AFI 36-2626 Airman Retraining Program (available on AF E-Pubs) is your foundational guidance. Ensure you understand career decisions that may affect your eligibility to retrain (e.g. accepting re-enlistment bonuses, OCONUS assignment timing, etc).
On MyPers under the retraining tab, reference the memo: ‘Clarification of Crossflow/Retraining Policy for Air Force Special Warfare (AFSPECWAR) and Combat Support Candidates.’ This memo states that any Airmen that meet cross-training and eligibility requirements may pursue cross-training into Special Warfare operator or support career fields. This memo largely addresses candidates that were having difficulty being released from their original AFSC’s Career Field Manager (CFM) due to having their own manning issues.
The memo also states that First Term Airmen may retrain as early as their 24th month of their current enlistment. Members serving in overseas assignments will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending upon their DEROS.
The Air Force Enlisted Classification Directory (AFECD) contains descriptions and requirements for each enlisted career field. Some AFSCs will specifically list total service and rank requirements for retraining. Ensure you meet the requirements and plan ahead so you don’t bust any rank or time limits.
Go to MyPERS and click on the ‘Apply for Retraining’ link. Inside, take a look at the ‘Online myPers Retraining Advisory and Retraining Advisory Notes‘ to see how many slots are available. Note: This quota for battlefield airman slots in the past has not always been accurate. The career field AETC Functional is ultimately the guy that has the best handle on how many slots are available.
Next, check out the Enlisted Classification Directory (ECD) and look at the retraining requirements for the career field you are interested in as well as ECD Attachment 4 for additional requirements. Some of the requirements you’ll want to keep an eye on are ASVAB score, Time In Service limit, Rank limits, among others. The ECD is available on the AF portal by doing a simple search.
-Your local base career assistance adviser is your advocate for retraining. Each installation has a career assistance adviser and some have more than one. These guys have access to AFPC and AETC subject matter experts and can guide you through the process of retraining and interpreting the AFI.
-Unit First Sergeant and Chief Master Sergeants are largely put in place to assist airmen with issues that they encounter throughout their career. Many young airmen may be hesitant to reach out to their senior grade Chief and Shirt, but these guys have built local and Air Force wide relationships and know how to reach out to people directly to get things done.
PJ/CCT/SR Phase II
Once AFPC has accepted your crosstrain package, you can expect to receive an email notification from the career field you are applying for. PJ, CCT and Special Reconnaissance conduct a Phase II selection at least twice a year. The Phase II selection is a one week tryout to see if you have what it takes. Crosstrainees are strictly evaluated and must meet standards in which the Phase II cadre have set.
Crosstrainees inherently have a higher level of discrimination placed against them. They are expected to be leaders in a multitude of disciplines- physical, mental and leading others. When crosstrainees quit at selection, it can produce devastating results- typically bringing a few non-prior service guys with them out the door. If crosstrainees go to Phase II selection meeting or slightly exceeding PAST standards, they will fail at Phase II.
TACP Phase I
TACP candidates participate in a Phase I package review which includes a phone interview with current TACP headquarters staff. TACP candidates should prepare extensively for the Phase I similarly to how they would prepare physically for a Phase II assessment. Retrain slots for TACP are extremely limited and qualified candidates are abundant, so all TACP retrain slots are competitive. A candidate must set themselves apart from the rest by writing and speaking with precision and thought that will set you apart from the crowd. Your PAST scores must also reflect your excellence above and beyond. Questions to consider:
-What makes TACP unique that you specifically have interest in it and not other operator AFSCs?
-Why should the career field consider selecting you for TACP assessment above other candidates?
-What are your strengths and weaknesses? And how will you use these attributes effectively as a crosstrainee?
Candidates that are selected from Phase I/II will continue on in the training pipeline- attending either PJ/CCT/SR A&S or TACP A&S, respectively.
ETCA Information for Phase II
Course ID: RETRAINING ASSESSMENT
TITLE: Retraining Assessment & Selection–Phase II
LOCATION: Lackland AFB, TX
LENGTH: 6 Days (Including Travel)
Contact: HQ/AETC A3TB
The purpose of Phase II is to assess each candidate’s ability to show appropriate levels of attributes for the purpose of determining if you have the raw skills to operate in this environment. Your individual physical performance will be evaluated along with your leadership and followership abilities. The schedule is designed to stress you. The cadre will observe and take notes on everything you do. These observations will be the basis for a hiring recommendation made to the CFM (Career Field Manager). The data will also be used to provide critical feedback to enhance your personal and professional growth.
You must be prepared for a physically and mentally demanding week. Feedback from most candidates indicates that this week is more demanding than anything they anticipated. The cadre will push you physically and mentally to assess these critical attributes. You will be expected to perform to the best of your ability in all events.
– Strength, conditioning, flexibility, and endurance
– Leadership and followership
– Stress tolerance and emotional stability
– Maturity and self-awareness
– Commitment and perseverance
– Intelligence (under stress) and situational awareness
– Interpersonal skills and team work
– AF core values and general knowledge
Candidates should be prepared for the following:
-Physical Fitness Test
1. 10 Pull-Ups
2. 60 Push-Ups
3. 65 Sit-Ups
4. 3 mile run <[21:00]
5. 2x 25m Underwater
6. 500m Swim <[10:07]
– Extensive psychological testing and interviews
– Briefing and writing skills evaluations
– Problem solving events
– Leadership/followership ability evaluations
– Ruck marches with 50 lbs of weight at distances up to 5 miles at a pace of 15min per mile
– Running for distances up to 4 miles at a pace of 7min per mile
– Calisthenics sessions of various exercises
– Water confidence evaluations, to include:
1.Underwater swim intervals at 25 meters
2.Mask and Snorkel recovery
Note: Practicing sub surface water confidence is highly encouraged, but practicing without a swim buddy is dangerous and not condoned by Special Tactics
Enrollment Procedures: Quotas to this course are obtained through HQ AETC/A3TB. Individuals will be notified by HQ AETC/A3TB when they have been selected for the assessment and will be required to complete additional administrative actions as directed.
Equipment Required: Students will be contacted by the course manager with the appropriate gear list prior to arrival.