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Navy Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP)

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Updated April 05, 2009

Need a one to three year break from Navy service? Sailors can now take a break from active Navy service, courtesy of the new Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP).

The Fiscal Year 2009 Defense Authorization Act allows each of the services to establish programs which allow military members to take a break from active duty military service, in exchange for an extended active duty service obligation upon their return. The Navy is the first branch to implement this authority.

The Navy has decided to test the program for the next four years. The pilot program provides an opportunity for up to 20 officers and 20 enlisted participants each year in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Under the terms of the program, selected officers and enlisted will be transferred from active duty to the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) for one to three years. While participating in the program, members will receive a monthly stipend of one-fifteenth of their basic pay. Additionally, they will retain active duty Tricare medical benefits for themselves and their family members, and are even eligible for a one-time funded move to anywhere in the continental United States, when they enter the program.

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.

According to Navy officials, the pilot program is only for top performers who have the desire to "Stay Navy," but need some time off. 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.

Interested Sailors can read more about the program in Navy Administrative Message 095/09. Complete eligibility information and application procedures can be found in OPNAVINST 1330.2.

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