One hope is that the updated policy will help the military recruit and retain members.
“As the military services face a recruiting crisis, it’s necessary to look at all the contributing factors, including family quality-of-life issues,” said Jennifer Goodale, director of military family policy and spouse programs for the Military Officers Association of America or MOAA.
“MOAA is pleased to see DOD’s acknowledgement that family readiness is tied to military readiness. Allowing additional time for service members to bond with their children during a critical time, establish a new family routine and adjust to parenthood will have a positive impact on morale and readiness,” Goodale said.
“Parental leave is a quality-of life-issue, and it can influence a family’s decision to stay in or leave the military,” said Caitlin Hamon, deputy director of government relations for the National Military Family Association.
“A child’s first year is a critical bonding time for every growing family, and standardizing the amount of paid leave to 12 weeks for both parents across the services is good for military families,” Hamon added. “It’s also good for the military, since these changes give the service member the flexibility to balance their family’s needs with the needs of their unit.”
“I’m extremely proud of the lasting impact this policy will have on all of our service members and their families,” Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass said in a statement to this news outlet. “The services worked hard to give as much as the law allowed, and I’m extremely proud of how fast our Department of the Air Force implemented (this) policy.”
Added Bass: “I assure our Airmen that there isn’t an issue they have, that our leaders aren’t thinking about.