Air Force to Allow Sabbatical from Service

Air Force officials announced plans July 30 to allow up to 40 Active Duty, Reserve, and Air National Guard personnel to take from one-to-three years of partially paid time out of uniform to focus on other personal or professional purposes under the congressionally authorized Career Intermission Pilot Program. The program allows officers and enlisted airmen who meet the specified eligibility requirements to take a sabbatical from service and then return seamlessly to duty, according to a July 30 release. “This program offers a few high performing airmen the opportunity to focus on priorities outside of their military careers without having to choose between competing priorities,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh. Applications will be accepted from Aug. 15 to Oct. 15 and a Total Force selection board will meet Nov. 12 to pick 20 officers and 20 enlisted airmen for the intermission. “This is a first for the Total Force,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “We’ve been working together for a couple of years to develop common personnel practices and implement tools used by each component, but this panel represents our first opportunity to truly assess our airmen, whatever their component, as equal members of the total force.”