By Rear Adm. Tony Kurta
Director, Military Personnel Plans and Policy
NAVADMIN 125/13 announced changes to the Career Intermission Pilot Program. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the program changes and what every Sailor needs to know about career intermission.
What is the Career Intermission Pilot Program?
The Career Intermission Pilot Program was established in 2009 as a means of addressing the life/work challenges Sailors might face. Each year, the Career Intermission Pilot Program allows up to 20 active duty or full-time support officers, and 20 active duty or full-time support enlisted Sailors to take a “sabbatical” from their military service, transitioning into the Individual Ready Reserve for up to three years. Following their career intermission, Sailors return to active duty with a two-for-one service obligation for time spent in the Individual Ready Reserve.
The Career Intermission Pilot Program allows Sailors to take a break from their military service, address these challenges or opportunities, and return to service as stronger Sailors. A career intermission may be used for a multitude of personal or professional reasons such as pursuing additional education to starting a family or caring for an ailing loved one. The Career Intermission Pilot Program is not limited to specific rates or communities. The program has been used successfully by officers and enlisted Sailors. Recent participants include a Navy SEAL who used it to obtain a graduate degree from Harvard University, and a master-at-arms who took time off to attend to an ailing parent.
Who can apply for Career Intermission Pilot Program?
Sailors on active duty as well as Full-Time Support personnel can apply for the Career Intermission Pilot Program. Prior to 2013, only active-duty Sailors were authorized to participate, but modifications in authority authorized by the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act now allow Full-Time Support personnel to apply.
Not all Sailors that apply for the program will be accepted, however. The Career Intermission Pilot Program is not a one-size-fits-all program; not all Sailors will qualify for CIPP. For those who do qualify, the Career Intermission Pilot Program provides options for achieving optimal life/work integration in light of situations that would otherwise be difficult or incompatible with military service. More details on specific program requirements can be found in OPNAVINST 1330.2B.
What are some of the benefits of the Career Intermission Pilot Program?
During their sabbatical, Sailors retain their full medical and dental benefits for themselves and their dependents, Commissary and Navy Exchange benefits, and a monthly stipend equal to 1/15 of the participant’s active-duty basic pay. Sailors also are authorized a one-time continental U.S. permanent change of station move to the location of their choice.
Additionally, the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act revision included new provisions allowing Career Intermission Pilot Program participants the ability to carry forward through their intermission unused accrued leave balance, not to exceed 60 days. Prior to this revision, program participants were required to use, sell back or lose any unused accrued leave before starting the program. This revision also changes authority for disability processing, allowing participants that become critically ill or injured during their program participation to be medically treated under the same provisions as a member serving on active duty.
Can I use my GI Bill while participating in the Career Intermission Program?
Career Intermission participants are authorized to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill while in the Individual Ready Reserve if they meet the Post 9/11 GI Bill requirements. However, CIPP participants are not authorized to use tuition assistance while participating in the program and in Individual Ready Reserve status.
How will the Career Intermission Program affect my promotion and advancement opportunity?
During their career intermission, Career Intermission Program participants are exempt from consideration for promotion or advancement. However, upon returning to active duty, the participant’s date of rank is adjusted, allowing them to remain competitive with those people at the same experience level. Former program participants have been promoted following their participation in the program; most recently in April 2013, Commander Valerie Overstreet was selected for promotion to the rank of captain.
For officers, the data of rank is adjusted to a later date based on the length of the participant’s intermission. For enlisted Sailors, enlisted time in rate and effective date of pay grade are adjusted to a later date based on the length of the participant’s intermission. Our Sailors are the cornerstones of our service. We remain committed to providing opportunities for them to excel long-term with our Navy.
What do you think of the Career Intermission Program? Would you use it?