Leave - use it, don't abuse it

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
More often than not, going on leave is a joyous occasion.

Amid the bustle of preparing for travel or the excitement of spending time with family, Airmen must ensure they follow the correct protocol to make sure their recreation is properly sanctioned.

Air Force Instruction 36-3003, "Military Leave Program," outlines everything Airmen need to know about how much leave they are entitled to take, when they can take leave, and the different classifications of leave.

Capt. Phillip Padden, 28th Bomb Wing Legal Office assistant staff judge advocate chief of military justice, said it's also vital to recognize the importance of the Leave Web program.

"I can think of a number of cases where people only told their supervisor and left without approval through Leave Web," Padden said. "Leave needs to be documented."

Airman 1st Class Tyler Kephart, 28th Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Section personnel technician, works in the MPS customer support section that assigns approval numbers to Leave Web requests. He said Airmen often neglect to fill out fields in their request, or fill them out incorrectly.

"A lot of people put in the wrong dates or don't include a full address for where they're going to be while on leave," Kephart explained. "It's important that someone knows where to find you."

Padden explained the punishment process for abuse of leave is at the commander's discretion, but consequences can range from verbal counseling or a supervisor-level letter of reprimand, to a court-martial.

"The legal office advises commanders on what actions to take, based on the circumstances and what is common among other units," Padden said.

Padden said other infractions, including not showing up for appointments or being repeatedly late to work, can also be considered AWOL and can lead to disciplinary action.

Kephart added that recent changes to the Leave Web program allow it to track the leave balance of the Airman logging in, making it harder for individuals to accidentally incur a negative balance.

Padden added referring to AFI 36-3003 and constant communication with their first sergeants and supervisors can help dispel any confusion Airmen may have.

"When in doubt, ask," Padden said.

For more information on how to properly use Leave Web, call the 28th FSS MPS at (605) 385-3463.