...from the House Armed Services Committee version of the fiscal year 2011 Defense Authorization bill. Allowing officers "off-ramps" and "on-ramps" to their careers is a good way to both retain good officers and allow them to take time off to have kids, travel, or pursue an academic course:
ALTERNATIVE COMMISSIONED OFFICER CAREER TRACK PILOT PROGRAM
In an effort to create an officer corps that is better prepared to assume the responsibilities of waging war, peacekeeping, stabilization, and other critical missions carried out by our military, the Committee created in this year’s bill a pilot program to offer an alternative career track for commissioned officers. This new program will offer a broader range of experiences and opportunities and extend over a longer career, providing more time for officers to experience a greater variety of training and education.