“After providing senior leadership a chance to evaluate the programs and assess our early progress, we are ready to resume immediate processing of voluntary applications in most categories and begin notifying Airmen of their status,” said Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “We expect to receive final approval authorities early next week for a select few categories, like rated and health professions, at which point we will be actively processing all voluntary applications.”
Notifications to Airmen could start as early as next week, the general added.
Cox also confirmed previously-announced force management boards would proceed as currently scheduled. The eligible populations for those boards will remain the same with the exception of a small group of about 500 Airmen who will no longer be eligible for the current voluntary or involuntary programs. Those individuals will be personally notified of their eligibility status by the Air Force Personnel Center.
“Resuming the current programs on the previously announced schedules and under the same basic criteria means minimal changes for our Airmen,” Cox said.
One item assessed during the pause was the pace of the programs and whether or not the Air Force could achieve required reductions on the original schedule. The analysis revealed the need to include a second round of programs in 2015.
“Airmen who were eligible for programs during the first round in 2014 will not be eligible for the retention boards in 2015, unless they have specific negative quality force indicators,” Cox said.
Ensuring well-performing Airmen are not subject to multiple involuntary programs is key, according to the general.
Details on the nature and timing of the second round of programs will be announced in the coming weeks.
The general continues to encourage eligible officers and enlisted Airmen to apply for the Temporary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Pay programs. The current TERA application window remains open to March 26 and the VSP application window is open to May 1.
For more information on force management, force shaping, reduction in force and other personnel programs, go to the myPers Web site at