US Navy to propose doubling paid maternity leave; among several initiatives to retain women

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wants to double the amount of paid maternity leave that sailors and Marines can take to 12 weeks.

A senior Navy official says Mabus will detail the proposal during a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland on Wednesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to disclose the changes ahead of the official announcement.

Doubling maternity leave is one of several initiatives aimed at retaining talented women that Mabus will unveil. Other plans call for extending child care hours and allowing hundreds to leave the military for a career intermission and then return.

Mabus also wants more sailors and Marines to go to civilian graduate schools and be embedded at top corporations.