JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The Air Force will implement several voluntary officer and enlisted force management programs for fiscal year 2013, stated the Air Force Personnel Center officials.
Announced in the January release of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013, the authorized active duty Air Force end-strength is 329,460; a reduction of 3,340 authorized personnel from fiscal 2012. In order to meet congressionally-mandated end-strength by Sept. 30, the Air Force will continue executing its multi-year force management strategy, said Lt. Col. Letitia Marsh, Headquarters Air Force Separation and Retirement Policy Branch chief.
For officers, voluntary measures will be offered in certain year groups and overage career fields to allow for time in grade waivers for eligible lieutenant colonels and colonels, limited active-duty service commitment waivers, Palace Chase transfers to the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve and the 10-8 Commissioned Years of Service Waiver program.
For enlisted members, voluntary programs open to Airmen who are not in critical specialties include limited active-duty service commitment and time-in-grade waivers, waivers to enlistment contracts and Palace Chase transfers to the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve.
All applications must be submitted, via the virtual military personnel flight, by Aug. 1, 2013. Approved separations must be complete by Sept. 29 and those approved to retire must do so by Sept. 1, 2013.
Voluntary force management program applicants may be required to repay the Air Force for monetary value of an active duty service commitment-incurring event, depending on the program.
“For example, Airmen approved for Palace Chase transfers to the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve will not have to repay the service for such benefits as tuition assistance or transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits under most circumstances,” said Maj. Michael Meek, Air Force Personnel Center Retirements and Separations Branch chief. “However, Airmen need to carefully read the information on each program to ensure they understand which active duty service commitment waivers require repayment.”
Although all Airmen may apply, some active-duty service commitment waivers will not be approved, including those incurred for undergraduate and advanced pilot training, Meek said.
Force management programs enable the Air Force to reduce overmanned fields in order to better utilize Air Force resources.
“As we execute this year’s voluntary force management strategy, the Air Force will continue to assess the need for additional voluntary and involuntary force management measures in order to meet authorized end strength levels in current and future fiscal years,” Marsh said.
Airmen who transition through a force management program are eligible for and highly-encouraged to attend, the new five-day Transition Assistance Program workshop, Marsh said. The program offers significant assistance to help people prepare for post-military life. In addition to resume development, job-hunting tips, education counseling and networking support, the new program offers one-on-one counseling to help Airmen develop comprehensive individual transition plans.
Full eligibility requirements and application procedures for officer and enlisted programs are available on the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil. Enter PSDM 13-09 in the search window for officer FM programs and PSDM 13-10 for enlisted programs.