Creditable military service for leave accrual rates


Q: You answered the question below in a previous post. Can you give me the legal statute/instruction that states this so I can let my human resources department know? They are trying to tell me that my military service won’t count toward leave accrual time and I am in almost this exact situation as below.

I am starting a general service job soon, but am getting some conflicting messages about how much leave I will accrue. I am a member of the U.S. Army Retired Reserve with about 14 years of active duty time. I will not receive military retired pay for another 12 years.
Will my active duty time be creditable for leave in the civilian system?

A: You’ll find all the information you need in OPM’s chapter on Creditable Service for Leave Accrual. Go to and scroll down to section 6.6.


About Author

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


  1. Andrew Runde on

    Why can a military technician (Department of the Army Civilian) who retires from the Reserve Component and then re-enters the Federal work force be granted credit towards their annual Federal leave computation, while an Active Guard and Reserve who retires under the same job series (for example 0346) as the military technician can not have the same benefit?

  2. I am currently serving in the Army Reserve with about 10 years of active duty time.

    I was previously a MILTECH For the Army Reserve (FERS) 10 years while serving in the Army Reserve.

    I plan to return to Federal Service in the next 12 months, but I will not retire from the Army Reserve for another 3 years.

    Is my service creditable for leave accrual?

  3. I retired from the military with over 25 years of service. upon my retirement the VA found me 30* service connected disabled. when started my FED career, I was told that my military time would not count for annual leave accrual. My HR tells me that because I was not retired because of my disabilities, that the fact that I’m a service connected VET, disabled in the line of duty doesn’t count. I informed them that because I had more than 20 years service that I was retired with disabilities instead because of them. I have read the OPM section military service credit for annual leave. Am I entitled to credit for my service?

    • For retired members of a uniformed service – including disability retirees – annual leave accrual credit is given only for:
      o Actual service during a war declared by Congress (includes World War II covering the period December 7, 1941, to April 28, 1952) or while participating in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized
      o All active duty when retirement was based on a disability received as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101 and 1101. “Period of war” includes World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War, or the period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress.

  4. Mr. Jones,

    I am retiring from the Army soon and am having issues determining the list (and dates) of campaigns or expeditions for which a campaign badge is authorized. Where do I find this list? Thank you.

  5. Javier Hernandez on

    I have just been hired into a full time position as a physician in the VA.
    Briefly, I attended USMA (West Point) between July 1983 – May 1987.
    I retired from the US Army in 2011 with 20 years of service. My time at West Point was not considered for my military pension.
    I was wondering if I have the option of buying back my West Point years for the purpose of future retirement calculations from my current federal employment.
    If so, how do I proceed?

  6. So even if you retire medically with only 6 years of Active Duty Military service, you still are not entitled to annual leave accrual credit?

  7. Kazuya Miyashita on

    I have worked for the USDA, first as a temporary/seasonal employee for seven years. As of February as a permanent employee. I served in the active duty Navy from 1991 to 2011 and receive retirement benefits. I started to get 6 hours of annual leave after I accumulated enough time a few years ago.

    So, the issue is that I just found out that my time spent on non-wartime campaigns and expeditions counts towards annual leave accrual. I participated and received campaign medals for various deployments. The problem is that when I was getting ready for retirement, I was asked about what to enter into the DD-214. It being my first time doing this I didn’t expect this question and did not know everything I should have told him, so I don’t think every campaign that I participated got entered into my DD-214. Is there a way for someone to review my records and keep sure all campaigns and expeditions are entered? I’m currently trying to fill out the OPM form SF813. Thank you

    • Take your records to your local personnel office and ask them to help you determine if you are entitled to more leave accrual credit than you’ve already received. They may have to check with your headquarters personnel office if they aren’t sure. And that office may have to check with OPM.

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