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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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SW

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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

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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.
 
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