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Taking Notes from the Navy LWOP Experience

On June 26, U.S. Navy Com-

mander Christine Caston,

Lieutenant Commander

Jeffrey Morin and Lieuten-

ant Ashley Morris briefed

American Foreign Service

Association representatives

and State Department human

resource officials on the

Navy’s pilot “career intermis-

sion” program.

Then-AFSA State Vice

President Matthew Asada

organized the discussion

as part of the association’s

ongoing efforts to help the

Quadrennial Diplomacy and

Development Review team

implement the 2015 QDDR’s

recommendations, including

the proposed career sabbati-


The Navy’s Career Inter-

mission Program (CIPP) was

launched in 2009, spurred by

a changing workforce and a

younger generation’s expec-

tations of career flexibility; it

will continue as a pilot until

2019. Members of the Navy

may apply for the program

to, for example, start a family,

volunteer, pursue higher edu-

cation or take care of parents.

Participants receive

a monthly stipend (one-

fifteenth of regular pay, the

going rate for drilling reserv-

ists), active-duty medical ben-

efits for themselves and their

dependents, and coverage of

relocation costs to anywhere

in the United States. Time

away is not counted toward

retirement, but returning

employees receive assign-

ments as if they had never


Approximately 91 people

have participated in the

program so far. Applicants

are assessed on merit, fit-

ness, sustained performance,

leadership, resourcefulness

and future potential. Certain

career milestones must be

met prior to taking the CIPP

option to ensure that par-

ticipants will be competitive

when they return.

The Navy is gathering data

to gauge the CIPP’s impact

on participants’ careers,

though it is still too early to

draw sweeping conclusions.

However, nearly 100 percent

of participants have self-

reported that they returned to

work reinvigorated and more

excited about their careers.

The Navy has the most

advanced LWOP program of

the military service branches;

others have only begun trialing

programs within the last sev-

eral years. According to AFSA’s

guests, the CIPP is already

positively influencing views

of the Navy as a more flexible

and viable career option.


—Shannon Mizzi,

Editorial Intern

U.S. Navy Commander Christine Caston (left) and Lieutenant Commander

Jeffrey Morin visit AFSA headquarters on June 26.


Summer Fellows Reception

Thomas R. Pickering, Charles

B. Rangel and Donald M. Payne

Fellows interning at the State

Department and USAID this

summer attended a welcome

reception at AFSA headquar-

ters on June 9.

This is the second year that

the Thursday Luncheon Group

and the Association of Black

AmericanAmbassadors have

sponsored the event intended

to build a sense of community

for graduate and undergradu-

2015 Pickering Fellows. Back row, from left: Sarah Lombardo, Joshua

Gregory, Leyth Swidan, Raymond Nelson, Ritchell Madikaegbu, Aquilla

Hines, Danielle Veal, Ramata Sow, Bintu Musa and Juan Clar. Front row, from

left: Mariya Ilyas, Alejandra Baez, Jason Fauss, Victoria Durgana and Whitney



ate fellows soon joining the

Foreign Service. The fellowships

are State and USAID’s premiere

vehicles for boosting diversity

within the ranks of the FS.

The evening featured an

all-star lineup of speakers,

including Ambassador Edward

Perkins, Amb. Tom Pickering,

Representative Charles Rangel

(D-N.Y.) and Deputy Secretary

of State for Management and

Resources Heather Higginbot-