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Career Intermission Program

Career Intermission Program

The Career Intermission Program (CIP) is a unique retention tool that provides select Total Force Airmen the opportunity for a one-time temporary transition from active duty to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) to meet personal or professional needs outside the service while providing a mechanism for seamless return to pre-CIP active-duty status. The participation period is a minimum of one year not to exceed three years.


The purpose of this program is to evaluate whether permitting inactivation from active duty and greater flexibility in career paths for Airmen will provide an effective means to enhance retention. The long-term intent of this program is to retain the valuable experience and training of Airmen that might otherwise be lost by permanent separation.


CIP is open to Regular Air Force (RegAF) and "Career Status" Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) Airmen. Additional information on "Career Status" AGR Airmen can be found in AFI 36-2132 Volume 2, Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) Program; ANGI 36-6, The Air National Guard Statutory Tour Program Policies and Procedures and ANGI 36-101, The Active Guard/Reserve Program. Links to these Air Reserve Component (ARC) program instructions are provided below under 'Related Resources' section.


Airmen who meet one or more of the conditions below are NOT eligible to participate in CIP:

  • Airmen who have not completed at least three years of service required under an agreement upon entry of the Airman on active duty

  • Airmen currently receiving a Critical Skills Retention Bonus (CSRB) or fulfilling an ADSC based on acceptance of a CSRB under Section 355 of Title 37, U.S.C. (Exception: Airmen in receipt of a CSRB or fulfilling a CSRB ADSC may apply if application is based on an unanticipated hardship.)

  • Airmen who cannot complete the associated service commitment, to include service commitments revived upon return to active duty, prior to reaching their High Year Tenure (HYT) or mandatory retirement/separation for age and years of service

  • Officers in the promotion zone considered but not selected for promotion

  • Enlisted members whose skill level is not commensurate with grade

  • Airmen who do not currently meet physical fitness standards (Exception: Airman has a Commander's Composite Exemption according to AFI 36-2905, Fitness Program)

  • Airmen pending investigation, non-judicial punishment, court martial or civilian criminal conviction or proceeding and Airmen with a record of disciplinary action [civil conviction, Unfavorable Information File (UIF), non-judicial punishment or court-martial] within the last three years prior to requesting participation in the program

  • Airmen pending Medical/Physical Evaluation Board (M/PEB) proceedings

  • Airmen with an approved separation or retirement date

  • Airmen who have more than 12 months remaining on an ADSC for medical special pay or long-term formal medical education (i.e. a program 12 months or longer in duration)

  • Enlisted Airmen who are ineligible for reenlistment

Airmen who meet the following criteria are eligible to participate in CIP:

  • Airmen not otherwise ineligible can apply and be considered

  • Deployed Airmen or Airmen projected for deployment may apply for CIP. If approved, deployment dates will not be adjusted and the entire deployment period must be completed prior to transition into the IRR. (NOTE: Airmen with a pending CIP application remain available for deployment consideration)

  • Airmen who have accepted a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) assignment may apply for CIP. If approved, transition to the IRR for CIP participation will be contingent upon assignment cancellation

PLEASE NOTE: Airmen who meet basic eligibility criteria and who apply for transition to IRR under this program are not guaranteed approval. Air Force manning and mission requirements will be considered when evaluating applications for approval or disapproval. Airmen should not begin outside employment, relocate families, etc., based on an assumption their application will be approved. Airmen selected for CIP participation should not enter into any irrevocable commitments until their separation date has been approved.



The following program guidance will apply to each approved CIP participant:

  • Will enter into a signed agreement under which they agree to serve on active duty for a period of two months for every one month of program participation following completion of program participation

  • Will receive a monthly stipend of one-fifteenth of their basic pay and retain full active-duty medical and dental benefits for themselves and their eligible dependents. Program participants will be allowed to carry forward the leave balance existing on the day they transition to the IRR, not to exceed 60 days

  • Will be authorized travel and transportation allowances to one Home of Selection (HOS) within the United States designated as their residence during program participation, and travel from their HOS to their follow-on assignment upon return to active duty. Program participants will be responsible for any travel costs incurred for any administrative or medical processing required for return to active duty

  • Will be ineligible for promotion consideration during program participation. Upon return to active duty, program participant's date of rank (DOR) will be adjusted by the number of days of program participation

  • Except as otherwise specified, an Active Duty Service Commitment/Reserve Service Commitment (ADSC/RSC) in force at the time of release from active duty to participate in CIP shall be revived upon return to active duty. The revived ADSC/RSC will be the unserved period that was remaining at the time of release from active duty to participate in CIP

  • Any period of program participation will not count toward eligibility for retirement, transfer to the Ready Reserve, computation of retired or retainer pay, computation of officer's total years of service, or years of aviation service

  • Will be ineligible for Service Members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) but can purchase Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

  • Will not receive any special or incentive pay or bonus to which they would otherwise be entitled for such period. Upon return to active duty, special or incentive pay or bonus will be reinstated provided they are still qualified for such pay or bonus and such pay or bonus is still authorized at the time of return to active duty

As assigned members of the IRR:

  • Program participants are not eligible for tuition assistance benefits

  • If eligible, program participants can use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits while in IRR status

  • Program participants are not eligible to transfer Post-9/11 benefits to their dependents while in IRR status

  • Program participation does not count toward satisfying eligibility requirements for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits or the ADSC associated with the Transfer of Eligibility of Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits to dependents

  • Airmen who transfer to the IRR without completing the Post-9/11 GI Bill ADSC may forfeit the transferred benefits and any benefits used by their dependents may be treated as an overpayment subject to recoupment by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). The DVA makes final determination of benefits eligibility. Interested Airmen must work with the DVA in order to fully understand their eligibility and implications of using their GI Bill benefits during CIP


Applications and Airman's military personnel record will be reviewed to assess the following factors:

  • Potential to serve the Air Force in the future

  • Leadership and duty performance

  • Professional qualities and development

  • Depth and breadth of experience

  • Achievements

  • Air Force needs

  • Career Field Manager recommendations

  • Additional criteria approved by AF/A1 in coordination with AF/RE and NGB/CF will also be considered


AFPC/CC is approval/disapproval authority

For ANG Airmen, the approval/disapproval authority is The Adjutant General (TAG)


Commanders are not the final approval/disapproval authority, however, must recommend approval or disapproval and provide an assessment of the Airman's valued experience, training and future potential based on demonstrated performance, adaptability, and commitment to the Air Force core values. If recommending approval but disagree with the requested separation date, commanders must provide justification, e.g. deployment, TDY, etc. with the recommended separation date.


Commanders will advise of any conditions which exist that may render the applicant ineligible, e.g., Airman is pending involuntary discharge, or conditions for which approval would not be in the best interest of the Air Force. 


CIP selections will be tentatively announced 7 weeks after the close of the application windows.


Separation dates for each application window will be no earlier than 12 weeks after approved selection and no later than the last day of the 12th month after approved selection. Separation dates outside this window will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Calendar CIP Application Cycles:



Application Window


April 1 – May 13


Aug 1 – Sept 12


Dec 1 – Jan 12


NOTE: Information concerning application procedures and general guidance are outline in PSDM 17-64, Career Intermission Program (CIP).


Out-of-Cycle Applications:

Dual military Airmen who receive unsupported join spouse assignments and Airmen with humanitarian circumstances may submit an out-of-cycle CIP application, provided they meet CIP eligibility criteria. For information concerning out-of-cycle processing please contact the AFPC CIP Manager.

Career Management
Military Personnel Records
Dress and Appearance
AF Fitness Program
Officer Special Selection Boards