Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leave aka Vacation days

Leave can be a complicated thing. Mainly because you want to maximize your time off and so you really need to think wisely how and when you want to use it.

You have what they call 'Leave' aka vacation days and you have what they call 'Pass' days. Pass days or Comp days are given to you occasionally. They are days you get to take off that you don't have to use any of your leave for. For example, Top Gun's commander was pleased with his office for doing really well on an inspection so he gave them all a Comp day.

You are the property of the Air Force. Therefore, weekends are not "off" like any other normal job. However, each weekend your are essentially given 'pass' days and don't have to go to work. You may be asking why I am mentioning this. Well it's because I'm hoping it will help you better understand the following.

If you want to take a vacation from say Thursday to a Tuesday. You would think you would only need to take 4 days of leave, Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. Wrong. You would have to take 6 days leave and count the weekend. If you are away from your base X amount of miles you must take leave. I think this is stupid, for a lack of a better word. Because you can however
go out of town X amount of miles away from base on a Saturday morning and as long as you return by Monday morning at 7:30 to report to work then you don't need to take leave.

This works for holiday's as well. If you leave the 23rd of December and say it's on a Friday and come back the 26th, a Monday. You'd think cool, I only need to take 1 day leave, the 23rd. Wrong, you'd have to count the whole weekend as leave if you went X amount of miles away from your base. The point is why use your leave for holidays you get off anyways. You might as well stay around base for the holidays and then fly somewhere later so you get more days off in the end with less leave used. Does this make since???? I told you it was complicated.

*****AGAIN EACH BASE HANDLES LEAVE DIFFERENTLY. Larger bases will generally be more strict and smaller bases vice verse. This post is just to give you a general idea about leave. Mainly that weekend's count!***********


  1. Is the X amount of miles different for each base? What is an estimate of miles you can leave? Do you put the X miles into a log or something?
    If I was at Luke AFB in Phoenix, AZ and drove to Queen Creek, AZ which is 60 miles, would it be within X miles? Would we log it in? Can we go as many miles as we want without it being leave if we are back by the end of the day and log it in?

  2. Mile radius does depend on each base. AND EVERY BASE handles leave differently. I don't even know what the mile radius for us is. I'd like to guess that it's a couple hundred miles. But there is no log. You wouldn't need to tell or get permission from anyone to go 60 miles away if you weren't going to have to take any work/duty days off. It only comes into affect when you choose to take a work day off. It's also all honor code when you submit leave. Technically you could leave on a Saturday but report that you are leaving on a Monday morning. But that's dishonest. So to answer you question there is no log or anything like that.

    AGAIN EACH BASE HANDLES LEAVE DIFFERENTLY. A JAG here couldn't leave the base on (I think it was Veteran's Day) to go visit her husband JAG 2 hours away but her husband whose a JAG could leave his base to visit her. Larger bases will generally be more strict and smaller bases vice verse. This post is just to give you a general idea about leave. Mainly that weekend's count!

  3. Thanks for the answers. We actually made our choice to apply and my husband has his interview on Friday, thus the myriad of questions : )

  4. Dear Jag Wife,
    Thanks again for this wonderful blog. A few months ago my husband found out that he had been accepted into the program. I'm incredible proud and so excited for this next chapter of life to begin. Tuesday, he attended a lunch with the JAG officer who interviewed him, all the JAGs at that base, and the other JAGs who had been selected through that base with him. We’ve been reading your blog together and my husband told me that he felt way ahead of the curve as far as understanding the questions that were being asked (on leave, COT, moving etc.) largely due to your blog- so thanks from both of us!

    A few more questions for you if you don’t mind:
    First, I was wondering about the process of living off base vs. on base. Is it always a choice? Is one of them the default? For example, only a certain amount of people are allowed to live off base and if they have housing on base, you have to take it. Or is it the other way around that most folks want to live on base?

    Secondly, I wonder if you could share your thoughts/impressions of deployments. We’ve heard we should expect him to deploy to Afghanistan/Iraq during the first four years. Is that your impression too? Is there any rhyme or reason to when they deploy (i.e. most don’t go until they have been a JAG for two years, or most go within the first year etc.)? How long do they usually deploy for? We don’t have kids, and so would it ever make sense for me to leave the base we’re stationed at while he is deployed? I.e. go live with family or friends or do most people just stay on the base?

    Thanks again, we’re so grateful.