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.