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Female Airmen gain time to make separation decision when pregnant

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Female Airmen now have up to 12 months after having a baby to request separation from the service under the Air Force’s new Diversity and Inclusion initiative.

This policy change, effective April 26, 2017, gives female Airmen more time to better understand and assess how they can balance a military career and family needs, ensuring they have the opportunity to contribute to mission success.

“To succeed in meeting current and future mission requirements, the Air Force relies on access to the best talent our nation has to offer,” said Daniel Sitterly, the acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “To compete for that talent in the future, we must place consistent emphasis on diversity and inclusion in order to attract and retain talent.”

The previous policy only gave pregnant Airmen the option to leave the service before childbirth if they made the choice to separate.

The change in policy allows female Airmen to apply for separation within the 12-month period after delivery via the virtual Military Personnel Flight, with the date of separation set for no more than 12 months after the date of application. This policy is not retroactive. However, female Airmen who delivered a child on or after April 26, 2016, are also eligible to apply for separation up to 12 months after childbirth under this provision. This policy does not apply to adoptive parents.

Pregnant Airmen can still separate before the baby is born by submitting an application with a requested separation date between 30-90 days prior to their projected delivery date.

In addition, new parents may find other Airmen who have successfully balanced work and family demands via the MyVector online mentoring system in order to provide further support and guidance.

“Our country has a natural advantage in our incredibly diverse population – we just need to maximize it,” Sitterly said. “This is another initiative which allows Airmen flexibility in making decisions for their careers, their families and their futures.”

Stay informed on the most current separation information on the Separation page on myPers. Click the Separation link on the far left from the active duty, Reserve or Guard landing pages or select “Any” from the dropdown menu and search “Separation.”

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to myPers. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following these instructions.

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