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Selective continuation: information officers should know

Posted 1/11/2012   Updated 1/11/2012 Email story   Print story


by Eric M. Grill
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

1/11/2012 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- Captains and majors twice deferred for promotion to the next higher rank who have less than 18 years of service may face a selective continuation board.

Selective continuation boards allow the Air Force to retain twice-deferred officers for a length of time determined by the Secretary of the Air Force. The board typically reviews individual records, immediately following a promotion board, to determine eligibility for continuation.

Continuing service in the Air Force is not a guarantee or a right, said Col. Michael Pitts, Air Force Personnel Center's Personnel Services Directorate Operations Division chief.

"Selective continuation is necessary to balance our force to meet current and future mission capabilities," Pitts said. "It's no longer business as 'normal.' The authority to continue twice-deferred officers is at the discretion of the Air Force Secretary when the needs of the service require."

Officers not selected for continuation are eligible for involuntary separation pay and will be projected for separation no later than six months after the President or his delegate approves the board results, said Lt. Col. Shelley Strong, AFPC's Officer Promotion Branch chief. Those who choose to apply for transfer into the Air Force Reserves or Air National Guard will require a waiver.

With a very talented, all-volunteer force it is a difficult task to select Airmen for early transition from the active-duty force, however the process is necessary to ensure we maintain critical skills and stay within our congressionally mandated end strength, Pitts explained.

"Officers have a role to play in the process," he said. "All officers must make sure their records accurately reflect their accomplishments and experience developed in their years of service."

For more information about officer promotions, selective continuation or any other personnel related issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Services website at

1/17/2012 3:10:48 AM ET
I have the honor of being kicked out of the Air Force twice--RIF'd in 1992 un-RIF'd in 1996 and SERB'd in 2011
1/13/2012 1:52:22 AM ET
It may not be a guarantee or a right but it is certainly not the right thing to do to cut 17.5 year Majors especially while Captains who were selectively retained 10 years ago when they didn't make major are retiring this year. A Major in my unit with nothing bad in his record was cut in the same month a Captain with a DUI and a few other minor infractions retired. The rules aren't right...change them
Maj, SWA
1/12/2012 4:54:23 PM ET
A lack of guts in senior officers always dooms those that are junior. Senior officers who won't write accurate reports and make difficult decisions ruin the lives of those that work for them. But since thier carrers are set they really don't care.
Jerry, Oklahoma
1/12/2012 11:38:14 AM ET
It is bold of them to say all officers must make sure their records ACCURATELY reflect their accomplishments and experience developed in their years of service when the OPRs are written by supervisors who lack the fortitude to make an actual stratification based on something other than who is up for the board next. It really sucks when you're the most junior officer at each assignment because even if you excel at punching above your weight, you'll never be the number one on the only paper that matters.
Double Down, Purgatory AFSC Commitment
1/12/2012 10:27:58 AM ET
Ah yes, the preemptive we-told-you-so as new O4 and O5 promotion boards loom. Way to go AFPC in covering all the bases. Lesson learned from last year's 157 majors who got the pink slip.
Barney, Box Elder SD
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