Army Reserve: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet



Time away from duties and training is critical for the continued well-being of Soldiers. The Army provides a number of benefits that provide Soldiers with the opportunity to have time away from their jobs.


Members of the Army Reserve serving on active duty or initial active duty for training or active duty training for a period of 30 or more consecutive days for which they are entitled to pay are eligible to participate in the various leave programs.

Benefit Highlights:

The following sections provide a summary of the various types of leave available for active duty Soldiers. As with any job, mission requirements, duty assignment or training requirements may require Soldiers to work on certain holidays and weekends. These requirements may also impact the scheduling of annual leave.

Annual Leave: Active duty Soldiers earn 2.5 days of annual leave (vacation) for each month of service, for a total of 30 days per year. Currently, Soldiers can bank up to 75 days of leave at the end of the fiscal year, but effective 30 September 2015 the carry-over provision is reduced to 60 days at the end of the fiscal year. Any additional days above 60 days will be forfeited at the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1). Each Soldier has an individual responsibility to monitor and manage their leave, current leave balance can be found on the Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), which can be viewed at myPay.

Changes in leave policy for the armed forces were directed in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 and extended in the National Defense Act of 2010. These changes are retroactive to 28 January 2008 but will end 30 September 2015, and include:

Increased Leave Accrual: The amount of leave allowed to accrue temporarily increased from 60 days to 75 days effective 28 January 2008 until 30 September 2015. At this time DOD has expressed no intention to request further extension of the 75 day leave carryover and are recommending Soldiers reduce their leave balances to the allowable 60 days by 30 September 2015. Leave protected under Special Leave Accrual will continue to be carried over.

Special Leave Accrual:
a) Personnel serving in hostile fire or imminent danger pay areas (combat zone) for 120 days or more can accumulate up to 120 days of leave and retain it for up to four fiscal years after the FY earned, rather than three, effective January 2008. At the end of the four years, any amount accrued over 60 days will be lost. SLA earned in theater is automatically coded as SLA leave by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) computers when Soldiers are in receipt of Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay and is listed on a Soldiers Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) in the Remarks block as "SLA or CZTE leave (x number of days) and expiration FY." SLA protection ends on the expiration date or when the current leave balance drops below the maximum authorized without SLA.

b) The most leave SLA protects is 120 days. Soldiers deployed to hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay areas for at least 120 consecutive days may continue to carryover up to 120 leave days into succeeding fiscal years.

c) SLA is the only way to increase annual leave carryover. However, Soldiers should not request SLA unless their October LES reports days lost.

Leave Sell Back: Enlisted personnel with more than 120 days of leave accrued may, on a one-time basis, sell back up to 30 days of leave in excess of the 120-day limit. Such leave sell back counts against the 60-day leave sell back limitation during a Soldier's military career.

Additional Information:

For more information on these leave programs and other programs that may be available, please review Army Regulation 600-8-10, Leaves and Passes:

For other PDMRA policy changes along with new guidance governing PDMRA:

To view the Department of Defense's Memorandum on NDAA 2010, Section 504 10 USC 701(d), Changes as it pertains to leave, please visit:

Document Review Date: 26 August 2013