DAF updates leave program; includes support for fertility treatments, transition assistance programs

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

A recent update to the Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-3003, Military Leave Program, includes time for Airmen and Guardians who want to participate in a fertility treatment program at a military medical treatment facility. Authorized up to 35 days of Permissive Temporary Duty, they can divide the days into separate PTDYs if deemed appropriate by their medical provider.

“My wife and I have had our own struggles with starting a family, so I recognize what a strain this can be on our Airmen and Guardians, personally and financially,” said Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. “I wholeheartedly support this program, and I hope our teammates take full advantage of it.”

This policy was championed by the Women’s Initiative Team, one of the seven teams that comprise the DAF Barrier Analysis Working Groups.

“This change is significant for everyone struggling with infertility, just as I have the last 10 years of serving,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kristy Negron, a WIT member. “Infertility takes a huge toll, not only physically and emotionally, but financially. Being able to go PTDY for treatments will help ease some of the stress associated with the process by allowing time off work to focus on our life goals.”

Military members can undergo treatments at six different MTFs: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland; Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii; Womack Army Medical Center, Fayetteville, North Carolina; Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington; San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas; and Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, California.

“I am passionate about this because I believe in taking care of our Airmen and Guardians,” said U.S. Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Martha Burkhead, the WIT lead for this initiative. “I have had several members struggle with fertility issues and can attest to the rippling effects it has across the military.”

Additional changes to the military leave program include: PTDY to attend a Department of Defense-sponsored employment seminar out of the local area under the Transition Assistance Program when the member separates or retires within 365 days; and non-chargeable leave to participate in the SkillBridge program, which offers service members in the last 180 days of their service obligation to receive civilian training for post-service employment.

All changes to DAFI 36-3003 can be found here.