Taking military leave with DA Form 31: Request and authority for leave

DA Form 31

Military life requires complete dedication to the mission. Everyone serving in the U.S. military, whether a new recruit or a senior general, is loaded with responsibilities and has a tight schedule. However, once a year they get rewarded for their job with a 30-day vacation. This leave is considered their right granted by the law, but it doesn’t mean they can take it whenever they want.

Applying for vacation or emergency leave requires some paperwork to be done to get the military leave approved. This is where you’ll need a Request and Authority for Leave or as it is called DA Form 31. When filling out the form you might want to clarify some information.

Here are the most common questions about DA Form 31.


What is DA Form 31?

The main purpose of the DA Form 31 is to authorize military leave. It is also used to mark the beginning and the end of the leave, record contact information such as a soldier’s address and telephone number to reach them in case of emergency. DA Form 31 serves to certify leave days chargeable to a soldier’s leave account or it may be used to update a soldier’s military leave and pay records.


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Who needs DA Form 31?

The Department of the Army uses DA Form 31 to allow every active-duty service member to request leave of any kind, be it vacation and travelling or a family emergency.
Therefore a soldier who wants to obtain vacation leave needs to fill out DA Form 31. Generally, soldiers are entitled to 30 days of leave per year and may use all this time off or take some days and leave the rest for other occasions. To be valid, the request must be confirmed by their commander.


Is the Army Leave Form accompanied by other forms?

Any military service member who takes a leave must carry the form that proves their authorized absence from the army. Even if you change your destination during the leave you must immediately report it to your commander. But when filling out the form, a soldier doesn’t need any other documents to accompany their DA Form 31.


When is DA Form 31 Form?

Once the form is signed by the commander it becomes valid for the whole period of the leave.


How do I fill out DA Form 31?

The form may be completed online or printed out and filled out manually. The form is self-explanatory so it won’t cause any difficulties when filling it out.

You have to provide the following information: name, SSN, rank, the address where you’re going to stay during your leave, the type of leave (ordinary, emergency, permissive TDY), number of days on leave, departure information, extension and return details.

To make sure the form is completed correctly all information is checked and certified by authorized personnel.


Where do I send DA Form 31?

The form is sent out to the commander for a signature. A soldier holds a certified form throughout the leave period. It is a document that may be required in other circumstances including those associated with relocation and receiving medical care.

If a soldier fails to provide the necessary information about his leave, the request may be rejected. Thus, take your time to fill out DA 31 the right way and enjoy your vacation.