WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force has deferred the effective date for promotion and re-enlistment eligibility associated with the Air Force policy to complete enlisted professional military education distance learning courses within 12 months of enrollment until Jan. 1.
The six-month deferment allows additional time to validate notification and acknowledgment procedures, as well as ensure test centers have the time and capacity to meet testing requirements.
These adjustments alleviate potential impacts to a significant number of Airmen who may fail to complete Course 14 and 15 for reasons beyond their control.
“EPME is a critical component of our professional enlisted force and our expectations have not changed,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody. “Airmen are still required to complete EPME Distance Learning in a timely manner, yet we certainly understand we need to adjust to ensure all Airmen are able to complete the course on time. The policy deferment is necessary for us to assist Airmen through the transition to a blended learning program that delivers higher quality education to our Airmen earlier in their careers.”
Airmen who may go beyond 12 months in completing EPME DL must request a course extension through Air University, in accordance with enrollment instructions. Airmen will not be marked ineligible to reenlist and compete for promotion until the new policy effective date.
The blended learning and time-in-service model announced in December 2014 was implemented so Airmen would receive PME earlier and more frequent in their career. Throughout the three-year transition of EPME to a blended learning model, approximately 50,000 Airmen have enrolled in the distance learning portion.
The temporary deferment of policy dictating repercussions to promotion and re-enlistment upon failure to enroll, complete and pass military education within one year of enrollment will expire Jan. 1, 2017. Airmen who enrolled in EPME on or after Jan. 1, 2016, are not affected by this deferment.
Airmen enrolled in EPME DL will be contacted directly by the Air Force Personnel Center with more information about the changes. Formal guidance will also be communicated from the headquarters manpower, personnel and services directorate to major commands, for further dissemination.