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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.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.