Special Leave Accrual (SLA)

Army National Guard: Federal Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet



Special Leave Accrual (SLA) allows Service members who serve in hostile fire/imminent danger area for a continuous period of at least 120 days to accumulate and retain up to 120 days of leave (60 days of ordinary leave, plus 60 days of SLA-protected leave). The intent of SLA is to provide relief to Service members who are not allowed leave when undergoing lengthy deployment or during periods of hostility


SLA is authorized to Service members who served at least 120 continuous days in an area for which hostile fire or imminent danger pay special pay is authorized.  No additional criteria are required under this area for approval.  Also, Service members assigned to a designated deployable ship, designated mobile unit, or other similar prescribed duty may be authorized SLA if operational requirements prevented use of leave.

Service members who meet all the following conditions may also qualify for special leave accrual:

  1. Deployed for a lengthy period, normally 60 or more days.
  2. Deployed to meet a contingency operation of the United States.
  3. Deployed to enforce national policy or an international agreement based on a national emergency or in the need to defend national security.
  4. Prevented from using leave through the end of the FY because of deployment.

Service members may continue to qualify for the 120-day requirement for up to 90 days when hospitalized outside of the hostile fire area.  Qualification is based on continued eligibility for hostile fire or imminent danger pay.

Benefit Highlights:

SLA authorizes Service members to carry forward up to 120 days of leave at the end of a FY (60 days normal leave plus 60 days special leave).  Accrued SLA must be used before the end of the fourth fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the qualifying service ended.  The portion of the leave balance that exceeds 60 days, regardless of whether or not the Service member was assigned to a designated activity, will be lost.

Active duty members who serve in a duty assignment in support of a contingency operation are authorized to accumulate annual leave in excess of 60.  These Service members are authorized to retain such leave until the end of the second fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the duty assignment in support of a contingency operation is terminated.

SLA protection ends either on the expiration date or when the Service member's current leave balance (Cr Bal) drops to 60 days or less. SLA days cannot be sold, and must be used before their expiration date.

SLA earned in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area (theater) is automatically coded as SLA leave by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) computers when Service members are in receipt of Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay.  SLA is listed on the Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) in the Remarks block as "SLA or CZTE leave (x number of days) and expiration FY."

Caution:  Service members who maintain maximum leave balance are at risk of loss of leave over 60 days if the operational situation prevents them from taking leave before the end of the fiscal year.  Each Service member has an individual responsibility to monitor and manage their leave. 

Note: SLA parameters are based on statutory law, not Army policy.

Requesting Special Leave Accrual

Requests must provide all of the following information below:

  1. Information why Service members were deployed for a lengthy period, normally 60 or more days, during fiscal year.
  2. The date command was notified of deployment requirements.
  3. Who directed deployment requirement.
  4. Unclassified name of the operation, if applicable.
  5. The date the Service member was notified of the deployment requirement.
  6. The date of departure on deployment and the date of return or projected return.
  7. Information concerning commander's annual leave program and the Service member's ability to take leave during the fiscal year.
  8. The Service member's leave schedule prior to notification of the deployment requirement.
  9. Whether the Service member could have taken any leave after notification of deployment, and prior to departure on deployment. Explain.
  10. Whether Service member could have taken any leave or can take leave while deployed. If not, what prevented or is preventing leave use.
  11. How many leave days Service member lost or will lose at the end of the fiscal year.

Additional Information:

Army Regulation 600-8-10, Leaves and Passes:

Army HRC Leaves and Passes Homepage:

DoD Instruction NUMBER 1327.06 regarding Leave and Liberty Policy and Procedures including Special Leave Accrual:

DoD 7000.14-R, "Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations (FMRs)," Volume 7A, "Military Pay Policy and Procedures - Active Duty and Reserve Pay:

Document Review Date: 2 February 2017