Career Intermission Program

Updated Guidance on Career Intermission Program

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Within the last few months there has been some updated guidance on the Navy’s Career Intermission Program (CIP) released in a new OPNAV instruction. In addition, the Medical Service Corps Chief put together this summary document for senior officers entitled “Talking Points #42 – Career Intermission Program” that is certainly relevant to the Medical Corps as well.

Just in case you are allergic to clicking on links and reading PDFs, here is the test from her summary document:

Director’s Guidance – The Career Intermission Program’s guidelines have recently been revised and updated with the release of OPNAVINST 1330.2C dated 12 March 2018. Senior MSC Officers should know of its existence as a talent management initiative and be able to discuss the potential benefits, risk and career impact with anyone who expresses a desire to participate.

Background – The Navy continues to explore talent management initiatives to ensure we are accessing and retaining the highest quality officers to ensure readiness. The CIP was piloted back in 2009 with the goal of reducing the number of quality service-members separating from Naval service for short- term personal reasons or to pursue professional or educational goals. The updated instruction delineates changes to the program, expands opportunities through the removal of the initial minimum service requirement and adds policy regarding ineligibility.

Key Messages:

  • Participants are transferred from Active Duty to the In-active Ready Reserve (IRR) for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 36 months. This is a one-time per career opportunity.
  • Participants and their families are still entitled to health care, commissary and exchange benefit.
  • They will receive 2/30ths of their current base pay while in the IRR.
  • Members must apply for CIP 12 months in advance of their PRD or “soft” end of active obligated service, whichever comes first.
  • Participants are not eligible to receive any special or incentive pays or bonuses. Nor are they eligible for SGLI coverage, contributions to TSP or TA benefits.
  • They will receive not observed fitreps during IRR.
  • Participants are authorized PCS travel and transportation to their designated residence and to their subsequent duty station.
  • Members must serve at least 12 months in IRR, but may return early.
  • Some examples of non-eligible personnel: FOS’d officers, personnel in training pipeline, PFA failures within last 36 months or who don’t meet current standards, any record of legal issues within 36 months, currently deployed, limited duty status, or in receipt of PCS orders.
  • Upon return to Active Duty, a service member’s date of rank (officers) or TIR (enlisted) will be adjusted 1 day forward for every day spent in the IRR (e.g, 365 days in the IRR will adjust a DOR of 1 January 2019).
  • Requests will be processed as delineated in OPNAVINST 1330.2C


Talking Points:

  • The Navy in general, and our Corps specifically, seeks to retain quality officers. The CIP is a talent management initiative to allow Sailors to take an intermission for personal or professional reasons.
  • The Navy is tracking participation numbers in the CIP, retention numbers, and the impact of participation in the CIP as it relates to promotion statistics or leadership opportunities.
  • It is a viable option for Sailors, officers and enlisted, to attain or achieve personal or professional goals without sacrificing their Naval careers.

Summary of Specialty Leader Business Meeting

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Here is a brief summary of last week’s Specialty Leader Business Meeting that is always held in conjunction with the Graduate Medical Education Selection Board:

  • Current interim Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) need to formally apply to the next screening board in summer 2017. I would STRONGLY encourage other people to apply as well because it is a screened/appointed leadership position that allows you to remain clinically active and that I also think will lead to promotion to O6 if done successfully.
  • Announcements for nominative positions often come out with very little time until the nominations are due.  They all require your CV, BIO, Letter of Intent (LOI), Officer Summary Record (OSR), and Performance Summary Record (PSR).  It is best if you have these ready to go due to the often short timeline.  I will tell you that I update my CV and military biography monthly and have multiple LOI templates at the ready at all times, so I practice what I preach.  Your OSR/PSR can downloaded from BUPERS On-Line anytime, so that requires no prep (assuming BOL is working).
  • Current overall Medical Corps manning is 103.4%.  This is of no real use to you but is simply an interesting fact/statistic.  It does, perhaps, limit our promotion opportunity a lit bit, but…
  • The Medical Corps promotion opportunities for FY18 are expected to be higher than they have been in recent years.  You never know the actual percentage until the board has concluded, but this is certainly good news.
  • As of now, there is no change in the conference approval process.  Sorry.
  • The Career Intermission Program (CIP) has been extended until 2019.  This program allows you to take up to 3 years off from the Navy to do something else, hit the pause button on progression toward promotion, and then return afterward.  You have a 2:1 additional commitment for any time off.  In other words, if you take 2 years off you’ll owe 4 years when you return.  Some people have tried to use the CIP to do fellowships on their own, but that is not the intent of the program and requests for CIP to do a fellowship will be closely scrutinized by BUMED before approval.  Info on the program can be found here or you can contact your Detailer.
  • There is no special pays update.  They are still awaiting the NAVADMIN.  The latest can always be found here:

Updated Career Intermission Program NAVADMIN

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Here are a PDF and link to the updated NAVADMIN that governs the Career Intermission Program (CIP):



The CIP allows you to take 1-3 years off from your Naval career, maintain a small basic pay and TRICARE benefits, and then return.  If you are interested, you can also check out OPNAV 1330.2B – Navy Career Intermission Program Guidelines.