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Retired Air Force rated officers welcomed back on active duty

  • Published
  • By Kat Bailey
  • Air Force’s Personnel Center Public Affairs
Retired Air Force rated officers with Air Force Specialty Codes 11X-pilot, 12X-combat systems officer or 13B-air battle manager are encouraged to apply for the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty Program to help alleviate manning shortages within the Air Force rated community.

Also eligible to apply are current Air Force rated officers in those AFSCs with an approved retirement order. Officers currently serving on active duty under the 2017 VRRAD program whose tour lengths are limited to 12 months may apply for tour extensions under this program.

The Secretary of the Air Force approved the extension to VRRAD for implementation on May 11 as one of a wide range of initiatives the Air Force is pursuing to improve rated officers’ quality of life and quality of service in order to increase retention and the rated officer inventory.

“Officers who return to active duty under VRRAD will fill rated staff and active flying staff, test, training and operational positions where rated officer expertise is required,” said VRRAD Rated Liaison Maj. Elizabeth Jarding of the Air Force’s Personnel Center. “We can match VRRAD participants to stateside or overseas requirements where they’ll fill critical billets that would otherwise remain vacant due to the shortage of rated officers.”


Rated officers who received an active-duty retirement within five years--or will receive one within 12 months from their VRRAD date of application--in the ranks of captain, major or lieutenant colonel, and who are under age 50, may apply for the program with older than 50 considered on a case-by-case basis. Participation has expanded to up to 1,000 retired rated officers and active-duty tour lengths are increased to a minimum of 24 months and a maximum of 48 months.


In addition, applicants must be medically qualified for active duty and have served in a rated staff position within 15 years or been qualified in an Air Force aircraft within 10 years of application for flying positions. Refer to AFPC’s VRRAD web page for aircraft specifics.


AFPC will accept applications for VRRAD until Dec. 31, 2018, or until all openings are filled, whichever happens first. Retired officers returned to active duty will not be eligible for the aviation bonus or for promotion consideration. Program participants will only deploy if they volunteer, unless they are assigned to a combat coded unit.


Officers who retired for physical disability are not eligible to apply.


Find additional information on VRRAD application procedures and eligibility requirements on the VRRAD page of the AFPC public website.


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