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High Year of Tenure

High Year of Tenure

High Year of Tenure, or HYT, represents the maximum number of years an Airman may serve on active duty. The Air Force designed HYT policy to manage the size of the career force and to induce a reasonable promotion flow to all grades. HYT also establishes a balance between the need for experience and youth in the enlisted force, and provides the Air Force with a method of stabilizing the career structure of the enlisted force. HYT is currently set at the following service points:

  • Senior Airman and below – 8 years of Total Active Federal Military Service
  • Staff Sergeant – 15 years of TAFMS
  • Technical Sergeant – 20 years of TAFMS
  • Master Sergeant – 24 years of TAFMS
  • Senior Master Sergeant – 26 years of TAFMS
  • Chief Master Sergeant – 30 years of TAFMS

However, the Air Force is extending the high year of tenure for senior airmen through technical sergeants beginning Feb. 1, 2019.


The memo, signed Oct. 18, extends the high year of tenure from eight to 10 years for senior airmen, from 15 to 20 years for staff sergeants and from 20 to 22 years for technical sergeants.


Airmen in these ranks who reach their HYT prior to Feb. 1, 2019, or those who are currently approved for separation or retirement under the previous HYT limits, may submit a request to extend their HYT beginning Oct. 24 to the updated limit if government funds have not been expended on their separation or retirement, such as moving expenses.


Senior airmen through technical sergeants with an HYT of Feb. 1, 2019, and later, will automatically have their HYT adjusted by the Air Force's Personnel Center in accordance with this policy. Those hitting HYT prior to Feb. 1, 2019, can request an extension via the virtual military personnel flight.



The Air Force rarely extends HYT dates but Airmen may request an extension to their HYT for mission critical needs shown to be in the best interest of the Air Force, or when the Airmen are experiencing an extreme personal hardship, i.e., circumstances or a situation uncommon to other Airmen. Please visit the HYT page on myPers for more information.



Airmen separated under HYT who are otherwise fully qualified for retention are eligible for full separation pay. Airmen who are not otherwise fully qualified for retention will receive half separation pay. Please visit the HYT page on myPers for more information.

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