Military buyback and leave accrual


Q: I will soon be accepting a GS-13 position with the Department of Homeland Security. I am retired military and understand the buyback system; my question pertains to leave accrual. How will leave accrual be determined if I choose (or choose not to) to buy back my military time?

Also, I have two deployments for which I received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Is that time automatically approved for leave accrual?

A: Unless you make a deposit for your active-duty service and waive your military retired pay, you’d only get leave accrual credit for those periods of service when you were participating in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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