Over the past several months, Coast Guard All Hands has been keeping you informed on changes to military benefits based on the June 26, 2013, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting extension of Federal benefits to same-sex spouses of civilian employees of Federal agencies, was unconstitutional. This week, the Coast Guard announced service members may now request an administrative absence to obtain a legal marriage. The message from Rear Adm. Steven E. Day, director of Reserve and Military Personnel, announces policy and procedures for granting administrative absence in order to obtain a legal marriage.
When a member is part of a couple that desires to get married and is assigned to a duty station located more than 100 miles from a U.S. state, the District of Columbia or other jurisdiction that allows the couple to get married, they may be granted an administrative absence for travel and the marriage ceremony.
Eligible members within the continental U.S. may be granted an administrative absence for a period of up to seven days. Members assigned outside the continental U.S. may be granted an administrative absence for a period up to 10 days.
It is important to note this benefit applies to all eligible service members, not only those seeking a same-sex marriage.
More information on the new policy, including how to calculate the number of days you may request, can be found by accessing the message.