The U.S. Army approved a new set of parental policies.
Soldiers were asked to identify issues that face pregnant and postpartum Soldiers.
The Army’s Parenthood, Pregnancy and Postpartum directive includes 12 parts, some of which include allowing paid medical leave for pregnancies and pregnancy losses for soldiers or their spouses.
The Army is taking steps to help expecting mothers, new parents and others battling childcare challenges during their service after receiving feedback.
Other parts of the directive include expanding postpartum operational and training deferments, extending exemptions for physical fitness testing and the Army Body Composition Program, standardizing convalescent leave in cases of pregnancy loss, allowing select professional military education attendance while pregnant, creating stabilization while undergoing fertility treatments, and increasing family care plan flexibility.
“We recruit Soldiers, but we retain families,” said Gen. James McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army. “Winning the war for talent means making sure our best and brightest people don’t have to choose between service and family.”
Six of the directives are new and five of them were suggested from Soldier feedback. The remaining six are updates to existing policies.
Although four components were required by Congress, the Army expanded on the initial requirements to improve the health and quality of life of all parents.
The new directives will affect approximately 400,000 soldiers who are parents and includes 29,000 single fathers.
Brigade-level leaders will be required to establish their own policies to reinforce the directive.
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