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Congress authorizes paternity leave

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Eligible Airmen are now authorized 10 days of nonchargeable paternity leave following the birth of their newborns, courtesy of the 2009 Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress.

The law applies to married, active-duty Airmen.

The Airman's wife must have given birth to the child on or after Oct. 14, 2008.

"This is going to have a positive impact on our Air Force families," said Senior Master Sgt. Rhonda Britt, the Directorate of Personnel Services Special Programs superintendent. "By giving our new dads more time to bond with mom and baby, we're building a stronger Air Force family."

Paternity leave, which may be authorized in conjunction with ordinary leave, must be taken on consecutive days and within 60 days following the birth of the baby. For extraordinary circumstances, commanders may authorize paternity leave up to a maximum of 90 days following the baby's birth.

As with any administrative absence, the commander may disapprove paternity leave when it would have an adverse impact on the readiness or operational mission of the unit.

For more information, call your military personnel section or the Air Force Contact Center at 800-616-3775.