A new nonchargeable rest and recuperation leave policy for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan announced by the Pentagon on Monday gives those deployed for 270 days or more 15 days of administrative absence on top of their regular annual leave.
“This designation provides an additional benefit specifically for those service members deployed to the most arduous combat areas,” Sam Retherford, the Pentagon’s director of officer ane enlisted personnel management, said in a statement. “Administrative absence days, in conjunction with government-funded transportation for R&R, allow service members to save and use their annual leave for reintegration with their families and communities when they return home.”
The benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan are effective Tuesday, March 23, the Pentagon said.
Granting of the days is contingent upon mission requirements and authorized only for those service members who take part in the Non-Chargeable Rest and Recuperation program.
The no-charge administrative leave program is being limited to those in the “most arduous” areas, Retherford said.
Combatant commanders can ask the Pentagon to designate additional locations for the NCR&R if the area/location:
Is a place where U.S. forces have been engaged in combat operations against a hostile force within the last six months and where actual combat operations are expected to continue.
Meets R&R leave program criteria.
Is in a combat zone designated by presidential executive order.
Is in an area where service members are exposed to the most arduous conditions (for example, locations for which Hardship Duty Pay is authorized).