Question: What is CIPP?
The Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP) was established in 2009 as a means of addressing the life/work challenges Sailors might face. Each year, CIPP 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 (IRR) 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 IRR.
CIPP 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, from pursuing additional education to starting a family or caring for an ailing loved one. CIPP is not limited to specific rates or communities, and has been used successfully by officers and enlisted Sailors. Recent participants include a Navy SEAL who used CIPP to obtain a graduate degree from Harvard, and a Master-at-Arms taking time off to attend to an ailing parent.
Question: Who can apply for CIPP?
Sailors on active duty as well as Full Time Support (FTS) personnel can apply for CIPP. Prior to 2013, only active duty Sailors were authorized to participate, but modifications in authority authorized by the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) now allow FTS personnel to apply.
Not all Sailors that apply for CIPP will be accepted, however. CIPP is not a one-size-fits-all program, and not all Sailors will qualify for CIPP. For those that do qualify, CIPP 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
Question: What are some of the benefits of CIPP?
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 are also authorized a one-time CONUS PCS to the location of their choice.
Additionally, the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) revision included new provisions allowing CIPP participants the ability to carry forward through their intermission unused accrued leave balance, not to exceed 60 days. Prior to this revision, CIPP participants were required to use, sell back, or lose any unused accrued leave before starting CIPP participation. 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.
Question: 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 IRR, provided 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 IRR status.
Question: How will CIPP affect my promotion/advancement opportunity?
During their career intermission, CIPP participants are exempt from consideration for promotion or advancement. However, upon returning to active duty, the participant’s date of rank is adjusted, allowing the participant to remain competitive with those people at the same experience level. Former CIPP participants have been promotions 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 (TIR) and effective date of paygrade are adjusted to a later date based on the length of the participant’s intermission. Our Sailors are the cornerstone of our service, and we remain committed to providing opportunities for them to excel long-term with our Navy.
Question: Can officers use the time to pursue a second degree and then return to a different community with a lateral transfer?
Participants can complete the OBLISERVE in a different community IF selected into that community via the Lateral Transfer process. Career Intermission is entirely separate from the Lateral Transfer process, so participants need to be prepared to return to Active Duty under their established designator if not selected for another community via a Lateral Transfer Board. The safest course of action is to apply for Career Intermission after already being accepted for re-designation, but there is nothing preventing Career Intermission participants from putting a lateral transfer package in while in the IRR. Members of the Career Intermission Program will be able to apply to the Active Lateral Transfer board so long as they have a Command Endorsement. The CIPP Program Management Office (N134) can provide the endorsement.
Question: Can enlisted use the time to complete a bachelor degree and then return as an officer?
Enlisted service members can submit an officer package separate from the Career Intermission Program. If selected for officer, the service member can serve out the Career Intermission OBLISERVE as an officer rather than in the prior enlisted rating. However, if the participant is not selected as an officer the Sailor must be prepared to complete the Career Intermission OBLISERVE as an enlisted service member.
Question: Can I apply even though I am currently negotiating for orders?
Sailors are encouraged to continue negotiating for orders even if applying for Career Intermission. We will negotiate directly with the detailer if the Sailor gets orders and is also picked up for Career Intermission. As long as the Sailor has not executed any portion of the orders (i.e. household move) than we will ensure the orders are re-assigned and the Sailor proceeds with the Career Intermission Program.
Question: Can I use my Webb GI Bill while participating in the Career Intermission Pilot Program?
Career Intermission participants are authorized to use their Webb GI Bill while in the IRR, provided they meet the Webb GI Bill requirements. Career Intermission participants are not authorized to use Tuition Assistance while participating in the program and in IRR status.
Question: Are FTS personnel authorized to participate in the Career Intermission Pilot Program?
Yes, FTS officers and enlisted personnel are eligible to participate in CIPP.