DOD Leave Leniency policy allows 120 days of leave to carry over

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Every active duty service member earns 2.5 days of leave every month for a total of 30 days a year. Typically you are only allowed to carry over up to 60 days of unused leave at the start of the new fiscal year beginning October 1. That means, by September of every year, if you have more than 60 days of accrued leave, you will need to use some before October 1; otherwise, you will lose any days above 60.

Due to the global travel restrictions for DOD personnel and local travel restrictions, the DOD has authorized servicemembers to carry over up to 120 days of accrued leave every year until September 30, 2023. If you had vacation plans ruined due to COVID-19, then you can carry over extra leave days and have more opportunities to take leave next year when all this dies down.

You can see how much leave you currently have by checking your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) at

LES Leave statement2


Understanding your Leave Statement

  • BF Bal: This is your “before balance.” The number of leave days unused at the start of the fiscal year or the beginning of your term.
  • Ernd: This is “earned” leave. The number of leave days earned since the beginning of the fiscal year.
  • Used: This is how many days have been used during the current fiscal year.
  • Cr Bal: This is your “current balance.” The current number of days available to use.
  • ETS Bal: The number of days you will have accrued between now and when you ETS plus any current unused leave days.
  • LV Lost: This is the total number of leave days lost. (unused days above 60 at the start of the fiscal year. Currently raised to 120 days allowed to carry over)
  • LV Paid: The total number of leave days paid out. You can sell back unused leave days up to 60 throughout your career when you reenlist, extend, or separate from the military. You are paid based on the base pay rate without special pay or allowances.
  • Use/Lose: This is the current projection of use or lose days for the fiscal year. If you do not take any more leave between now and October 1, this is how many days after your 2.5 days accrual each month that will exceed the total number of carryover days allowed.