Air Force updates retraining guidance for Special Warfare candidates

The Air Force has updated its retraining policies for Airmen interested in applying for Special Warfare positions. The new guidance loosens restrictions set in place by AFI 36-2626 Airman Retraining Program and ensures the Air Force maximizes opportunities to serve in critically manned career fields.

The AFSPECWAR and Combat Support AFSCs covered under this policy are Special Tactics Officer (13CX), Combat Rescue Officer (13DX), Tactical Air Control Party Officer (13LX), Pararescue (1Z1X1), Combat Control (1Z2X1), Tactical Air Control Party (1Z3X1), Special Reconnaissance (1Z4X1), Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (1T0X1), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (3E8X1).

Historically, first term enlisted Airmen with a 4-year enlistment may apply for retraining not earlier than 35 months of their current enlistment (59 months for 6-year enlistees). This often placed Airmen in a tight retraining window with additional complicating factors such as re-enlistment bonuses and PCS’s. Additionally, Airmen had difficulty getting released from their prior career fields. The new policy alleviates these burdens.

An excerpt from the updated policy memo, titled “Clarification of Crossflow/Retraining Policy for Air Force Special Warfare (AFSPECWAR) and Combat Support Candidates“:

“Due to unique challenges in finding Airmen who can meet initial qualifications for our critically short AFSPECWAR and Combat Support career fields, any Airman who meets initial qualifications will be released from their current career field to pursue crossflow/retraining regardless of manning levels within their current career field. First Term Airmen may apply for retraining under this policy no earlier than the first duty day of the month during which they complete 24 months of their current enlistment. If an Airman does not pass initial qualifications such as the Phase 2 one week pre-assessment course, or the Airman does not pass their approved Special Warfare training pipeline, the Airman will be reinstated into their prior career field without prejudice. Members serving in overseas assignments will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending upon their DEROS. Final approval of exceptions to policy will be retained at AF/A1PT.”

The memo is dated February 2020 and is effective immediately. The original memo can be found by airmen with CAC enabled access by going to MyPers, and searching under the retraining section. For additional information on retraining into Air Force Special Warfare, see our dedicated Retraining Information page. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to post on our Community Forums.

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