The Air Force is getting progressive, y'all. The new Career Intermission Pilot Program is going to allow some of the most generous maternity/paternity leave available to American families, by allowing servicemen to take up to three years off in order to start their families.
The program will start later this year, and will allow 20 enlisted soldiers and 20 officers the opportunity to take time out of the Air Force in order to have babies. Airmen (or women -- we're going with the collective mankind here) will enter the Individual Ready Reserve while they're on their family-starting sabbaticals, and upon return to the troops "will be placed in a group of service members with comparable experience."
"Some women leave the Air Force because they want to start a family," Air Force personnel chief Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox said Thursday. "So why don’t we have a program that allows them, in some cases, to be able to separate from the Air Force for a short period of time, get their family started, and then come back in?"
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Oh my gosh, this is so awesome! There aren't a lot of things more honorable than serving your country, but there's also nothing more special than starting your family. I bet there are people that have had to choose between the two, or have sacrificed a lot to start a family and continue service in the military.
This would be a one-time offer -- no extra time off for additional kids, but really, once you get the hang of it, it's easier, right? Pfft, OK, parenting is always hard, but at least this program would allow some people to get their foot in the door of family life without worrying about completely sacrificing their careers.
All in all, this sounds like the kind of program that is going to benefit everyone.
What do you think of the Air Force's plan to give moms and dads time off to start their families?
Image via Patrick Malone/Flickr