Squash the Rumor Thread

I got one. “ These career fields are no longer critically manned” And if you are a FTA in another critically manned career field you will not be able to retrain until your 5 year mark (for 6 year) or 3 year mark (for 4 year).
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
A great short concise summary. The only perspective needing to be added is enlisted occupational specialties more so than officer utilization field specialties codes are Capabilities Based with emphasis on what needs to be done. For example what human performance is needed (not desired) to maintain an aircraft in readiness to fly, refuel it, keep the runways serviceable etc.

The human capability needed (not desired) must be useful and have affordable and timely producibility (recruited and trained). There are also factors of viability that get analyzed to provide a clear picture of what the enlisted occupation specialty needs to do and how well. This becomes the blueprint for developing the full range of necessary skill sets, knowledge bases, and abilities of the specialty.

No matter how technology and tactics change human performance in terms of special operations, special warfare, irregular warfare, guerilla warfare, etc is nothing more than higher expectation personnel involved in such operations and activities are more dependable and reliable in possessing sufficient abilities, knowledge and experience of the mission or activity they are tasked to do.

Further certain activities are strongly connected to sending and receiving information to get something done. Air assault (airfield, drop zone) aircraft traffic control, directing close air support to and from target, and strategic reconnaissance are all dependent on reliable radio communications with aircraft and command and control centers. Too some degree personnel recovery also requires radio communications, but the PJ is not there primarily to be tethered to being a team's health care (sick call) medic or tethered to being strictly inside an aircraft as the med/cas evac medic. The commonality is skills and abilities to infiltrate into an area and exfil out of an area, but each specialty brings a different specialized capability that are difficult to stovepipe into one specialty without a loss or impairment of the needed capability.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
I got one.
No question is presented, no longer critically manned at this time is no longer critically maned at this time. The Air Force's retraining policy has always been and will always remain:

2.1. Retraining Purpose. Retraining is a force management program used primarily to balance the enlisted career force across all AFSCs and ensure sustainability of career fields. Retraining also provides a means to return disqualified Airmen to a productive status. Additionally, the program allows a limited number of Airmen the opportunity to pursue other career paths within the AF. The AF encourages Airmen to voluntarily retrain first, however, the needs of the AF may require Airmen to be involuntarily retrained to meet sustainment objectives.
There has never been a guarantee FTA entry classification enlistment option program for getting out of one specialty code into new and different specialty code. It has always been apply and hope with more opportunity for the hope to materialize some years than others.

What was put in place for a short few years was policy that currently being in a critically manned career field/specialty will not cause ineligibility/disqualification to request retraining entry classification into another critically manned specialty. Even under this policy there was no guarantee to submitted retrain request will get approved, particularly when even then the submitted requested significantly exceeded in number the manning available manning authorization allotted for retrain entry classification purposes.
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
I got one. “ These career fields are no longer critically manned” And if you are a FTA in another critically manned career field you will not be able to retrain until your 5 year mark (for 6 year) or 3 year mark (for 4 year).
I have a different take on this than Yukon. Afpc did have an early retaining memo at some point but it was rescinded in FY19. (More info on the crossflow policy HERE.) End of story, right?

I was talking to a career assistance advisor the other day that told me the early retaining policy is still active. So, I have some truth digging to do to see what's current and I'll get back to you.

SW
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
None of the 1Z enlisted specialties have feeder AFSCs. The 1Z career field retrain into objective of the enlisted service member is to pursue another career in a new specialty. All the retrain policy memo did was remove the absolute restriction that a first enlistment service member with no prior service currently in a critical AFSC is ineligible to request or submit an early retrain request/application. The policy also eliminated the advantage of those in AFSC having an objective out goal (meaning overmanned) had in the retraining process when trying to make a career change into one of the current 1Z enlisted specialties. Simply if in a critically manned AFSC the only retrain opportunity other than recruiting, BMT TI was one of the current 1Z enlisted specialties.

The playing field of being in an over manned AFSC versus a critical manned AFSC remains level. Simplistically current AF policy implements perspective of making one problem worse to maybe make another problem better is neither a cost effective remedy or one that is dependable due to (take your pick): unique retraining challenges, demanding entry classification requirements, high attrition.

The Special Warfare Reality Check–Squashing the Rumor Mill discloses and addresses the no-prior-service enlistment screening and assessment process. In doing so it discloses approximately 40% of candidates (new no prior service recruits) that finished A&S were still not selected to continue training. Very little info is being put out on the retrain A&S rates which is critical info when discussing the retraining process. Other critical info is how much overloading above the quotas available is the retrain A&S allowed. Policy doesn't translate to need and generally doesn't translate to an absolute always will/can or will not/cannot.

4.5. Exception to Policy/Waivers. Members may apply for retraining as an exception to policy if the Airman was not allowed to apply for retraining during normal retraining window or if requesting retraining consideration outside of the normal retraining programs eligibility criteria. Exceptions to policy are only considered in extreme cases and when justification presents unusual circumstances uncommon to other AF members. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis and are determined by appropriate waiver authority.

5.1. First Term Airman Retraining Program. The First Term Airmen Retraining Program is designed to retrain First Term Airmen in conjunction with a reenlistment, into AFSCs where shortages exist and additionally, allows a limited number of Airmen the opportunity to pursue other career paths in the AF. Airmen maybe selected for involuntary retraining based on AF needs to balance the force.
 
Last edited:

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
I got one. “ These career fields are no longer critically manned” And if you are a FTA in another critically manned career field you will not be able to retrain until your 5 year mark (for 6 year) or 3 year mark (for 4 year).
After digging around, I found no evidence that the early retraining program exists anymore. You can retrain at your normal window.

In regards to critically manning... If your career field is on the shortfall list (ie, critically manned), you may only retrain into career fields that are also on the shortfall list. All AFSPECWAR AFSCs are on the shortfall list. Additionally, the Crossflow Retraining Policy letter located on the Retraining Page should provide bolstering justification.

SW
 

admin

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
After digging around, I found no evidence that the early retraining program exists anymore. You can retrain at your normal window.

In regards to critically manning... If your career field is on the shortfall list (ie, critically manned), you may only retrain into career fields that are also on the shortfall list. All AFSPECWAR AFSCs are on the shortfall list. Additionally, the Crossflow Retraining Policy letter located on the Retraining Page should provide bolstering justification.

SW
And the rumor lives on. An E-8 career assistance adviser confidently told me that AFPC will process first term airman's retraining package early (at their half way enlistment point). He says that AFPC does not publish guidance on it (which is true- nothing on MyPers), and that it is an 'unwritten rule' they are allowing.
Personally this sounds bizarre that AFPC would do this. Typically if its not published, its not true. But my advice for all that want to dig into this is give your local career assistance adviser at your base a phone call and see what they say about it.
 
This is an awesome thread! I have a few rumors that are TACP related:

1) TACP will soon be required to attend special warfare A&S? - thus implying the watercon and swimming standards will be applied to TACP. ASOS has stated this is imminent...

2) After the implementation of SW prep, the standards were "heightened" or made "harder" at the TACP school house, as recruits were coming out of SW prep and passing the school house with ease...?

3) prior service will soon be admitted into the full SW prep course?

Again, these are just rumors I have heard. Thanks for your time!
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
1) TACP will soon be required to attend special warfare A&S? - thus implying the watercon and swimming standards will be applied to TACP. ASOS has stated this is imminent...
False. TACP selection will diverge from SW A&S directly after prep. More info here: https://afspecialwarfare.com/big-changes-confirmed-for-special-warfare-enlistments/
There will be a larger watercon expectation for TACP candidates in the future. Expect 2x underwaters coming a standard for all SW candidates (to include TACP). Also at prep, TACP candidates will perform some watercon as well along with other candidates.


2) After the implementation of SW prep, the standards were "heightened" or made "harder" at the TACP school house, as recruits were coming out of SW prep and passing the school house with ease...?
Doubtful. If candidates were meeting the standards and attributes established by the career field, there is little reason for them to toughen the standards. The whole point of SW prep is to get more people through the selection courses in the first place.

3) prior service will soon be admitted into the full SW prep course?
Maybe. It has been mentioned as a possibility and the SW Training Group has been working to establish a pilot program to just that.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
The specialty description AFECD lists all the required formal courses in the 3-level training pipeline. From the course of initial entry to the final 3-level AFSC awarding course. It gets updated every 6-months. Next update is expected end of April 2020.

As of the last update 31 October 2019 for TACP:

3.3. Training. For award of AFSC 1Z3X1, completion of the following formal courses are mandatory:
3.3.1. Special Warfare Preparatory Course. (AD/ANG Non Prior Service Only)
3.3.1.1. Tactical Air Control Party Preparatory Course.
3.3.1.2. Tactical Air Control Party Apprentice Course.
3.3.1.3. S-V80-A Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Course.
3.3.1.4. Airborne - Parachutist Course.
3.3.1.5. Must pass Tier 2 Operator Physical Fitness Test (OPFT).

Following the money allocated for training reveals AETC has the responsibility to budget for and pay for the training pipeline leading to award of a projected AFSC's 3-skill level AFSC. Accordingly the expected implementation of the Special Warfare Operator Enlistment-Vector recruiting program (AD non-prior service enlistments only at the moment) and recent establishing of both the Special Warfare Preparatory Course. (AD/ANG Non Prior Service Only) and divergence into two (perhaps 3) different Assessment and Selection course paths of TACP and Special Tactics/Guardian Angel provides some clues.

Although the TACP implemented requirement for Army Basic Airborne course being attended and completed for award of 3-skill level, attendance and completion doesn't currently appear to be a mandatory requirement to start training day one of the apprentice course. Further scrutiny of the specialty description doesn't identify continuous sustaining parachutist qualification and performing parachutist duties being required to retain award of any TACP Skill level AFSC.

Let us focus a bit on the April 2020 implementation of the Special Warfare Operator Enlistment-Vector recruiting program (AD non-prior service enlistments). This is simply a change to the GTEP enlistment of removing option to self select a guarantee enlistment into a specific 1Z Special warfare career field enlisted specialty occupation during the accessing process prior to actually enlisting. This establishes a new unique non-prior service assessing in which no-prior service recruits for the Regular (active duty) Air Force arrive at BMT with the 9T500 reporting identifier AFSC. This reporting identified is retained until vectored (distributed) to the projected AFSC upon successful completion of the Special Warfare Preparatory Course. (AD/ANG Non Prior Service Only). Once vectored the appropriate 1-skill level helper-student occupation specific AFSC is awarded. The 1-skill level AFSC is retained until completion of the projected AFSC's 3-skill level awarding course is successfully completed, at which time the the projected AFSC's 3-skill level AFSC is awarded. For TACP to soon be required to attend special warfare A&S, quite a few changes need to be implemented to validate and justify such integration.

Rumors 1 has no historical utilization context or accuracy. Scrutiny of TACP duty assignments prior to 1977 (No TACP AFSC or AFSC-shred exited), reveals emphasis on fitness was mostly occurring while completing required training obtained at Hurlburt and relied on Army physical fitness tests and training requirements and I have not found any document referencing swimming or water confidence requirements. Once out of training it depended on how much emphasis unit leadership put on PT and with most of the TACP force structure being in the Air Guard the emphasis on Physical fitness was absent or barely existing. Even so the majority of the elimination is withdrawal of volunteer status and not meeting course fitness standards and testing. This status quo more or less remained in place until (even though PAST requirements for TACP GTEP enlistment purposes came into being ca. 2000) the adding of the Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Specialty into the list of volunteer AFSCs that are eligible for self-initiated elimination from formal training courses required for award of 3-skill level, effective 24 December 2014, and ALO and TACP Tier 2 Operator Fitness Test Guidance Memorandum dated 1 June 2018 which put in place its tier 2 (occupation-specific) fitness standards and testing standards.

Scrutiny of TACP duty assignment requirement prior to 1997 indicate fitness training and standards while existing were mostly completing required training obtained at Hurlburt and relied on Army physical fitness tests and training requirements. Once out of training, even though ruck march and a few other requirements were identified in TACP policies, these policies didn't direct removal from TACP for failure to meet these requirements, it depended on how much emphasis unit leadership put on PT and with most of the TACP force structure being in the Air Guard the emphasis on Physical fitness was too often absent or barely existing within the unit.

Rumor 3 is the method pararescue relied on from 1947 to 2019. It was expanded in 1974 to require prior service PJs and PJs serving in a special duty such as PME instructor for two years or more were required to go through Indoc again. Besides AFECD and other policy guidance stipulating this, I also have quite a few by name examples to provide to back this up. The problem is prior service and cross trainees can't be vectored as these programs project the AFSC prior to starting any training, so if they are withdrawn or eliminated from training for the projected AFSC the prior service eliminee is separated and the cross trainee is returned to their current AFSC.

All these rumors requires significant verified need to be validated prior change to happen. A gleaming of the extent of change required is possible from Airborne - Parachutist Course being a requirement for award of 3-skill level AFSC, but being on parachutist orders performing parachute jumps not being an inherent mandatory requirement for retention of any TACP skill level AFSC. This exposes the question of what is the required skills and abilities required beyond those of the Army forces embedded with to support.

This is basically the same boat SERE is in pertinent to the 3-level training pipeline requirement to attend and complete the Basic Airborne Course with no bona-fide requirement fo the majority of the duty positions to be parachutist coded and funded. TACP only began requiring attendance and completion of Basic Airborne Course in April 2018. Simply parachutist service isn't an inherent requirement of the specialty, but assignment to a parachutist coded duty position dependent. For TACP to be integrated into the Guardian Angel and or Special Tactics A&S the same all in occupation level of being able to operate independently rather than being embedded as a combat support element needs to exist. CCT made this transition by changing from conventional combat support to being a special tactics capability after 1977.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
Watercon expectations, other than for Pararescue, has origins with primarily Army implementing Army Combat Water Survival Test (CWST) programs and requirements. This was particularly emphasized in the assignment to the 75th Ranger Regiment selection and assessment program which currently requires a 15-meter swim in ACUs and boots with LCE and dummy rifle. It previous required three events. But the important perspective is Army Ranger units (Companies, Battalions) weren't reconstituted until 1974 and this reintroduces interest in not only identifying swimmers and non-swimmers, but also combat water survival requirements having purpose of build soldiers' confidence for operations in and around water. Amphibious landings, fording streams, creeks, rivers, and traversing swamps. This revived interest has a timeline that parallels the timeline of implementing dunker (water egress training) for helicopter crew members.

Attached article suggests a forced bailout from a helicopter into the water is reason for EOD requiring water confidence training. It was actually an emergency ditching egress, thus my introducing dunker training into the conversation.

Evans, 31, of Hollandale died when the U.S. Marine Corps CH-46 helicopter he was riding in made an emergency water landing in western Al Anbar Province, Iraq, December 3, 2006. Cannon Airman killed in Iraq

Major General William B. Caldwell, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said Tuesday that the helicopter began to lose power after lifting off from the dam. He said all but the pilot and co-pilot evacuated from the back of the helicopter and it glided across the water and used a boat ramp to get on shore. He said no fighting was going on in the area at the time.

A Marine was pulled from the water but attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. The bodies of three missing service members were found in a subsequent search, the military said. Twelve other passengers survived. The military has said the incident does not appear to be the result of enemy action and it is under investigation.
 

Attachments

Pure speculation... Do you think retraining will be delayed due to COVID? I really don’t know what to think I understand they have to keep these career fields manned but DOD is stopping a lot of things especially with the move to HPCON Charlie.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
Apparently such policy guidance can be found on MYPERS. I don't have access.
 
Custom Text
Top