Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP)
The Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP) provides non-chargeable leave entitlements following the birth or adoption of a Child. The policy applies to covered Soldiers who are birth Mothers or Fathers, same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents.
On January 4, 2023, the Department of Defense released DTM 23-001 (Expansion of the Military Parental Leave Program).
The expansion provides parental leave to Active and Reserve component Service members (on active duty for 12 months or more) who have given birth, adopted a Child or had a Child placed for adoption or long-term foster care with them. Birth parents will be granted 12 weeks of parental leave following a period of convalescent leave and non-birth parents will be granted 12 weeks of leave following the birth of their Child. Adoptive parents and eligible foster parents will also be granted 12 weeks of parental leave. The MPLP is designed to allow members to care for their Children while balancing the needs of their unit.
Service members who were on maternity convalescent leave or caregiver leave on December 27, 2022 (before the new policy went into effect) and had not used up their leave will transition to leave under the new policy without any loss of benefit and will receive the expanded benefit. This means that parents on maternity convalescent leave or caregiver leave as of December 27, 2022 will receive a total of 18 weeks (between the old policy and the new policy) of non-chargeable leave following the birth of their Child. Service members (other than birth parents), on caregiver leave, e.g., a Father on three weeks of secondary caregiver leave, as of December 27, 2022, will receive a total of 12 weeks of parental leave.
The leave can be taken by both birth and non-birth parents and must be administered in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the DTM. The expansion of the MPLP, which applies to all eligible Service members as of January 4, 2023, takes precedence over previous DoD issuances and service regulations.