The U.S. Navy is tripling the amount of maternity leave female sailors and Marines can take, bumping paid time off from six weeks to 18 weeks.

According to the Associated Press, this move, spearheaded by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, makes the Navy the first U.S. military service to offer more than the standard six weeks. According to Navy figures, approximately 5,000 women would be eligible per year.

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“We have incredibly talented women who want to serve, and they also want to be mothers and have the time to fulfill that important role the right way,” said Mabus in a statement quoted by the AP. “Meaningful maternity leave when it matters most is one of the best ways that we can support the women who serve our county.”


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