Army Expands Chances For Soldiers To Take 3-Year Breaks From Service

news

More soldiers may be eligible to take up to three years off from the Army as the service expands its Career Intermission Pilot Program, according to a new Army Times report.


The Army program, launched in 2014, was originally limited to just 20 enlisted soldiers and 20 commissioned officers and warrant officers, but the service has removed that cap. Soldiers are now eligible for the pilot program even if “they haven’t completed their initial active-duty obligation, enlistment period or service obligation for a retention bonus,” notes Army Times.

All participants in the program are temporarily placed on inactive ready reserve status while they “pursue personal or professional growth,” the service says; that’s mil-speak for going to school, starting a family, or hitting the private sector and adding new skills to your toolbox before returning to the military fold.

Participants are required to return to active duty, reserve, or Guard service at the end of their sabbatical, which can last up to 36 months. But for each month off, beneficiaries must serve two months in uniform. Once a soldier returns to duty, they’ll be able to receive special pay and incentives, which are put on hold while they’re in IRR status.

Related: Officer Under Fire: ‘I’m Not A Toxic Leader, I’m An Ass Who Expects You To Do Your Job’ »

Congress authorized the program in 2009 as an incentive to retain troops. However, many soldiers have shied away due concerns over how a break from active duty will impact their careers, according to Army Times. Just 14 soldiers have actually used the program since the Army launched it in 2014 — three officers and 11 enlisted soldiers.

For those who do take the option, it seems like a pretty sweet deal, if you can swing it: Take a break from the uniform without having to close the door on your military career.

WATCH NEXT:

U.S. Army photo by Capt. William Carraway
Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

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."

Read More Show Less

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.

Read More Show Less

The day of the Army is upon us.

Secretary of the Army Mark Esper will be taking over as Acting Secretary of Defense, President Trump announced on Tuesday, as Patrick Shanahan withdrew his nomination.

The comes just a couple of months after Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley was officially nominated to take over as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

An defense official familiar with the matter confirmed to Task & Purpose that Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy will "more than likely" become Acting Army Secretary — his second time in that position.

Read More Show Less

As a Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will also be eligible for retroactive monthly pension payments stretching back to 2004.

All Medal of Honor recipients receive a pension starting on the date they formally receive the Medal of Honor, which is currently $1,329.58 per month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

But Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for a retroactive payment for monthly stipends that technically took effect on the "date of heroism," said Gina Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Nick Oxford)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A unit of UK infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty plc falsified housing maintenance records at a major U.S. military base to help it maximize fees earned from the Department of Defense, a Reuters investigation found.

At Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the company's U.S.-based unit used a second set of books and altered records to make it appear responsive to maintenance requests, Reuters found in a review of company and Air Force emails, internal memos and other documents, as well as interviews with former workers.

Read More Show Less