Earned leave days are basically paid vacation days. Airman earn 2.5 days of leave each month for a total of 30 paid leave days per year. Leave not taken in a year is carried over into the next fiscal year but only a maximum of 75 leave days is allowed to be on the books.
There are many opportunities for Airman to take leave throughout their career in the Air Force. It is up to the Airman where he or she wishes to spend those leave days.
Leave After BMT
Airman are not typically granted leave after BMT. The first opportunity for leave may come after the Airman finishes Tech School. In some cases if Tech School runs through "Holiday Exodus," Airman in Tech School may be granted leave
Recruiters Assistance Program
Upon the completion of Tech School, Airman may be allowed to take up to ten days of leave before reporting to their Permanent Duty Station. If your Airman chooses to take leave, they may also want to apply for the Recruiter's Assistance Program(RAP). The RAP allows up to 12 working days and 1 weekend with the local recruiting office where the Airman chooses to take leave. RAP may be taken in conjuction with the Airman's regular leave.
Find out more about the RAP at http://www.rs.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=5031.
Here are some example situations in which emergency leave may be granted
Emergency leave is granted at the discretion of the Airman's commander. Commanders may require verification through the American Red Cross.
Discount Commercial Travel for Airman
Many of the major airlines and other travel services offers discounts for service members. Airman can take advantage of these special rates by visiting base travel offices.
Space Available Travel
Another option for travel that can also save money is Space Available Travel. Your Airman may be able to "piggyback" on a military flight if space is available. Most military flights depart and arrive only on military air stations.For example: Your Airman is travelling from Hickam AFB, Hi and his final destination is Corpus Christi, Texas. He may catch a flight from Hickam AFB that lands at Lackland AFB in San Antonio,TX. From there he can travel to Corpus Christi by bus or car or family can meet him in San Antonio.
One drawback to Space-A Travel is that flight schedules can change with very little notice. If your Airman wishes to use Space-A travel, He or she should contact their local Air Mobility Command Passenger Terminal.
Read more about Space-Available Travel here.
Quality Time with Your Airman
Scheduled leave for first-term Airman should be a relaxing time. It's a time to unwind and catch up with family and friends. Keep in mind that it is up to the Airman how he or she chooses to spend their time on leave. While we may not be able to spend every waking moment with our Airman, the following are a few things to make those days extra special.
Plan a homecoming dinner
Spend the day preparing your Airmans favorite meal and invite family and closest friends. This does not have to be on the day your Airman arrives. Just plan for a day or two after their arrival. Only you can gauge how your Airman will react to surprises
Plan a Day Out with your Airman
Visit a theme park. Catch a movie. Plan a Picnic. Just make it an entire day of family fun with your Airman.
Give Your Airman Space
Allow your Airman time to relax, visit with friends or just sleep. Don't forget that they are the defenders of our freedom!! They deserve it! :-)