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Can a post postpartum Soldier deploy with the new breastfeeding requirement?

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This response is provided based on the information you shared and should not be used as the sole source for making a decision. You should seek guidance from the chain of command, IG, JAG or other certified agencies before making any decisions. How you chose to use this information is totally up to you and is your sole responsibility.

Based on the guidance in AR 600-20 there is nothing that prevents a Soldier from deploying if the postpartum deployment deferment period has been met. Therefore I believe the Soldier is eligible for deployment with the ability to discard the milk if there is no reasonable way of getting it to the baby.

AR 600-20 paragraph 5-5e states:Soldiers who are breastfeeding or expressing milk remain eligible for field training, mobility exercises, and deployment (after completing their postpartum deployment deferment period). During field training and mobility exercises, commanders will provide private space for Soldiers to express milk. If the Soldier (or designated personnel) cannot transport expressed milk to garrison, the Soldier’s commander will permit her the same time and space to express and discard her breast milk with the intent to maintain physiological capability for lactation. Commanders should work with the supporting medical officer to determine whether milk storage and/or transportation will be feasible during the exercise. Commanders will counsel Soldiers to discuss the potential risks/benefits of storing milk during field training and mobility exercises with their medical provider.

In my opinion it would be wise for the commander to establish a policy letter concerning this issue and have it reviewed by JAG for legal sufficiency.


Hope this helps to some degree.






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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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