(Department of Defense photos)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Marine Corps must update its parental-leave policies to give new moms and dads time with their newborns, the service's new top general wrote this week, including considering a full year's worth of leave for women who've had a child.

Marines should not be expected to choose between being the best parent possible and their career duties, Commandant Gen. David Berger wrote in his planning guidance released to the force Tuesday.

"These outcomes should never be in competition to the extent that success with one will come at the expense of the other," Berger wrote. "Our parental/maternity leave policies are inadequate and have failed to keep pace with societal norms and modern talent management practices."

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Army Spc. Kwele Jones, a Soldier with the 449th Theater Aviation Brigade, kisses his baby after his unit's deployment ceremony. Photo: Sgt. Jamar Pugh/ U.S. National Guard

The Army is finally joining the 21st century — in parental care, at least.

A new memo that went into effect last week will recognize either parent as the main caretaker of the child, not just the mother, and it more than doubles the time available to the other parent.

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