Military Leave and Earnings Statement(s) (LES) for the Period(s) for Which You Are Taking Military Leave
  • A Certificate of Attendance

Please be sure to also notify your CSR of any new military entitlements as soon as you become aware of them. This information, the above documents and your civilian payroll records are used to calculate your pay during your leave. For certification purposes, you need to provide a copy of the Return to Active Duty (REFRAD) to the CSR.

To avoid incorrect payments and potentially owing a debt for an overpayment, please be sure to submit the required documentation and information promptly.

Pay During Your Law Enforcement/Military Contingency Leave
For details on how your leave may impact your civilian pay, please see the OPM Military Leave page’s Effect on Civilian Pay section.

For Civilian Pay questions, please contact your Customer Service Representative (CSR). Contact your immediate supervisor for more details.

Page updated December 9, 2016