Emergency leave is defined by the United States Navy as "leave granted for a personal or family emergency requiring the member’s presence." It is granted when circumstances warrant, according to deciding authorities set forth by Navy rules. These authorities have some discretion, but the Navy sets forth some hard-and-fast requirements for emergency leave.
What are Valid Reasons for Emergency Leave?
Valid purposes for Naval emergency leave fall into two general categories. One is the death of an immediate family member of the Navy member or his spouse. The second category is, according to the Navy, "When the presence of the service member will contribute to the welfare of a dying member of the service member’s or spouse’s immediate family; i.e., father, mother, person standing in loco parentis, spouse, children, brother, sister, or only living relative." This second category presents some area of latitude in the approval process for the leave-granting party.
Who Can Authorize Emergency Leave?
Emergency leave is normally granted when the existence of an emergency is verified by a representative of the Red Cross, the member’s Commanding Officer or a telephone call from a family member, minister or attending physician to the member’s command or to the member.
Emergency leave is charged to the Navy member's leave account. However, time spent in travel authorized at government expense is not charged to the member. Not all travel is at government expense; the Navy may only provide transport to the nearest point of entry, which is often JFK Airport in New York City, leaving the member to provide her own transportation to her home of record.
Navy members should keep complete itinerary records. These may be needed to accurately charge emergency leave time in the absence of the correct endorsements on travel orders or leave authorizations.
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