skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Pay and Conditions

ADF Member's Guide

War service leave

War service leave gives you time to adjust to life back in Australia after warlike service. It gives you time to recover from that service.

Who can get war service leave?

You may get war service leave if you are a member of the:

  • Permanent Forces, or
  • Reserves on continuous full-time service.

How can I get war service leave?

To get war service leave, you must have served in an area declared to be operational, and warlike, by the Minister for Defence. Examples of these are listed in Deployments approved by the Minister since 1982.

When you are on warlike service in an operational area, you can't accrue other types of recreation leave, unless it is for sea, field or flying service.

How much war service leave can I get?

You can accrue up to 18 days for every year of warlike service in an operational area.

You can accrue war service leave on a pro rata basis for any day that you perform this warlike service.

You get the same salary and allowances for war service leave as you would for recreation leave.

War service leave doesn't include weekends and public holidays.

You must use your war service leave before you take recreation leave.

You can take a part day of war service leave and a part day of recreation leave.

Can I accrue additional recreation leave at the same time as war service leave?

If you’re on warlike service in an operational area you can’t accrue additional leave for:

  • remote locations in Australia
  • hardship posts overseas
  • non-warlike service, or
  • arduous or prolonged duty.

You may accrue additional recreation leave for sea, field or flying service.

When can I get a payment instead of war service leave?

You may get payment for war service leave if you:

  • can't take leave for Service reasons, and
  • apply for payment instead of leave


  • leave the Permanent Forces, or
  • finish your continuous full-time service as a member of the Reserves.

More information about war service leave can be found in Chapter 5 Part 8.

Important information

As the name suggests, this Member's Guide is designed as a guide to help you understand how your pay and conditions work. It is not a legal document. Therefore, if there is any conflict between the Member's Guide and Defence Determination 2016/19, Conditions of Service (and the Determinations made by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal), as compiled in PACMAN, PACMAN is the authority.

This Member's Guide does not incorporate or make provision for members on a flexible service determination.

For this topic....


Who do I contact

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

Website feedback

Do you like the Member's Guide layout?
Would you like to see more information?
Do you have any suggestions for us to consider?

Help us improve the Members Guide by providing your feedback and suggestions.