by Col. Johnnie Seward
USAFE Force Management director
9/11/2007 - RAMSTEIN AB, Germany -- As the end of the fiscal year approaches "use or lose" leave becomes one of the main topics of discussion.
As a reminder, it is the member's responsibility to ensure leave is consummated prior to the end of September and commanders must allow them to use their leave to the greatest extent possible to avoid entering a "use or lose" situation.
The start of the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 and members with leave in excess of 60 days will lose those days with a few exceptions.
Members who were unable to take leave due to duty assignments in support of contingency operations may qualify for Special Leave Accrual consideration.
The purpose of SLA is to prevent members from losing accrued leave if they were unable to take normal leave due to significant and unforeseen operational mission requirements.
There are two main categories that historically have been used as the basis for SLA:
* Members who served on active duty and deployed (or PCSd) for a continuous period of at least 120 days assigned to a hostile fire and/or imminent danger pay area.
* Members who lost leave due to their support of contingency operations and were not in a hostile fire and/or imminent danger pay area.
Members need to be mindful that it is at the commander's discretion whether or not an individual will be approved to carry an excess of 60 days of leave.
Official Air Force guidance for this year's SLA program is expected for release early September.
For further information, contact USAFE A1PF Force Management Branch at DSN 480-6518 or your local military personnel flight.