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Everything you need to know about the Army Holiday Block Leave

Each holiday season the Army shuts down basic training and advanced individual training schools. The …


Each holiday season the Army shuts down basic training and advanced individual training schools. The Army is the only branch of the military that honors the Holiday Block Leave for all recruits who are in basic training. This allows the drill sergeants and instructors to have a break during Christmas and prepare to come back for the New Year ready to train.

Get answers to all your questions about the Army Holiday Block Leave.

The Army Holiday Block Leave is 10 days

The 10-day break generally starts a week before Christmas and lasts until a week after Christmas. This allows drill sergeants and basic training staff members to spend the holidays with their families. The dates vary every year depending on how Christmas and New Year’s Day falls, so be sure to check updated information. 

New Soldiers have the option to go home during leave

New Soldiers may choose whether to take the break and go home or stay at basic training and work on details during the 10-day period. Any taken leave comes out of their leave entitlement. Even if a New Soldier doesn’t have enough leave time saved up to take the break, and most won’t, the Army will allow them to go in the negative in order to take advantage of this time. In many cases, this means they will not have leave time available for quite some time after graduation and arriving at the first duty station.

Travel is up to the New Soldier

The cost to travel for Holiday Block Leave falls to the New Soldier. The transportation office on post can arrange travel for those who need it. Many times, this makes transporting Soldiers to the airport easier. You also have the option of picking up your soldier in person if you live close enough to where they are training. It is important to note that they must be back on time when leave ends, and it’s even better if they are early. The instructors will not care if there were transportation issues, delays, etc. so make sure there is time built into the travel plans to handle any scenarios that may arrive.

Everyone’s experience with Army Holiday Block Leave is different. Check out this story of a Milspouse picking up her Future Soldier from Fort Benning during leave. 

The Army Holiday Block Leave is a great opportunity for New Soldiers to visit home while they are in basic training. It could be just the break they need to push through their tough training.

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Jeremiah Runser