Leave is an entitlement as an Air Force service member, therefore, you have the right to exercise this entitlement for personal reasons or vacation. Taking leave helps boost morale of the service members, alleviates duty pressures off their shoulders, and enhances their psychological and physical well being. However, it is at your commander’s discretion to approve your leave request.
Annual Leave Program
In general, air force service member will get 2.5 days leave for each month of active duty, and thus 30 days of leave per year. All members are encouraged to take leave for 14 consecutive days or more every year. If “leave days” are left unused, members can accumulate up to 60 days within a fiscal year–from October 1st. of the previous year to September 30th this year. You will still get paid during this annual “ordinary” leave period.
When it comes to major national holidays, airman’s time off is counted as leave only when he/she begins his/her leave on the holiday date, or currently on leave when the holiday takes place. Otherwise, when soldier’s leave ends on a holiday it doesn’t count as part of the leave days.
Exception to Annual Leave
Certain air force duties and locations may prohibit leave, especially in a hostile environments. Air Force service members may be eligible for the Special Leave Accrual (SLA). SLA allows air force service members to accumulate leave more than 60 days within a fiscal year, but those leave are intended to be used not for payment–that is to say, you cannot accumulate your leave days and cash them out later as a boost to your salary.
Emergency leave is approved by your commander on a case by case basis. The unit commander may grant you 30 days or less of your initial emergency leave. However, your commander may grant you up to 30 additional days as an extension.
If you have exhausted all your “ordinary” or advanced leave(that you haven’t earned) when you are in need of an emergency leave, your unit commander may approve the leave days that’s only absolutely necessary to take care of the emergency situation. You may use emergency leave to settle urgent personal or family concerns of your immediate family.
* You immediate family consist of your and your spouse’s:
Parents (including stepparents)
Children (including illegitimate children and step children)
Brothers and Sisters
Sole surviving blood relatives
In loco parentis person
Pass is defined as a shorter period of absence that usually does not interrupt your workflow on duty in the Air Force, and thus Pass is typically not considered as Leave. For instance, a regular weekend from Friday afternoon till Monday morning working hour is a pass and not a leave. However, if a member has an excess pass period(e.g. More than 3 days) without authorization it will be counted as On Leave.
For more information please review this document Army 600-8-10 .