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News > Retention recommendation forms critical for ERB, QFRB eligibles
Retention recommendation forms critical for ERB, QFRB eligibles

Posted 3/3/2014   Updated 3/3/2014 Email story   Print story


by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

3/3/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Commanders and senior raters of enlisted Airmen slated to meet the quality force review board in May or an enlisted retention board in June must complete an AF Form 3538E, Enlisted Retention Recommendation Form, for each eligible Airman, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. Completed forms must be provided to Airmen and submitted to AFPC by April 4 for the QFRB and May 17 for the ERB.

The retention recommendation form, although common to the officer retention program, is new to enlisted members, said Will Brown, evaluation and recognition programs branch chief.

"Commanders and senior raters who have never completed an RRF for officers may need some guidance on how to complete one," Brown said. "The form is self-explanatory for the most part, but there are sections - like the stratification section - that require commanders to assess their Airmen and rank-order them based on which Airmen have exhibited traits and behaviors that indicate they are suited for retention, so completing the ERRFs will require that commanders and senior raters thoroughly review their Airmen's records."

Board-eligible Airman lists have been provided to military personnel sections for distribution to commanders and senior raters, and information about the form and how to complete it is available in the personnel systems delivery memo on myPers. Lists will be periodically updated in the event eligible Airmen are added or removed from the lists.

With some exceptions at the major command, combatant command, numbered Air Force and field operating agency levels, recommendation forms for technical sergeants and below will be completed by administrative unit commanders. For senior noncommissioned officers, forms will be completed by the senior rater.

The form includes a job description section for duty title and key duties and responsibilities. That information can be pulled from the last enlisted performance report, unless an Airman has changed jobs since the last report, Brown said. In that case, the new supervisor/rater should provide information for the job description section.

In addition, the form has a block for mandatory evaluator comments.

"This section is limited to three bullets, which should relay to the retention board the unique qualities and skills the Airman possesses and justification for retaining the Airman in the Air Force," Brown explained.

For the ERB, commanders or senior raters must then "stratify" their Airmen to let board members know how Airmen compare to others in their current Air Force specialty codes and grades, and how they compare to others by grade only. QFRB-eligible Airmen will not be stratified.

Stratification means differentiating between very good, good, average and poor performers, based on the whole person concept, he explained.

After stratifying an Airman, the commander or senior rater will select the "retain," "consider" or "do not retain" block, print and hand-sign the form, provide each Airman with a copy of his or her form, and submit all forms to the Air Force Personnel Center.

Airmen eligible to meet the ERB or QFRB must be provided with a copy of their ERRFs at least 30 days before their board meets, said Brown. That enables Airmen who dispute or have concerns with the comments, ratings or stratification to discuss their concerns with their commander or senior rater.

"An Airman may also write a letter directly to the board to address any concerns in his or her record. This correspondence should be focused on factual information, rather than opinion or emotion, and the letter is limited to one page, so information must be very clear and specific," Brown said.

Airmen slated to meet the ERB or QFRB can find more information about the program and the ERRF on the myPers website. Go to and enter "FY14 Force Management Programs." Once on the FM page, scroll down to the enlisted only programs section and review the documents linked there.

5/12/2014 3:23:17 PM ET
so...what about those year groups that are safe from retention consideration I know for a fact and personally there is at least 1 person who is not facing the retention board in my AFSC who has a 4 year string of 4 EPRs was removed from their NCOIC position for performance yet they will remain in the AF while others like myself have better records are possibly forced to retire. why keep mediocrity and discharge good leaders how is that in the best interest of the Airmen they will get to continue to lead
really, state of confusion
3/31/2014 1:03:09 PM ET
I COMPLETELY agree with Someone Currently in my shop I have a guy that was on a 365. He returned within 3 months due to an ARI. Since returning this individual has become a professional volunteer. He is CONSTANTLY out of the office doing his suck up stuff. Trying to make himself look good to save his career. To the point this guy received an NCO OF THE MONTH award Heres where I got extremely pissed. When I talked to my supervision about him not pulling his weight at the shop I got told that I am REQUIRED to let him do this WHY So he can try and save his sorry career for being a moron I was told YES Yet those of us who have to pick up this idiots slack get nothing but longer hours and more work. Now heres how all this relates to the ERBs. This guy and I are the same rank. I have more TIS more experience more deployments and more knowledge about the job in deployed conditions than he does. I have a failed PT test a few years back. On paper this guy will be ret
Glad to leave the clubhouse of B.S., In this thing called Reality
3/31/2014 1:41:52 AM ET
This strat thing is a joke. My number actually went down because I fought for a troop's EPR. I easily dance circles around some of my peers. I practice this Whole Person Concept regularly and told by MY leadership I'm one of the stronger NCOs then take a hit for doing my job.
ThatJustHappened, RAF Croughton
3/11/2014 11:53:51 PM ET
In the end this is not a process anyone wants to go through but we shouldn't be making broad statements about people you don't know. This does not but fan the flame and some people will really believe that the only way you'll be retained is if you don't do your AF job. Makes no sense.
FayeLynn, Texas
3/11/2014 11:41:24 PM ET
I'm not saying that it is always the case and I've been doing this for 14 years. People are not always busy always TDY or always deployed. There is time if you make it. I've done the 365 deployment 12 - 16 hour shifts too and yet I and many others find the time. However to sit here and to basically write that anyone who is left after the reductions are the non workers is ridiculous. There will always be people who know so and so who did nothing but got the award. Do the best you can with your situation.
FayeLynn, Texas
3/11/2014 5:56:19 PM ET
I'm sure that even though CCs will have to strat members they will not be making this decision alone. CCs will ask for feedback from direct supervisors shirts supers etc...the bottom line is that yes we will be losing great members that have been productive and overall great Airmen but we are a reducing force and will continue to shrink to balance the force not only within the AF but also the DoD. It seems that in the prior threads that some members are putting down other members calling them suck-ups and defending why they can't volunteer or why peopleleaders don't like them. Question Are you following everything from AFI 36-2618 Enlisted Force Structure...if so stop putting down members and let the cards fall accept what the entire AF is going through to include you your peers and your leaders...remember Service Before Self not Self Before Service.
JS, US Air Force Academy
3/11/2014 12:02:23 PM ET
FayeLynn that is not always the case. As an enlisted aircrew member we are gone quite a bit. One year I logged over 300 days TDY so I was not around to volunteer as much as someone who fakes an illness or injury and cannot fly. Those people dont want to do their job but they volunteer on and off duty. Those people are the ones who win the quarterly awards. I am just lucky I am only compared to my AFSC because some AFSC's have more time than us.
DirtyLoad, JBLM WA
3/11/2014 11:06:45 AM ET
I agree with Someone.I've been in the AF for almost 9 yrs. I have done major jobs supervised major jobs. I've been a shift lead NCOIC of two different sections. quilified for so many task but i have never recieved a dec or award... I've seen people at all ranks recieve awards who have done less quality of work is garbage. even with performance fails they seem to get stuff. Reason being they are favored. If supervision like someone then they get recommended for TDYs awards etc. If they can tell a good story and brown nose they get the world. Unfortunatly it so true. oh you did honor guard but dont know your job thats ok have this award.I just recently got a feedback. My rater had to fight to get me the firewall 5 that i deserve due to a few in supervision not liking me. due to personal unlikeness not performance. Not because I did beyond people on my tier. I dont always have tact. I tell it how it is and i dont cater of baby when it come to getting work done. I
Another disgruntled person, midwest
3/11/2014 10:39:58 AM ET
@Gary Dale Ramstein AB - Each CommanderSenior Rater has the responsbilty to ensure each Airman receives a copy of the ERRF. If the Airman does not receive a copy of the ERRF approx. 15 days prior to the board convening then the Airman should contact their CommanderSenior Rater requesting a copy of the ERRF.
AFPC Public Affairs, JBSA-Randolph Texas
3/11/2014 10:30:05 AM ET
Someone's called The Whole Person concept so it just isn't going to be the individuals you call a suck up. I find it funny that you are complaining about people who volunteer and doing exactly what the AF asks of them. If you get the shaft then you may want to take a look at yourself as the problem becuase I'll bet that those who volunteer ARE doing their AF job and doing it well. They just manage their time better.Gary... I would suspect that indivdiuals will still meet the board if they don't get it 30 days before. I would recommend they ask for the ERRF and not sit passively and wait. Or they could be like someone somewhere and complain about the suck ups who got theirs.
FayeLynn, Texas
3/6/2014 7:26:30 PM ET
The thing I find most funny about this program is the people who do their job and don't spend countless hours volunteeringgetting face time with commanders for awards are getting the shaft. Good to know all the suckups and non workers will be what makes up the future force
Someone , Somewhere
3/6/2014 4:20:59 AM ET
Airmen eligible to meet the ERB or QFRB must be provided with a copy of their ERRFs at least 30 days before their board meets said Brown. What happens if airmen are NOT provided with a copy of their ERRF's at least 30 days before their board meets
Gary Dale, Ramstein AB
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