Various options available during 2014 force shaping

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
Enlisted members and officers who may be affected by force management actions in 2014 to reduce the size of the Air Force are encouraged to explore available separation programs that were announced last month.

"It's extremely important for people to educate themselves," said Master Sgt. Shavonne Taylor, 81st Force Support Squadron career development advisor and lead contact for force management. "All the information is out there; we don't know anything that isn't available to everyone else."

The career development, force management and in-service recruiter offices will be vital to affected military members in the upcoming year. Career options will be unique to each individual's situation, said Taylor.


Voluntary programs currently open for enlisted personnel:
· Temporary Early Retirement Authority, which allows Airmen with more than 15, but less than 20 years, of total active federal military service to apply for early retirement.
· Voluntary Separation Pay, which applies to Airmen with six or more years but less than 20 years of total active federal military service.

The involuntary programs that begin later in the year are widely determined by the results of the voluntary separations. They include:
· Chief Master Sergeant Retention Board, which decides how many chiefs will remain on active duty.
· Enlisted Retention Board, which evaluates the amount of technical sergeants, staff sergeants and senior airmen that will remain on active duty.
· Date of separation rollback, a program that grants earlier separation from the Air Force.
· Quality Force Review Board, a program that evaluates the separation of Airmen with 18-20 years of service based on their status and performance reports.

Active-duty boards will consider an Airman's entire record of performance and will be conducted in accordance with Air Force promotion board standards. Measurements will focus on Airmen in non-critical, overage specialties.

"Retention boards can be especially hard for people to understand," said Master Sgt. Matthew Ehrhardt, Keesler in-service recruiter for the Air Force Reserve Command. "They can have done everything correct their whole career and still be asked to leave due to over-manning in their career field."

Ehrhardt urged that even with all of the separation options, those that wish to remain in the Air Force may be eligible to transfer to the Reserve, at least in a part-time capacity.

"We are allowed to retrain people a lot easier than active duty, so we can offer retraining opportunities even if they're past their first term," said Ehrhardt. "We're going to do our best to place people that otherwise could have remained on active duty into the Reserve -- which may allow them an Air Force retirement."

Those receiving VSP are still eligible to transfer.

"It's a win-win," he added. "The Reserves gets trained and experienced personnel and these affected individuals still get an opportunity to retain some of their Air Force benefits."

Currently, the window for voluntary separations of senior NCOs is scheduled through March, with the resulting separations affecting notifications for non-voluntary boards beginning in the summer, said Ehrhardt.


Officer separation programs have also been announced.

Voluntary officer programs:

Involuntary officer programs:
· Selective Early Retirement Board, which applies to regular officers on the active duty list in grades of lieutenant colonel and colonel.
· Enhanced Selective Early Retirement Board, which applies to regular officers on the active duty list in grades of captain (with prior service) through colonel.
· Reduction in Force Board, which evaluates officers on active duty with six or more but less than 20 years total active commissioned service for separation.
· Force Shaping Board, which evaluates active duty officers with more than three but less than six years of commissioned service as of Dec. 13, 2014, for separation.

Officers not selected for retention by a RIF board may apply for opportunities in the Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, civil service, and sister services. If voluntary separation numbers are high enough, there's a possibility that retention boards can be canceled.

"In these uncertain times, there is still hope," said Ehrhardt. "Weighing your options doesn't have to be a negative experience."

Numbers of Keesler personnel currently being affected are still being determined. Eligibility and specifically affected Air Force Specialty Codes for upcoming involuntary programs are still being determined as well, said Taylor.

"It's extremely important for personnel to prepare themselves," said Tech. Sgt. Jessica Winston, 81st FSS. "Be in control of your own future."

The Airman and family readiness center will begin offering a briefing entitled "Take Control of Your Future during Force Management" Jan. 28. This is a collaborative effort between the AFRC, Community Support Coordinator, Career Advisor, Reserve Recruiter and Guard Liaison. Registration will be filtered through first sergeants.

For more information on force management, visit

And, for transition assistance, call the Keesler In-Service Recruiter at 228-377-7116 or the Airman and family readiness center at 228-376-8728.