MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Marine Corps Installations West and I Marine Expeditionary Force recently changed their liberty policy, canceling the customary noon-to-noon start and end times over long holiday weekends.
The remaining liberty periods for 2009 will now start at 4:30 p.m. on the day liberty commences and end at 7:30 a.m. the day of return, according to an MCI West message released in late September.
The following MCI West and I MEF liberty dates are scheduled for the remainder of 2009: Columbus Day 72-hour liberty is Oct. 9-12; the Marine Corps Birthday 72-hour liberty, Nov. 7-9; Veterans Day 24-hour liberty, Nov. 11; Thanksgiving 96-hour liberty, Nov. 26-29; Christmas 96-hour liberty, Dec. 24-27; and New Year’s 96-hour liberty, Dec. 29 to Jan. 3, 2010.
This change reflects the new Marine Corps Order on leave and liberty policies, P1050.3J, published in May 2009, which did away with the noon-to-noon policy as it pertains to leave.
The order clarified that only Marines traveling in privately owned vehicles outside their local area can leave at 12:01 p.m. on the day their leave starts and return by noon the day their leave ends.
The noon-to-noon policy for leave and liberty was introduced to the Corps in November 2004 in an effort to keep Marines safe by curbing nighttime or fatigued driving, according to Marine Administrative Message 492/04.