Legalman Earns Commission During Career Intermission

Legalman Earns Commission During Career Intermission

September 23rd, 2021

Proving the Navy can help you achieve your goals, Legalman 1st Class Chelse Wilson took advantage of the Career Intermission Program (CIP) to earn a law degree and receive a commission into the Judge Advocate General Corps.

“The CIP is beneficial to Sailors of all ranks and rates. The program allows a Sailor to achieve a goal that might not be possible while on active duty, while still offering a stipend and medical benefits,” said Wilson, who earned her degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

The CIP was established in 2009 to help address life/work challenges Sailors might face. Each year, CIP allows active duty or Full-Time Support Sailors to take a sabbatical from their military service, transitioning into the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) for up to three years. Following the intermission, Sailors return to active duty with a two-for-one service obligation for time spent in the IRR. So a Sailor who takes the full three years available would owe six years of obligated service.

“Before even applying to the CIP, Sailors should make a plan on what they want to achieve – whether that is going to school, taking care of family members, or anything else. For me, law school was three years long so I knew that I would need to use the entirety of the time offered by the CIP,” said Wilson.

Career intermission may be used for a multitude of personal or professional reasons, from pursuing additional education to starting a family or caring for an ailing loved one. The CIP is not limited to specific rates or communities and has been used successfully by officers and enlisted Sailors.

“I also had to make sure I had enough time to prepare, and take the bar exam before I returned to active duty,” said Wilson. “Because I knew what my time limits were, I was able to ensure I achieved all my goals before returning to active duty.”

During their intermission, Sailors retain their full medical and dental benefits for themselves and their dependents, commissary and Navy Exchange benefits, and a monthly stipend equal to 1/15 of the participant’s active duty basic pay.

“If advanced schooling is the route a Sailor wants to take, they can use their GI Bill giving the Sailor a monthly housing allowance on top of the benefits offered by the CIP,” said Wilson.

Sailors are also authorized a one-time permanent change of station within the continental U.S. to the location of their choice. Additionally, CIP participants carry forward up to 60 days of unused accrued leave balance through their intermission, or they have the option to use, sell back, or lose any unused accrued leave before starting CIP participation.

For more information on CIP please visit: