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Army Career Intermission Program

Friday, July 09, 2021

What is it?

U.S. Army’s Career Intermission Program is a retention-based initiative that allows Soldiers to pursue personal goals or professional growth while providing a mechanism for a seamless return to active duty.

All Soldiers do not qualify for this program. The requirement for the Soldiers to participate in this program is to:

  • Accept an appointment in the Individual Ready Reserve while participating in CIP
  • Undergo inactive duty training as required to retain military skills, professional qualifications, and physical fitness

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act allowed the Army to implement the Career Intermission Program (CIP). The Army first implemented CIP as a pilot program initially targeted at officers, and eventually included warrant officers. A recent Army Directive formalizes CIP as an enduring Army program and expands it to include NCOs.

This program is targeted at Soldiers who may be considering leaving the Army for a variety of personal and professional reasons. Participants are obligated to a 2-1 commitment for every month they participate in the program and will receive 2/30ths of the base pay during their hiatus from Army Service. Soldiers can apply for CIP for any reason, such as, but not limited to:

  • Pursue a degree
  • Start a family
  • Care for a family member
  • Align deployment cycles for dual military couples
  • Learn a skill
  • Pursue broadening opportunities
  • Religious reasons

The complete eligibility criteria can be found at the Army’s Human Resources website.

Soldiers can apply for CIP by completing their individual counseling and the CIP contract or by speaking with their career counselor or branch manager.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army is committed to retaining Soldiers with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to win in the 21st century. The Career Intermission Program is just one of many ways the Army is adapting its personnel system to win the war for talent.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army wants to retain its valuable investment in Soldiers that would otherwise be lost to permanent separation. CIP provides Soldiers with an opportunity to balance their Army career with their personal and professional goals.


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Focus Quote for the Day

[Career Intermission Program] provides a way for [Soldiers] to be relieved from active duty, focus on their personal goals, and then return to active duty.

— Rowland Heflin, personnel policy integrator, Army G-1

Army policy offering up to three-year service break