Under normal circumstances active-duty military personnel are granted 30 days of leave per year at an accrual rate of 2.5 days per month annotated on the members monthly Leave and Earnings Statement. These days are usually used for vacations or other extended time periods away from the service that are longer than three days or need to be taken in the middle of the week. Leave time will roll over from year to year and a service member may carry up to 75 days of leave before he or she will have to use it. Any leave in excess of 75 days is known as “use it or lose it” if not used by Oct. 1.
Temporary and Permissive Temporary Duty Explained
Leave should never be confused with temporary duty (TDY). TDY is non-chargeable leave and is granted to service members when moving from one duty station to another. Active-duty members using PTDY or Permissive TDY are also not charged while on leave but are not granted travel pay.
What is Terminal Leave?
Terminal Leave is any unused or accrued leave used by an active-duty service member prior to separation or retirement from service. Terminal leave may be used prior to a member’s separation date. For example, if a member’s separation date is May 30, and the member has 30 days of leave accrued the member may go on terminal leave starting on May 1. All out processing from active-duty service would have to be completed prior to May 1. Once the member enters terminal leave he or she is essentially out of the service but still collecting a paycheck and other entitlements.
The intention of terminal leave is to use up what is owed by the U.S. government but the military also expects its members to use this time to search for a job. The advantage of having terminal leave is that the member will not have to ask for time off in order to start their job search. The last day of work is followed by PTDY in order for the member to relocate from his or her current location and move on to their civilian housing.
Retiring members will have different priorities for how they use their terminal leave. While some will be eager to get back to the world again after some time off others may want to visit relatives and friends or go on a vacation that they have always wanted to take. With no immediate job to come back to this can be the perfect opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime.
Terminal leave offers military members the opportunity to do so much more and can help with the transition from active-duty member to military retiree.