Line officers face revised reclassification procedures |
Posted 6/18/2010 Updated 6/23/2010
by Daniel P. Elkins
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs Office
6/18/2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- To better manage the force and address the needs of critical and stressed career fields, Air Force officials have revised procedures for line officers eliminated from initial skills training.
Line officers eliminated from training are now being considered by a panel at the Air Force Personnel Center for reclassification into other specialties or discharge based on the needs of the Air Force and the individual's qualifications to train in another career field. The new procedures apply only to officers eliminated from initial skills training, or IST, whether self-initiated through declination or the inability to complete training.
Opportunities for reclassification may not be available due to over manning in other career fields. Therefore, IST elimination panels were established to retain the most qualified officers with skills to fill critical or undermanned Air Force specialties.
For officers who do not complete or self-eliminate from IST, training wings submit a reclassification package that includes a commander's recommendation and the officer's input for review by a five-member panel at AFPC. The IST panel uses the whole person concept to determine if an officer should be reclassified. To date, four panels have considered 88 reclassification packages and have reclassified 60 officers.
Factors considered by the IST panel in its reclassification decision include an officer's potential to complete future training for career field qualification; potential to develop and contribute in their career field; any special abilities or skills in high demand languages benefitting the career field or broader Air Force needs; academic degree emphasis; demonstrated "officership" and commitment to the Air Force; and investment already made by the Air Force.
"The final determination will be based on the career field needs of the Air Force and the officer's ability to meet those needs," said Col. Bill Foote, the director of personnel service at AFPC. "For example, if an officer is eliminated from undergraduate pilot training and has an engineering degree, a logical placement is in one of the engineering career fields where we historically have openings."
If an officer cannot be reclassified, the panel will also take into consideration recoupment of education assistance costs when officers separate before completing the period of active duty they agreed to serve. Recoupment may be directed for service academy graduates as well as those who received Air Force ROTC scholarships. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
"Officers who don't complete their active duty service commitment may be subject to recoupment of education expenses," Colonel Foote said. "As a general rule and out of fiscal responsibility, the Air Force seeks to recover the cost of educating Airmen who do not complete their service commitments."
For more information visit the AFPC personnel services website or call the Total Force Service Center at (800) 525-0102.