A year ago, Capt. Katie Evans, a personnel officer, had two choices: leave active duty to pursue full-time parenthood and hope to return some day, or apply for the new Career Intermission Program which would allow her to leave the service for a few years with a guaranteed return to active duty.
CIP provides active duty and career status AGR Airmen the opportunity for a one-time temporary transition from active duty to the Individual Ready Reserve for up to three years to meet personal or professional needs outside the service while also providing a mechanism for a seamless return to active duty.
Evans is married to an active duty officer and currently lives at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio as an Air Force spouse. She’ll return to active duty next June at the completion of her two-year hiatus.
“I was having a hard time balancing my duties as a mid-level captain and my medical issues during my pregnancy,” Evans said. “I was really stressed out and I felt like I was doing a disservice to my people and not doing my duty as flight commander.”
The long-term intent of this program is to retain the valuable experience and training of Airmen that might otherwise be lost by permanent separation.
“My husband and I had seen information about the program and decided that if it were to be offered, I would apply,” Evans said. “We had always talked about one of us staying home to raise our children until they were school-aged.”
Evans’ son was born Aug. 20, 2014, and the CIP application window that year opened Aug. 18.
Program participants sign an agreement that says they will to return to active duty in the same component from which they separated, and serve two months of active duty for every month of CIP participation.
Time spent in CIP doesn’t count toward eligibility for retirement, computation of total years of service, years of aviation service or years of service towards basic pay; nor are participants eligible for promotion consideration while in CIP.
Evans’ greatest concern about returning to active duty is being away from her career field for two years. However, she’s been inventive in keeping up on her professional development during her break.
“I’m afraid I’m going to miss something, especially in the personnel world where there’s been all these changes like the evaluation system,” Evans said. “I’ve stayed plugged in with a number of local personnel folks here and they’re keeping me up to date. If we weren’t living near a base where I could do that, it might be more difficult.”
Her advice for other Airmen who are considering CIP is a valuable reminder of Air Force core values. “Make no mistake, you’re still in the Air Force. What you do and what you say still reflects on your career.”
There are currently 57 participants in the Career Intermission Program. The application window closes Sept. 12 and a Total Force selection panel convenes in October at the Air Force Personnel Center.
Additional information and eligibility requirements can be found on at https://mypers.af.mil/; select “Any” from the search function and enter keyword “CIP.”
For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to the myPers website.