By Debbie Gregory.
The U.S. Military has explored a number of incentives in order to retain their servicemembers, including monetary bonuses. Now the Air Force has come up with a unique enticement for pilots and airmen to stay in uniform.
The Career Intermission Program (CIP) is increasing sabbatical leave from one year to three years.
CIP offers the opportunity for a one-time, temporary transition from active duty to the Individual Ready Reserve for beyween one and three years, while providing a seamless return to pre-CIP active-duty status. Air Force officials are hoping that this offer will be appealing enough to allow the service branch to be more competitive when recruiting new airmen, as well as holding on to current servicemembers.
According to Adriana Bazan, military personnel specialist at the Air Force Personnel Center, this affords an avenue to meet the changing needs of today‘s servicemembers.
“This work-life flexibility initiative will enable the Air Force to retain talent, which reduces cost and adverse impacts on the mission,” said Bazan.
Airmen who participate in the program will receive a monthly stipend equal to two-thirtieths of their basic pay. They also retain full active-duty medical and dental benefits for themselves and their eligible dependents.
Airmen who are eligible for the program must serve two months on active duty for every month of leave taken.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson stated earlier this year that the Air Force was short by 1,544 pilots during fiscal year 2016.
There are also financial incentives to recommit, with some pilots eligible for a possible $25,000 per year commitment bonus.
Fighter pilots, who may be able to extend their career for nine additional years, could rack up an astounding $225,000 in retention bonuses.