The Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP) consists of the following forms of non-chargeable leave following a qualifying birth event or adoption for covered Service members: Maternity Convalescent Leave, Primary Caregiver Leave, and Secondary Caregiver Leave. This assumes that non-military parents’ career obligations are not as pressing as servicemembers’ when, in fact, most civilians often only have FMLA, which is unpaid. We know that there were already many instances under the last policy when unit supervisors attempted to call in servicemembers before their 12 weeks of guaranteed maternity leave was over. Overall, we believe the MPLP is a step in the right direction, but it just doesn't go far enough to ensure that all military families are afforded the same benefits. Protect, Promote, and Support Breastfeeding Military Families. SCL may be taken consecutively after MCL or on its own for a non-birthparent. This encompasses three new types of non-chargeable leave: --Maternity Convalescent Leave (7.a): MCL is block medical leave available only to the covered servicemember birthparent following a qualifying birth event. Any medically required extensions of MCL will be deducted from PCL. Do not process, store, or transmit any Personally Identifiable Information (PII), UNCLASSIFIED/FOUO or CLASSIFIED information on … The policy applies to covered Soldiers who are birth Mothers or Fathers, same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents. The MPLP states that any servicemember may be designated as either Primary or Secondary Caregiver, and that a birthparent may take either PCL or SCL following MCL. Regular Air Force: Active Duty. MPLP applies to all active component (AC) members and all reserve component (RC) members who were performing active duties, or mobilized more than 12 continuous months and were party to a qualifying birth event (QBE) or qualifying adoption (QA) on or after 23 December 2016. --Primary Caregiver Leave (7.b): PCL is six weeks of non-chargeable block leave for a covered servicemember who self-designates as the primary caregiver for new child who enters the family through a qualifying birth event or adoption. The new Army Military Parental Leave Program, signed Tuesday, gives soldiers who give birth six weeks of maternity convalescent leave, starting immediately after discharge from a hospital. This is especially damaging to parents who wish to breastfeed a child born to a surrogate or adopted, as inducing lactation for a non birthparent often takes many weeks of close contact with the child and intense lactation support. The Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP) replaces current adoption, paternity, and maternity leave with primary caregiver (PC) leave, secondary caregiver (SC) leave, and maternity convalescent leave (MCL). PCL and SCL are rescinded upon the death of a child, and commands may authorize emergency leave, but this is chargeable leave, rather than non-chargeable parental leave. The policy applies to Total Force Airmen who are birth mothers and fathers, same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents. Clarity. Maternity Convalescent Leave is a six-week (42 days), non-chargeable leave period for the Sailor who gives birth, commencing the first full day after a Sailor is released from the hospital following a birth. 2. Only one primary and one secondary caregiver may be authorized for each qualifying birth event or adoption. The MPLP clearly defines the 3 types of leave that comprise this program. The commanding officer (CO) of the member has the authority to designate PC status on a case-by-case basis when it can be demonstrated that the default PC is unavailable to administer the necessary care to the child (e.g., incapacitation, dual military couples, death, or other circumstances where the military parent must act as PC.) However, in some cases where extraordinary and compelling circumstances exist, COs may approve immediate SCL or PCL. Choice. 11. a. Members may elect to execute any remaining PCL or SCL, or have any regular annual leave executed in conjunction with the parental or adoption leave reimbursed not to exceed the PCL or SCL days authorized. Even Maternity Convalescent Leave is rescinded, although “other convalescent leave” may be authorized. 15. No parental leave is authorized in the case of a stillbirth or infant death. The new Army Military Parental Leave Program, signed Tuesday, gives soldiers who give birth six weeks of maternity convalescent leave, starting immediately after discharge from a hospital. Members who are no longer on active duty will not be authorized entitlements outlined herein or following instruction updates. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Air Force and Marines Corps policies both contain language instructing that a servicemember who is not a birthparent will “normally” be considered a Secondary Caregiver. Amy Barron Smolinski, MA, ALC, CLC is the Executive Director of Mom2Mom Global, an international breastfeeding peer support organization that seeks to address the unique needs of breastfeeding families in the U.S. military. FM CNO WASHINGTON DC The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military. At the time this blog is published, only the Air Force and Marine Corps have released their policies, and we are already seeing inconsistency and inequity among service branches. BT This encompasses three new types of non-chargeable leave: --Maternity Convalescent Leave(7.a):  MCL is block medical leave available only to the covered servicemember birthparent following a qualifying birth event. MCL may not be disapproved by commanders. All three types of MPLP leave are non-chargeable leave, and they specifically do NOT incur an Additional Service Obligation (ADSO). The MPLP states that any servicemember may be designated as either Primary or Secondary Caregiver, and that a birthparent may take either PCL or SCL following MCL. We now offer our analysis of the new policy that resulted from that legislation. Please read, sign, and share the letter to help us address these critical issues. There are some really good things in the MPLP, but there are also some deeply concerning structural inequities to this new program. This post was originally posted at Mom2MomGlobal. 1. The new MPLP uses deliberatelyinclusive language to reflect the diverse demographics of military families. The DOD has released Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 1327.06, which defines the new Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP), in accordance with the instructions from the NDAA17. --Secondary Caregiver Leave (7.c):  SCL is up to to 21 days of non-chargeable block leave for a covered servicemember who self-designates as the secondary caregiver for a new child who enters the family through a qualifying birth event or adoption.

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