March 19, 2012
By Ensign Amber Lynn Daniel, Diversity and Inclusion Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) — The chief of naval personnel announced in NAVADMIN 089/12, the Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP) has been extended for three more years as part of FY12 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), March 16.
CIPP presents a unique opportunity for members to take a career intermission without penalty and return to active duty to complete a successful Navy career.
“This program was created for top performers who have the desire to ‘Stay Navy,’ but need some time off,” said Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, chief of naval personnel. “These are great Sailors, and through CIPP, we are able to meet the short-term needs of our Sailors, while ensuring they stay Navy for the long term.”
During their time in CIPP, participants retain their full medical and dental benefits for themselves and their dependents, as well as exchange and commissary benefits. Participants also receive a small monthly stipend equal to two times 1/30th of their basic pay. Additionally, to ease the transition into the program, members may elect a Navy-funded permanent change of station move to anywhere in the continental United States when entering the program.
Upon returning to active duty, the CIPP participant’s date of rank/service is adjusted, ensuring participants compete in promotion boards with people at the same experience level.
Master-at-Arms 1st Class Ryan Williams applied to CIPP in 2011 when his father was diagnosed with a degenerative illness.
“My wife and I were stationed at Ventura County and on the fence on whether to stay in the Navy or return home and spend as much time with him as possible,” said Williams. “I had ten years in at the time, so it was tough to think of wasting all the time I’d put in.”
Williams’ wife read an article about CIPP and encouraged her husband to apply. “It initially seemed too good to be true,” said Williams. “I didn’t actually think that we would be accepted.”
However, Williams was accepted to the program. After his father passed away, Williams used his remaining time in CIPP to complete his bachelor’s degree, visit family, and travel the world with his spouse. But during that time away from the Navy, Williams found he started to look forward to returning to service.
“I missed being part of something. The number of opportunities that I have been given and enjoyed in the Navy was magnified when I returned home and saw the lack of opportunities in the civilian world. I saw many of my family and friends that were out of work or struggling to keep their jobs. So at minimum, the program has made me grow a deeper appreciation for what the Navy offers,” said Williams.
Williams is now preparing to transition back to military service and out of CIPP. For him, career intermission was a perfect answer to what could have been a difficult career decision. Williams believes CIPP ultimately could be a great option for many Sailors facing similarly difficult decisions.
“The Career Intermission Pilot Program provides Sailors with options for achieving optimal life/work integration in light of situations that would otherwise be difficult or incompatible with military service,” said Van Buskirk. “Our Sailors are the cornerstone of our service, and we remain committed to providing opportunities for them to excel long-term with our Navy.”
“I would say go for it, as long as it is for something important, such as spending time with family, finishing education, or fulfilling lifelong goals that otherwise couldn’t be completed while in the Navy,” said Williams.
Twenty officer applications and 20 enlisted applications are accepted for the program each year. Interested applicants must first submit an electronic package to OPNAV N134 program managers for consideration. Packages are then reviewed for eligibility and routed to the member’s detailer community managers before final approval by the Commander of Navy Personnel Command.
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. This obligation is in addition to any previously existing obligation. Time spent in the IRR will not count towards retirement, computation of total years of commissioned service, or high year tenure limitations.
CIPP is an element of the continuum of service area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.
Sailors who are interested in learning more or applying to the Career Intermission Pilot Program can visit http://www.public.navy.mil.