• Maternity leave will double for Coast Guard service members

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - The Coast Guard is doubling its available maternity leave, officials announced Tuesday.

    Maternity leave was expanded from six weeks to 12.

    In a release from Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office, the decision was celebrated.

    “As one service member said to me, 'Women should never have to choose between serving their country and serving their families,' and today's decision means our Coast Guard servicewomen won't have to make that choice," Cantwell said.

    Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, wrote that he was “very proud to have fully integrated women” into operations -- a milestone achieved in 1978.

    "In direct support of my guiding principles, especially 'Duty to People,' I want to promote a diverse and inclusive environment that also accommodates female service members who give birth while on active duty," Zukunft said.

    The expansion matches the amount of leave offered by all other branches of the military. 

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