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Military tests sabbaticals to keep women in ranks

Article here. Excerpt:

'Navy Cmdr. Valerie Overstreet wanted to start a family, but her job as a Navy pilot and the fact that she and her husband, a naval officer, were stationed in different parts of the country made it complicated.

So she decided to take advantage of a fledgling Navy program that allowed her to take a year off and return to duty without risking her career.

Three years later, she has a 2-year-old daughter and a 9-month-old son, she's back at work at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and her promotion to captain has been confirmed.

For Overstreet, the year off gave her time to have her daughter and get started on her master's degree, and it allowed the Navy to keep an officer it considers promising without requiring her to sacrifice her family life.

Across the military services, leaders are experimenting with sabbatical programs that give valued officers and enlisted troops ­the incentive to stay in the service.'

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