The Marine Corps is considering giving female Marines who’ve had a child a full year off.
New Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger wrote in his recently released planning guidance that Marines shouldn’t be asked to choose between being the best parent possible and the best Marine possible.
“These outcomes should never be in competition to the extent that success with one will come at the expense of the other,” Berger wrote. “Our parental / maternity leave policies are inadequate and have failed to keep pace with societal norms and modern talent management practices.”
Berger added that “we fully support the growth of our Marine families, and will do everything possible to provide parents with opportunities to remain with their newborns for extended periods of time. In the future, we will consider up to one year leaves-of-absence for mothers to remain with their children before returning to full duty to complete their service obligations."
The Corps announced last year that it would increase paternity leave, which is also known as secondary caregiver leave, from 10 to 14 days.
The Defense Department has a standard 12-week maternity policy -- the same amount of time which is required by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
The Marine Corps is the smallest branch of the nation’s armed forces and has the lowest percentage of women in its ranks when compared to the Army, Navy and Air Force.