Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave | Policies and Procedures

Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave is a critical provision directed towards supporting military families during the crucial time of welcoming a new family member. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of service members who qualify as secondary caregivers, typically fathers, or non-birth parents, providing them with the opportunity to be present during the early stages of their child’s life.

A Closer Look at Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave

The Department of Defense (DoD) introduced a policy in 2016 that allows service members to take up to 21 days of non-chargeable leave following the birth or adoption of a child, designating them as secondary caregivers. This leave ensures they can support the primary caregiver, commonly the child’s mother or adoptive parent, during this time.

class="font-bold text-gray-800 text-h3 leading-[36px] pt-[21px] pb-[2px] [&_a]:underline-offset-[6px] [&_.underline]:underline-offset-[6px]" dir="ltr">Essential Guidelines and Tips for Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave

When applying for Secondary Caregiver Leave, it’s crucial to ensure timely, clear communication with your commanding officer and understand your rights under the DoD’s policy. Consider the following points:

  • Determine your eligibility: Make sure you qualify as a secondary caregiver under the policy.
  • Plan your leave: Schedule your leave to coincide with the crucial period following your child’s birth or adoption.
  • Document your application: Ensure your leave request is correctly filled, and keep copies of all paperwork.

Sample Letter

Dear [Commanding Officer’s Name],

I am writing to formally request Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave following the birth/adoption of my child. In accordance with the DoD’s policy, I wish to take my entitled 21 days of non-chargeable leave, commencing on [Start Date], and concluding on [End Date].

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I will ensure all my duties are adequately managed during my absence. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.


[Your Name]

FAQs on Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave

What is the duration of Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave?

Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave entitles the service member to 21 days of non-chargeable leave.

Can the secondary caregiver take leave at any time?

The leave should ideally be taken during the period immediately following the child’s birth or adoption.

Is Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave paid?

Yes, this leave is non-chargeable, meaning it’s effectively paid leave.


Navy Secondary Caregiver Leave plays a vital role in promoting a supportive environment for military families welcoming a new child. By understanding and exercising this right, service members can contribute significantly to their family during this crucial period. This policy underscores the Navy’s commitment to its service members, further solidifying the bond between the institution and those who serve.

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