MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- For new moms, it’s hard to be away from their child in their first few months of life. It’s especially hard when mom has to leave the baby to fight a war sooner than expected.
A change has been added to the Marine Corps pregnancy policy on a female Marine’s availability to deploy after giving birth.
The Marine Corps message released MarAdmin 358/07 recently with new guidelines concerning parents and deployment deferment.
The original policy stated female Marines have six months from delivery to be back within height and weight standards and are non-deployable for a year after the baby is born.
The change cuts the time in half for female Marines. While they still have six months to get back in shape, they can now be deployable six months after the baby is born.
“Marine Corps policies are constantly reviewed to ensure their applicability to the force,” said Capt. Travers Foster, Military Policy Analyst, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps. “During the review and staffing process it was felt a six-month deferment provided the best balance between ensuring the health of the mother and child and the requirements of a naval career.”
Any special circumstances will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Meaning the six months can be extended if advised by the Marine’s health care provider.
“The impact of a deployment is unique to each family,” said Foster. “(Policy) requires all Marines with families to develop a family-care plan to ensure families are well prepared for deployment.”
Female Marines currently in the 12-month deferment will not be affected by the change. It will only affect those who give birth after the MarAdmin’s authorization date.
“The policy does not mean that a new mother will be deployed immediately after her six-month deferment ends; it only makes her authorized for deployment,” added Foster.
Marines still have the option to waive this deferment period and get back into the fight sooner.
If you would like more information you can log onto www.usmc.mil on the orders link, Marine Corps Order 5000.12E.