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Can a Commander deny off post privileges while allowing MWR privileges for Soldiers in a Training (AIT) Status?

Can the commander prevent Soldiers in a training status from leaving the installation but allow them the privilege of using on post MWR facilities? Is this an unfair practice? Some AIT units are never allowed “off-post” while others are allowed off post.

The comprehensive guide to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)




This is a decision totally up to the commander. You can raise the issue through your chain of command or seek resolution by requesting to see the company commander on open door policy.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • SFC David Szewczyk


    Can a (Brigade) Commander place restrictions on soldiers while they are signed out on leave with valid DA 31? Can a Commander require that you take (burn) leave on a normal duty day off that you would be at the house anyway?

    Hello, I’m a 24 year vet with almost equal time on active duty and in the NCARNG. After recently being called up for COVID-19 duty in NC, we were told we will take leave in conjunction with our 31 day orders. It is specifically annotated in our title 32 orders that we do so, and cashing out leave is to be avoided. Several disturbing things were put out by our command today in reference to taking said leave.

    Was told that we must take the 2 days accrued this Saturday and Sunday, normal duty days off during my TDY mission over 150 miles from my HOR and duty armory. We are “redeploying” back to home armory duty on Friday and another group of soldiers are being given a chance to do a meaningful mission in this remote part of my state. I know for a fact that my soldiers left at the armory were given weekends off.

    Was told I could only take the 2 days accrued during this set of orders (recently completed 2 months of TDY title-32 orders last month on opposite coast and accrued 4 days. Readiness NCO tried to tell me I could not cash any leave in (probably why I was sent 150 miles away) when I asked for the paperwork to submit it.

    Was told by CoC that while on leave, there was a no alcohol use policy in effect that all soldiers must follow.

    Was told by CoC that while on leave, I could not leave a 50 mile radius of my HOR.

    Now, after reading the AR pertaining to leaves and passes, I can find no authority supporting any of this nonsense, and in fact found statements (regarding utilizing LES to verify days leave accrued for DA 31) that directly contradict the command’s directives.

    Given this is the National Guard, sometimes commanders just don’t have the experience or knowledge to make… sound decisions based upon regulations when dealing with M-day soldiers. That said there is no posted Battalion or Brigade Leave and Pass policy. I have found during past experiences with commanders, when providing regulations paragraph and all that show they can’t do something they want to do, or should do something they don’t wish to do, about half the time ignore the regulation and do what they want. I’ve counseled soldiers adversely affected in said situations to contact the IG. Those that listened to my advice and did were always happy with the outcomes.

    From my days at Fort Bragg I remember policy being 150 miles per duty day off and an actual policy memo that outlined such things. Its not really leave if such restrictions are in place from my point of view and since I’ve seen how active duty handles things, and know what right looks like, I feel as a leader I’m failing my soldiers if I stand by and let sketchy things pass as normal. If I were a betting man I would set odds as 50/50 that these jokers don’t even make us fill out DA 31s and just make up a name for this weekend and call it…. ‘administrative leave’ or some other nonsense. Then Soldiers will have use/lose days on the LES and they WILL lose them and in the guard, no one cares if you lose leave. Coc feels no heat for soldiers losing leave – if they are M-day.

    Looking for advice on how to handle this. My NCOIC (my former 1SG and acting BN CSM) is a 30+ year guard soldier with zero active time aside from training and combat deployments – great soldier, leader, technical (engineer) expert not so much on regs. No one in my CoC to my knowledge all the way up to the top has any active duty time even as enlisted. I’ve got a junior soldier that has 27 days accrued leave from recent combat deployment that the DA 31 was “lost” and another soldier that was out on TDY with me so I know I’m not alone with more than 2 days of leave to take, and at this point in my career I don’t mind if I make waves but I don’t want to retire just yet either. Also don’t want to miss out (if I can cash it out) on 6 days of base pay! How would you handle this mess?


    David Szewczyk
    1133d EN DET NCOIC

    • Mark Gerecht


      As you know the National Guard is a little different than the Reserve or Active Duty. Is there a National Guard or local supplement to AR 600-8-10? If in fact the National Guard has to follow AR 600-8-10 thank the items you discuss would be inappropriate. There are 3 avenues of approach. Speak with the Chain of Command, Contact the IG, Contact JAG. You can make these contacts anonymously if you choose to do so.

      Hope this Helps
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