New Army policy offers soldiers a break up to three years
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - A retention policy offering soldiers a chance to take a break in service while receiving pay and benefits for up to three years is now a permanent program.
The Career Intermission Program is now a way for soldiers to take up to three years of a break in active-duty service for personal, professional or educational goals. Army leaders say this way, soldiers who would normally separate permanently are more likely to stick around.
“This could not only provide satisfaction for education or a significant life event, but they know they have a peace of mind that they can return back to the service,” said Tila Jernigan, Director of Military & Veteran Services at Texas A&M Central Texas.
“So ultimately, you have a more productive service member.”
It all started with a pilot program in 2009, and finally was just recently was made permanent.
“It probably took some time to study this and what the success rate it would have it did become permanent,” Jernigan.
“3 years is a significant time and so I think they had to really see what their success rate would be before they fully implement the program.”
While in the program, soldiers will take a pay cut but still receive health benefits and can carry up to 60 days of leave upon their return to active duty. Soldiers must also pay back time away from the army upon returning to active duty. Whether it’s starting a new family, caring for ailing parents, college or other things, Jernigan says the program is well worth it for those important moments.
“Whether it’s education, caring for an elderly parent, those are significant life events and even though you’re taking a reduction in pay, you’re still getting your benefits,” she said.
“This makes it a little more attainable for you to do that.”
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