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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 30, 2023

New bereavement leave policy for military members offers Coast Guard families support

By Martin Berman-Gorvine, MyCG Writer 

Coast Guard military members are now eligible for bereavement leave, in a new policy that is in alignment with the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. 

This new policy includes 14 consecutive non-chargeable days of leave you may use upon the death of your legal spouse or child if you have fewer than 30 days of accrued leave on the date of such a death. This special type of leave is not charged against your leave account. However, unused bereavement leave cannot be saved up. If you have 30 or more days of leave when your relative passes away, then you must take regular leave until you drop below the 30-day mark, whereupon you can switch to bereavement leave status.

The bereavement leave can start as early as the date of your relative’s death and can be used up until 14 days after the deceased person's funeral, burial, or memorial service. Your commanding officer may extend the start date of the bereavement leave if you are operationally deployed or stationed outside the continental United States at the time of your relative’s death. 

Bereavement leave will be documented in DA as non-chargeable leave using the drop-down of “bereavement”, the event date will be the date of death of spouse or child.

The policy is retroactive to June 25, 2022. If you lost a spouse or child between that date and the beginning of the new policy, you may have up to 14 days of the leave taken in connection with that death converted to bereavement leave.

Please note that reserve members who have not taken bereavement leave by the time of release from active service forfeit the benefit. A period of active service may not be extended to permit the member to take bereavement leave.

For the purposes of bereavement leave, a child is defined as:

  • A person born alive who is a biological, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter; or
  • A present or former legal ward of the member; or
  • A person for whom the member stands or once stood in loco parentis; or 
  • The member’s spouse’s son or daughter, as set forth in the rest of the definition. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Military Personnel Policy (CG-133). 


Update to Military Assignments and Authorized Absences ALCOAST 126-23