:: Leave and Liberty ::

Leave is authorized vacation or absence from duty, as distinguished from liberty. Liberty is the authorized absence of a Marine from a place of duty for short periods and not chargeable to the leave account. In a civilian job, your annual vacation would be the counterpart of leave. Weekends, periods between the end of one work day and the beginning of work the next and occasional days or afternoons off not counting against your annual vacation would correspond to liberty.
 Marines may be granted annual leave at any time the absence would not be inconsistent with operational readiness requirements or the accomplishment of the mission of the command. Marines may not always be able to get their annual leave at the particular period or periods they would like. CO's are restricted as to the number of Marines they may allow to be on leave at one time. They must grant leave so that there is the least interference with duty and training  schedules. Marines need not take all of their annual leave during one continuous period. They may take portions of it at different times during the year.
 Leave is earned at the rate of two and one half days a month. In twelve months they earn 30 days leave. No leave is earned during periods of unauthorized absence or during periods of confinement serving sentence of a court-martial. Their monthly Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) will keep them advised of their leave status.
 A Marine mat not be authorized more than 60 days annual leave during any fiscal year, nor may a Marine be authorized annual leave for a continuous period of more than 60 days unless specifically authorized by the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Advance Leave is granted to a Marine, with pay and allowances, prior to its accrual based on the reasonable expectation that the amount advanced will be earned before a Marine's separation, or in the case of a Marine who has executed a first extension of enlistment, before the effective date of that extension.

Excess Leave is leave granted in excess of accrued and advance leave and its the term used to describe a minus leave balance on the effective date of separation. A minus balance on the date of discharge for the purpose of immediate reenlistment is excess leave only to the extent that it exceeds the leave accrual potential of the unserved period of enlistment terminated by the discharge.

Emergency Leave  is authorized under the following circumstances as verified by such means as the leave granting authority considers sufficient. Verification may be by letter, telegram, or telephone call from a family member, minister, physician, American Red Cross, etc.

  • Upon the death of a family member of a Marine's immediate family, i.e., father, mother, person standing in for a parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother, sister, or any only living relative.
     

  • When the return of a Marine will contribute to the welfare of a dying member of his or her immediate family as defined above.
     

  • When due to any serious illness or injury or a member of a Marine's immediate family as defined above, important responsibilities are placed upon a Marine which cannot be accomplished from the duty station.
     

  • When failure to return home would create a serious and unusual hardship on a Marine or the family.


Marines may not go on leave without a written leave authorization which will prescribe the date and time their leave is effective and the date and time their leave ends. Marines are to keep their leave authorization with them while they are on leave and return it to their unit office when they get back.

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