Sailors Needing a Break May Consider Career Intermission

Story Number: NNS090331-06Release Date: 3/31/2009 2:46:00 PM
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By Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Zimmermann, Task Force Life Work

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors can now take a break from active Navy service, courtesy of the new Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP).

Approved in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, the CIPP offers a temporary inactivation from active duty - from one to three years - for top performing Sailors. The Navy is optimistic that this measure will enhance retention in critical skill sets, while allowing greater flexibility in career paths of service members.

"Our Navy continues to look at innovative approaches to retaining our best Sailors. Finding new ways to hold on to the leaders of tomorrow is a must," said Rear Adm. Dan Holloway, director, Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education. "Our millennial generation continues to tell us they want balance between their personal and professional life. This is one tool to provide flexibility for our Sailors and to help them positively integrate life and work."

The pilot program provides an opportunity for up to 20 officers and 20 enlisted participants each year in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The CIPP will provide a one-time temporary transition for active-duty personnel to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Participants will retain full active-duty Tricare health benefits for themselves and their dependents and receive a monthly stipend of one-fifteenth of their basic pay. To ease the transition, members may elect a Navy-funded permanent change of station move to anywhere in the continental United States when entering the program.

"This pilot program is for top performers who have the desire to 'Stay Navy,' but need some time off," said Holloway. "It could be for any number of reasons - to pursue a degree full-time, to take care of an ailing parent, or to start a family."

All program participants will return to active duty at the end of the period prescribed and will incur a two-to-one service obligation for every month in the program (served in addition to any previously existing obligation). Time spent in the IRR will not count toward retirement, computation of total years of commissioned service, or high-year tenure limitations.

The break in service excludes participants from promotion consideration. Upon returning to active duty, officers will have their date of rank adjusted, and enlisted members will have their active duty service date adjusted in order to be competitive with others of similar time in grade on active duty.

"We are looking at career intermission as a possible permanent part of Sailors' 'menu of options' for a lifetime of Navy service," said Holloway. "It's just one of many flexible options we are implementing or considering as we respond to changing workforce and cultural needs."

The 'menu of options' includes ideas such as part-time work for part-time pay, more interchange between active and Reserve status and other flexible work options such as telework and compressed work schedules.

Application packages are due to Pers-4 by May 1. Selectees and alternates will be announced by the end of June. Full pilot program details can be found in OPNAVINST 1330.2, and the instruction, NAVADMIN and related information are available on the Task Force Life/Work Web site at

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Diversity Directorate, visit

Lt. Cmdr. James Cho helps local volunteers construct a 4,300 square feet playground at Pass Christian Elementary School in Pass Christian, Miss.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of Lt. Cmdr. James Cho and other volunteers constructing a playground in Gulfport, Miss. A career intermission will allow Sailors to pursue activities of personal or professional interest, such as volunteer work. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan C. Delcore/Released)
March 10, 2009
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