Soldiers who have recently lost a child or spouse will now have the option to take up to 14 days of non-chargeable bereavement leave, based on a policy signed by the Secretary of the Army last May. Soldiers will be allowed the time off to make funeral and burial arrangements for deceased loved ones as part of a directive passed by the Secretary of Defense on March 29th. The new policy falls under the National Defense Authorization Act and allows troops bereavement time before returning to duty. Soldiers who have less than 30 days of leave on the date of death are eligible for 14 consecutive days of bereavement. Soldiers with more than 30 days of leave become eligible for bereavement leave once their leave balance falls below 30 days. Soldiers who have served longer than one year are eligible for the program. In addition, soldiers whose loved ones passed away on or after June 25, 2022, and took chargeable leave associated with those deaths can also have up to 14 days of charged leave restored. About 270 soldiers across the force have already applied for bereavement leave.