The first year of the Marine Corps' Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP) has gotten less use than expected, with only three Marines taking part in the program.
The CIPP is designed to offer career flexibility to Marines that have valuable experience and training, to keep them from leaving the USMC. The program can accommodate up to 40 Marines - 20 enlisted and 20 officers - and allows the participants to take up to 3 years off from active duty. The Marines selected also get a free permanent change of station as well as a small stipend for living expenses. Once they return, though, they are obligated to serve two months for every month they took off.
The Navy's program, which launched last year as well, has also had a slow start. The Army and Air Force started comparable programs this past May - so far the number of participants in those programs isn't known.
In addition to improving retention in certain communities, this program is also hoped to work for women, who may want to take some time off of active duty in order to start a family.
Although participation has been initially slow, this program is planned to continue through the end of 2015, but it may last longer if it is seen as a success for those who take part in it.