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Air Force Expands Sabbatical Leave For Up To 3 Years If Airmen Stay In
The Air Force’s persistent retention problems have driven the branch to offer a variety of enticements for pilots and airmen to stay in uniform. The latest of these attempts may seem counterintuitive, but there’s a lot of information backing it up: expanding opportunities for sabbaticals from active duty for as long as three years, through the Career Intermission Program.
“Designed to allow Airmen the flexibility to manage short-term conflicts between service responsibilities and life priorities, CIP offers Airmen the opportunity for a one-time temporary transition from active duty to the Individual Ready Reserve,” according to an Air Force release. “The participation period is a minimum of one year, not to exceed three years, and provides a mechanism for seamless return to pre-CIP active-duty status.”
Three years off? Who wouldn’t want to put their military career on hold for three years to go to school or raise a family? And that’s what the Air Force is banking on.
“[It] affords an avenue to meet the changing needs of today‘s service members,” Adriana Bazan, military personnel specialist at the Air Force Personnel Center, said in the release. “This work-life flexibility initiative will enable the Air Force to retain talent, which reduces cost and adverse impacts on the mission.”
Air Force officials are hoping that the offer will allow the service to be more competitive when recruiting new airmen and addressing attrition.
“Airmen in the program receive a monthly stipend equal to two-thirtieths of their basic pay and retain full active-duty medical and dental benefits for themselves and their eligible dependents,” according to the release. “They’ll also be able to carry forward their leave balance as long as it doesn’t exceed 60 days.”
There is fine print in this contract, of course: Any airman who applies for a sabbatical and is deemed eligible must serve two months on active duty for every month of leave taken. And time spent off does not count towards retirement. It’s also a fairly exclusive program: Since 2014, only 108 airmen have been deemed eligible to participate; extra consideration is given to members with missionary or humanitarian obligations, as well as members with spouses in another service, who may face conflicts in reconciling duty stations.
In addition to extending possible leave times, the Air Force is expanding to three annual windows for airmen to apply to the program: Cycle A is from April 1 to May 13; Cycle B runs from Aug. 1 to Sept. 12; and Cycle C covers Dec. 1 to Jan. 12.
This year only, however, Cycle B will open Sept. 22 through Oct. 31, because of alterations to the program — good news for those of you looking to take the next three years or so to kick back, jump into a college program, or take on parent duty.
This is just one of several new or expanded incentives the Air Force is offering to try to retain service members. Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson stated earlier this year that the Air Force was short by 1,544 pilots during fiscal year 2016, and Military.com reported that the service “stands potentially to lose 1,600 pilots who are eligible to separate from the service in the next four years.” Maintainers are in short supply, too. And Federal News Radio reported that the Air Force wants to increase its active duty ranks from 321,000 to 325,100 in 2018 — that’s 4,000 new recruits on top of a projected loss 57,000 separating or retiring airmen.
Some pilots are now eligible for a possible $25,000 per year commitment bonus. Fighter pilots, who may be able to extend their career for nine additional years, could rack up an astounding $225,000 in retention bonuses.
If you play your cards right, you could potentially make a quarter of a million dollars and take three years off. Now we know why it’s called the Chair Force.
GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies that Washington fears may be under threat by Iran.
Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.
Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.
Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."
Minnesota Democratic Party staffer under fire for calling USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul a 'murder boat'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he is appalled by a state DFL Party staff member's tweet referring to the recently-launched USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul as a "murder boat."
"Certainly, the disrespect shown is beyond the pale," said Walz, who served in the Army National Guard.
William Davis, who has been the DFL Party's research director and deputy communications director, made the controversial comment in response to a tweet about the launch of a new Navy combat ship in Wisconsin: "But actually, I think it's gross they're using the name of our fine cities for a murder boat," Davis wrote on Twitter over the weekend.
'We are there to deter aggression' — Pompeo addressed CENTCOM on Iran mere moments before Shanahan announced his departure
TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will "not to go forward with his confirmation process."
Trump said that Army Secretary Mark Esper will now serve as acting defense secretary.