Since opening the Air Force's first in-hospital birth center, the United States Air Force Academy Hospital has followed a policy of 24-hour discharge of mothers and babies--a major paradigm shift in traditional military treatment facility practice. This study was conducted to evaluate this change. Records were reviewed of all vaginal births in the first 3 years of operation. Factors considered included demographic data, parity, gestational age, and complicating factors, both mother and infant. Postpartum bed days were reduced by 48%, the maternal readmission rate was 0.59%, and the infant readmission rate was 0.29%. It is the opinion of this author that 24-hour discharge is safe, cost effective, promotes access to care, and is desirable for patient satisfaction. With 1,340 subjects evaluated, the results of this study are provided to encourage and support a change in traditional practice patterns in military treatment facilities.