After Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s decision to increase the amount of time available for parental leave for servicemen and women and improve other family benefits, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) released a statement late last week commending his efforts.
“Our force isn’t just made up of servicemen and women,” McSally said. “It’s made up of fathers and mothers who have commitments to their country, as well as their families.”
Among the changes planned are an increase in time allotted for paid maternity leave for all branches to 12 weeks and an expansion in paternity leave to 14 noncontinuous days.
“In our changing work force, we need policies that allow both parents to serve their country and be with their families when they need to be,” McSally said.
Other steps to enhance family benefits include increasing child-care access to 14 hours a day and requiring that a mothers’ room be made available in every Department of Defense facility with more than 50 women. This room can be used for breastfeeding, among other purposes. An expansion. The DOD also plans to offer more family-planning services.
Finally, Carter’s decision calls for the expansion of greater family planning services.