In the US Army, leave is requested on a DA-31 form, often called a leave request. This is routed through the chain of command for approval. The level of approval required depends on the position or seniority of the specific member.If a military member is requiring payment from another member in order to process paperwork of any kind, you should find out their name and report them to their service's Inspector General for bribery. When taking leave at home station, it shouldn't take more than a week for a DA 31 to be processed under normal circumstances.When deployed, members rarely get leave. For example, when my battalion was stationed in Afghanistan and Africa, we did not allow members to take leave or fly back to America unless they were separating from the military or a parent, spouse, child, or siblings died. If they did get to return, the government covered the cost of travel back to home station. There is no such thing as unofficial leave, and there's no such thing as liberty when in a field deployment site.Many questions like this are asked to make someone feel better about wiring money to a "US Servicemember" who asked for money.I've been in the military for over 23 years. I've never heard of another real servicemember who has asked random people on the internet for money, and certainly not for any legitimate reason.The reason? We're trained per Federal Regulations that Govern Gifts to Service Members, “DoD personnel may not solicit gifts, even for others, unless the solicitation is part of an official fundraising program, such as the Combined Federal Campaign.”Here's how you know that someone posing as a servicemember is scamming you:You've never physically met him or her, and,They ask for money or gift cardsHere are my tips regarding anyone you've never physically met:If you're speaking to someone in another country or other place far away by email or phone and have never physically met them, I recommend you don't even refer to them as someone you truly know, and you definitely shouldn't call them your love interest/girlfriend/boyfriend/fiancé.Remember that anyone with access to email and who needs money can use that same email to contact real family and friends they actually know and have met in person.Regarding servicemembers:Unless you're personally traveling to meet a servicemember, you won't need to pay for anything the servicemember needs or does. And I do mean anything. They can be thrown in jail by the military and you still won't need to pay anything.The military branches have relief funds to help young, poor military members who need baby supplies, travel for emergencies, provide phone cards, fix their cars, etc. If they have a close family member die when on deployment, even malingerers get personal help from the command to take care of what they need.Given the prevalence of military email scams, it's a 99.99% chance that anyone emailing you claiming to be a servicemember and asking for money isn't in the military at all.