The United States Air Force (USAF) recently announced that it will be trying out their own version of a Career Intermission Program, similar to the program that the U.S. Navy has already been testing.
The USAF is planning to launch the pilot program at the end of 2014. Under the Career Intermission Pilot Program, active-duty Air Force personnel will be placed in the Individual Ready Reserves, for up to three years, while they work on their own personal, academic or career goals.
Officers or Airmen, both male and female, who wished to start a family or complete an academic goal can apply for the program and be given up to three years away from active duty. For the first year, the Air Force will permit 20 officers and 20 enlisted to take part in the program.
The Navy has been running its own Career Intermission Program (CIP) since 2009. Every year, the Navy selects 20 officers and 20 enlisted and allow them up to three years on the Individual Ready Reserve. While on the reserve status, Navy personnel are not required to drill or physically muster, only remain within physical and legal eligibility, according to Navy standards.
Participants in the Navy’s CIP are not eligible for full pay, but do receive their full medical/dental benefits, and a tiny monthly stipend that is equal to two times 1/30 of their base pay. During this status the time does not count towards retirement, computation of total years of commissioned service, or high-year tenure limitations. CIP participants are also required to extend their service by a ratio of two to one for every month that they are out. So for a service member that uses CIP for three years, will have to extend their active duty time by six years when they return.
The USAF has not stated the full terms of their Career Intermission Program yet, but most likely, it will be very similar to the Navy’s. The Air Force has already said that this program is not for everybody, only for a select group of officers and Airmen with very high potential.
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