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U.S. Military to Standardize Maternity Leave at 12 Weeks

January 28, 2016, 8:19 PM UTC
The Pentagon building in Washington, DC
This picture taken December 26, 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. Headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), the Pentagon is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by AFP/Getty Images

The Defense Department will announce it will allow 12 weeks of maternity leave for military moms — cutting the policy for the Navy and Marine Corps by six weeks, while doubling the current policy for the Army and Air Force.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ready to announce the new policy on Thursday afternoon, the Navy Times reports. The policy is intended to increase female retention throughout the military.

Carter will announce a number of other force-wide alterations to current policy or new initiatives, including expanded paternity leave and access to daycare on military installations.

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