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DA Form 31, Request and Authority for Leave, is a fillable form published by the Department of the Army. Military service members use this to request temporary leave - whether for personal reasons, emergencies, or leisure.
The army guarantees its soldiers 30 days of leave per year. Before filing for one, please inform your commander about your intention. You can do this by submitting a filled-out DA Form 31 at least 29 days before your leave.
Also, note that once your leave begins, always have the form with you.
Get a copy of DA 31 template in PDF format.
Provide your personal information and details about your leave, such as the inclusive dates and reason for filing. Ensure to complete all applicable fields as accurately as possible. Avoid providing false information. Doing so may result in the rejection of your leave request.
Please remember that only you can complete and submit the form to your commander.
Box 1 requests for the control number. You may leave this blank.
Part I requests your personal and leave information.
Box 2 asks your complete legal name in the following format: Last name, First Name, Middle Initial.
Box 3 requests for your Social Security Number.
Box 4 requests for your official rank.
Box 5 asks for the date of application.
Box 6 inquires the address at which you intent to stay during your trip.
Box 7 requests for the type of leave you intend to undertake.
Box 8 requests for your origin station and telephone number.
Box 9 inquires about the number of days you intend to take your leave.
Box 10 inquires about the dates of scheduled your leave.
Box 11 is where you will affix your signature.
Box 12 asks for your supervisor’s recommendation, whether approved or disapproved.
Box 13 asks for the approving authority’s signature and title.
Box 14 asks for the date and time of your departure, with the name, title, and signature of the departure authority.
Box 15 can be used to request a leave extension, if needed. This section asks for the number of additional days, date approved, and the name, title, and signature of the approval authority.
Box 16 asks for the date and time of your return, with the name, title, and signature of the return authority.
Box 17 asks for remarks, including chargeable leave dates, if applicable.
You should only usePart II if you are requesting an emergency leave.
Box 18 contains leave-related information.
Box 19 contains instructions for scheduling return transportation.
Box 20 requests for the departed unit.
Box 21 requests for the arrived APOD.
Box 22 requests for the for arrived APOE (return only).
Box 23 requests for the for arrived home unit.
You should only use Part III if you are traveling with dependents.
Box 25 inquires whether you require a one-way or round trip. This section requests for the names of dependents, your relationship with them, dates of birth (for children), and their passport number.
Part IV of the DA Form 31 is to be used by the person who authorizes your travel. You do not need to answer this part.
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What is DA Form 31 used for?
DA Form 31, Request and Authority for Leave, is used by United States military members to request a 30-day time off duty for personal, emergency, or travel reasons.
What if I do not come back after the 30-day leave?
If you took the 30-day leave but did not return afterward, we consider the excess days as unauthorized. Your unit commander may begin to investigate your whereabouts and contact your family or friends for information. You will be reported as absent without leave (AWOL) within 48 hours, if your commander finds no legitimate reason for your absence.
Your absences resulting from mental incapacity, detention by civil authorities, or early departure of a mobile unit owing to operational requirements will not be charged as leave if they exceed authorized leave or pass dates. Regardless of the duration, we will not charge these days as leave, whether they are preventable or unavoidable.
What are the common reasons for an unauthorized absence?
Absences with no legitimate reason may mark a soldier as absent without leave (AWOL), which means leaving without proper authorization. Some reasons for an unauthorized absence are medical issues or appointments, family problems, convictions, and personal business preventing a soldier from reporting for duty. Other reasons include the death of an immediate family member, accidents with injuries, and drug or alcohol-related incidents.
What are the punishments for AWOL?
The punishment for an absence without leave (AWOL) is an administrative separation (ADSEP) with a general discharge under honorable conditions and forfeiture of all allowances earned while absent. You will be unable to reenlist or receive the same pay grade upon future enlistment.
Arrest or confinement for AWOL does not affect the validity of the separation from military service. An ADSEP is an administrative action and will not change criminal records. However, civilians may arrest a person for aggravated AWOL because it constitutes trespassing if the individual refuses to leave.
If you need emergency medical treatment, appropriate military or civilian facilities should provide treatment without the fear of arrest. If you are unable to provide the essential information for receiving hospital care, law enforcement officers will be contacted to assist in obtaining your identification and other necessary details. This is to ensure that the facility does not withhold treatment, which could jeopardize your health.
How long can a soldier be AWOL?
The time duration given by filing the army leave form is 30 days. If they do not return by 30 days, they will be marked as absent without leave.
Absence without leave (AWOL) begins on the day an authorized leave ends. If a soldier left for more than 30 days or failed to receive a leave certification upon ending an authorized absence, he or she can be arrested and charged with desertion.
Absence without leave is divided into two categories:
- Intent To Depart — The individual intends to leave the command permanently and begins the process of doing so within a short timeframe. This category also includes those who intend to depart but either do not plan for it or delay getting underway.
- No Intention of Departing — The individual does not intend to leave the command but becomes missing from a unit after unit, either each time being located or becoming unaccounted for overnight. Absence without leave continues indefinitely until returned to official control.
What is Administrative Separation (ADSEP)?
Administrative Separation, also known as a General Discharge, is a severe form of administrative punishment for duty failures. It is usually used to separate service members who fail to meet standards or refuse to comply with military policies and procedures. An ADSEP includes an Entry-Level Separation (ELS) and a bar to reenlistment for a specific time period. It is determined by the Service Secretary and is an administrative action, and does not change criminal records.
What occurs if authorities catch me in desertion?
If you are caught with intent to remain away from your unit permanently, or if you do not return within 30 days after submitting the DA 31 leave form, the punishment is severe. Those found guilty of desertion are punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for five years.
What if I want to return to the military after an ADSEP?
You may reapply for enrollment as a United States military member after your discharge. They will review your service record, and will consider you on a new basis.
If you were administratively separated under honorable conditions, your request will be treated as any other transfer or reenlistment. If you were discharged for conditions, such as bad conduct or dishonorable discharge, your request will be reviewed, and you may be considered for a new basis of entry with waiver consideration.
How can I avoid AWOL?
Check with your unit commander about whether you need a formal leave request before you continue your leave. Always file paper forms to request leave from work. Having this information kept in official records helps prove that you followed military procedures and assists your chain of command in proving you had no intention to be absent without leave (AWOL).
Proper planning will also help you avoid being marked as absent without leave. Ask for a 30-day leave certification using DA Form 31 from your unit before you continue your leave. Your commander may ask for supporting documents, such as travel tickets and hotel reservations, before giving official approval for your leave.
Keep your DA Form 31 with you until the day you return to your unit. Present it immediately upon returning to your unit so you can be marked present in official records.
What is the time limit for submitting DA Form 31?
Your unit commander has the authority to approve or disapprove a request for personal or extended leave for up to 30 days. Submit your DA Form 31 as soon as you decide you want to take leave and receive approval before you go on vacation or move forward with any personal plans.
What is the maximum number of days I can be absent without them considering me AWOL?
You must return within three days, or they will classify you as a deserter. If you filed DA31 Leave Form, you must return to your unit. Otherwise, you are subject to a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for five years.
When is DA Form 31 due?
DA 31 Fillable Form is due 30 days before the date you intend to leave and should be submitted well in advance of that time. You can request a personal or emergency leave as well as an official travel permit using DA31. However, as a general rule, you should submit this form for periods longer than 30 days.
Avoid submitting it on the last day of the month if you want to return on the first day of the next month. If you submit it after that date, your official date of return will be set as 30 days later than the date submitted.
Who can fill out DA Form 31?
Any member of the army under an Active Duty Order, a full-time support order, or attached to a deployable unit can fill out, request, and receive DA31 Army Form.
Can I use DA Form 31 for paternity leave?
Yes, you can use or file DA Form 31 to request paternity leave.
A military member who has an expecting partner can request paternity leave. Take note that DA31 Fillable Form is used for paternity leave does not take effect on unmarried partners.
You can file for an official or personal leave if you need to take care of your expecting partner and the baby.
Can I use DA Form 31 for official travel?
Yes, you can apply for an official travel permit using DA Form 31, but it does not guarantee authorization. Your unit commander has the authority to approve or disapprove that request.
Some units might accept late requests for official trips, considering that you cannot plan well in advance for emergencies. Always check with your unit's administrative office about what you should do if you need an official travel permit before submitting the army DA 31 Form.
Can I use DA Form 31 for maternity leave?
Yes, you can use or file DA Form 31 to request maternity leave. An expecting military member can take maternity convalescent leave up to six weeks or 42 days.
A maternity convalescent leave is a temporary military leave where you can receive medical and maternity benefits. You do not need to perform any duty, and the army will not deduct your pay during this time.
However, it is important that you consult your unit's administrative office about the benefits that you can receive. You cannot avail of some privileges unless you fulfill certain responsibilities for some time before and after the period of leave.
Who can authorize DA Form 31?
Your unit commander has the authority to approve or disapprove a request for personal or extended leave. It includes emergency, emergency-essential, emergency-support, or special personnel duty.
Can I use DA Form 31 while deployed?
You may file an official leave request using DA Form 31 if you are already deployed and your family wants to visit you. It is only possible after the unit commander has received official word from your home station that your spouse or dependent is traveling to the hosting station.
Please note that this leave is not automatic, nor can it be applied for when you are on leave. Depending on your unit's regulations, there may be a specific number of days before you are allowed to travel.
Can I use DA Form 31 for personal leave?
Yes, you can use or file DA Form 31 to request personal leave.
Personal leaves in the army include compassionate leave, convalescent leave, bereavement leave, holiday travel pass, legal status travel privileges for criminal proceedings, annual training, and other official travel.
What is the control number on DA 31?
The control number on DA Form 31 is called "unit number." The army uses this to identify all requests for leaves filed at one unit. It is used to facilitate DLAR (Date Last Action Required) and the timeline for your personal leave request. It serves as a reference when you are filing an extension or an application for leave.
Is DA Form 31 a request for leave or a confirmation of leave?
The DA 31 Leave Form does not serve as confirmation for your leave. It is simply a request for approval from your unit commander for absence from duty. It should only receive approval when the situation warrants it. Your unit commander has the authority to approve or disapprove your DA Form 31 based on your unit's regulations.
What should I do if they disapprove my DA Form 31?
Follow your unit's standard operating procedure. If you have any questions, you may also ask your unit commander for further explanation about the situation.
You can file another DA Form 31 with valid reasons on why you need to be absent from work for time. You will need to state why you need to be on leave for a longer period.
Even if it is within the allowed period, your unit commander has the authority to approve or disapprove another request. However, this usually does not happen because leaving the service without approval may have legal consequences.
What is a chargeable leave in the army?
A chargeable leave is a type of leave that counts against the military member's leave balance. Some examples of chargeable leave are ordinary, advance, emergency, rest and recuperation, and transition.
What is a nonchargeable leave in the army?
A nonchargeable leave or free leave is a type of leave that does not count against the military member's leave balance. Some examples are emergency essential, emergency support, and special personnel duty.
Paternity leave is an example of a nonchargeable leave.
Can the army force you to take a leave?
The army cannot force you to take a leave if it is not approved or granted by your unit commander. You can override or ignore any phone calls, letters, and other requests to continue your leave. However, this should be considered an extraordinary circumstance.
If you refuse to return from unpaid leave without valid reasons, your unit commander has the authority to end your contract or file an adverse action against you.
Is it true that only a fiance or wife can ask for a leave request for a U.S. soldier?
No, it is not true that only a fiance or wife can ask for a leave request for a U.S. soldier.
Any person or relative, even a fiance or wife, cannot file DA Form 31 in the place of a U.S. soldier. Only the U.S. soldier can file for this type of leave if he or she is on active duty status, has ended current assignment, and will be on terminal leave or in transit to the home station before officially separating from active service.
What if I need casual pay while I am on leave?
You may contact your finance and accounting outsourcing (FAO) to discuss this issue. Casual pay is an allowance given to soldiers who are on leave and not able to work. Your FAO can help you with the procedures and rules for getting casual pay from your unit if you need it while you are on leave or furlough.
Is it true that you need a letter from your unit commander to cancel the leave if you are already on leave?
No, this is not true. Unit commanders do not give their soldiers letters to cancel their leaves if they are already away on approved furlough. You will be able to cancel your leave at the home station without having to ask your unit commander for a letter.
Can the military cancel your leave?
Yes, the military or your commanding officer can cancel or deny your DA 31 Form based on military necessity.
Military necessity means that some situations require soldiers to be at their assigned duty station rather than being on leave. For example, this could be due to a military operation or exercise where soldiers are needed immediately at the unit.
Essentially, if you were given an emergency notification and ordered by your unit commander to return to duty immediately, make sure that you arrive at your duty station as soon as possible.
When you have a break from deployment, the military may cancel your leave if it would not be safe for you to go on furlough or leave at that time. For example, if there is a war going on in your area of operations and the operational readiness of your unit needs to be at 100 percent, you will be denied leave or ordered to return to your unit.
Is military leave a right or a privilege?
Leave in all types of job specialties is a right and not a privilege. A soldier is given furlough or leave because they deserve it. It is the commander's decision whether you will be granted this right based on your past behavior and performance or the best interest of the service.
However, your right to a leave day may be taken away if you abuse it or if your behavior is insubordinate while on leave status.
Is leave considered a benefit?
It is both a right and a benefit if it is time off from work to do something important.
A leave is seen as a right as all employees need time to rest and relax from their hard work. In addition, a benefit is something that you are given to compensate for your duties and services.
The government or service gives you leave as an opportunity for you to relax and enjoy your free time because of the work that you have already done for them. They also let you temporarily go off from work for important occasions.
Will they mark me as AWOL if I submit DA Form 31?
No, you will not be marked as absent without official leave (AWOL) if you file DA Form 31. However, your army leave form must be approved by your commander, or he or she has given you authority before taking on a furlough or leave.
As long as your DA Form 31 is properly documented and approved by military authorities, it should not affect your status with AWOL.
On the other hand, if you filed DA Form 31 and your commander decided to cancel your leave, you may be considered as absent from duty without official leave if you leave your unit.
How many DA Form 31 can I submit?
There is no limit as to how many DA Form 31 you can submit. However, your commander must approve your leave requests before you take off from work.
The number of furloughs and leaves depends on your unit's needs and goals for the deployment of theater operations. Depending on your situation and the needs of your unit, they may grant you more than one leave during a year.
Can I submit DA Form 31 online?
Although feasible, you may consider submitting your DA Form 31 in-person to your commander rather than submitting it online. If you submit your DA Form 31 online, make sure to bring a copy to your commander's office.
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