The National Guard has their own regulation to deal with service obligations, including pregnancy counseling. The regulation is AR 135-91 and can be found at http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r135_91.pdf. Pregnant Soldiers have certain rights and obligations. Here are some key pieces of information:
You will have to deal with this issue only when you are the commander, or the Soldier’s Front Line Leader (because you will have to know their duty limitations). The commander or other commissioned officer is responsible for counseling the Soldier, it cannot be done by an NCO. Enlisted Soldiers and female officers both have the same right to be counseled and make their decision. They have three options if they have completed their initial training:
- Transfer to the IRR/RR if eligible.
- Transfer to the ING until the pregnancy is no longer a factor affecting the performance of their duties.
- Stay in their unit and take maternity leave as prescribed in paragraph 4-28.
In general, if the Soldier stays in the unit, they will continue attending IDT weekends until it is no longer feasible and their physician communicates as such. The commander and the physician are responsible for determining the duty status of the Soldier for prenatal and postnatal periods.
I would recommend not transferring to the ING or IRR unless it is absolutely necessary, especially if you plan on continuing your career until retirement. Units with female Soldiers are aware of the possibility of pregnancy and should be equipped to deal with it if it occurs. Everyone I have ever talked to has been more than understanding about working with female Soldiers during their pregnancy and allowing them the proper time off after their child is born. You will be provided with maternity ACUs and will be able to assist with other duties than your assigned MOS if that becomes too physically demanding. There is always a need for help in the orderly room or with organizing documents for COMET inspections, for example.
I encourage all Soldiers to read the regulations and learn it for themselves, so they can be well-educated in case they are either pregnant themselves, or in charge of a pregnant Soldier.
Final Thoughts: Don’t think that pregnancy is a get out of jail free card. Consider what led you to serve in the first place and try to stick it out until the end of your enlistment contract. Talk to other Soldiers who are mothers and get advice on how to handle being a mother and being a Soldier.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Thank you.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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8 thoughts on “Army National Guard Pregnancy Regulation and Guidance”
This was a very informative article. I had always wondered how the military handled pregnancy issues and leave. I guess that I was one of those who thought that pregnancy was a “get out of jail free” card, but on the flip side, also a “here’s an excuse to get rid of you” card.
After reading the other comments on this post, I have to say that I also have concerns about women in combat arm branches because of many of the same reasons your other readers have.
This is a great article, and I had to chuckle reading the comments, because I have never heard the term \”preggers\” before. I think it is important for all soldiers to be aware of the policies involving pregnancies and potential pregnancies, for it has such an impact not only on the soldier\’s career, but on the performance of the entire unit. The gap temporarily created by the new mom\’s time away from her unit is especially important to plan for.
Candace, neat article! I will admit, as a Combat Arms guy I never paid much attention to the policies for pregnant Soldiers. Actually it wasn’t until the recent debates about women serving in the Combat Arms that I actually thought about it. I do not see many female Soldiers, especially ones that are preggers! I have to admit, I learned a god bit from this piece. Thanks for the insight!
I personally think that “pregnancy” is quite perhaps the most significant issue when it comes to women serving combat arms. Of course, no one wants to talk about that. When my units deployed overseas, we lost of a huge amount of women for pregnancies. It wasn’t until after we got deployment orders that lots of the women got pregnant. I’m not saying all of them did it intentionally, but I know some did.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks, gents. Seems like every time I turn around another Soldier in my unit is getting pregnant. So far most of them have elected to stay and participate at drill until they have the baby, and we aren’t deploying, so I know they aren’t trying to get out of anything. I have seen that happen, too.
I agree with Chuck that pregnancy is a significant issue for integrating women into combat arms. There are probably some women like me who never want to have kids, but most likely few and far between.
I agree with Chuck, I think that this pregnancy issue is at the top of my list of reasons why integrating women into the Combat Arms won’t work. Among other things (biology, other feminine issues, etc.) I just can’t see how it is feasible. Even for training, state-side if you are not deployed. If I had a female Tank Commander who was pregnant, no WAY would she fit in the tank…then she can’t train…well what about the other Soldiers and the CREW that rely on her…you can’t pull crewmembers and expect to train…doesn’t work that way.
Good points, Justin.
I too, am against women in combat arms branches. I don’t think they are inferior by any means.
I just believe that there are too many complications.
It might sound like a great idea to many people outside of the military, but I’d bet that most people who are in the military, or have been, would be against the idea of women in combat arms.
Thanks for the comment.
You would be surprised how many women that are IN the military now feel the same we way do. I agree, it is nothing PERSONAL against women, but I think that there are too many complications that have not been addressed prior to the decision.
However, I think that we’re getting away from Candace’s article topic. Again, never been in the situation with female Soldiers so I think it is great to understand what the Army DOES in have place now regulation wise to deal with that situation. Great information.