Fewer Airmen than originally expected will meet involuntary retention boards this summer and fall, Air Force officials said June 13.
Air Force leaders eliminated approximately 4,000 Airmen from eligibility for the upcoming boards at Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James’s direction to bolster manning for nuclear-related air force specialty codes and to account for budgetary uncertainty regarding proposed force structure changes.
“Establishing full manning in our nuclear positions underscores the vital importance of this mission,” James said. “It also offers these critical Airmen a more stable work schedule and improves their quality of life. Budgetary uncertainty regarding proposed force structure actions is also driving us to retain more Airmen in some career fields. Adjusting our force management programs reduces risk at this point.”
Commanders will be provided updated eligibility rosters for their units reflecting these changes; however, given the short timelines associated with these updates, Airmen should check their respective AFSC, grade or year group on the updated matrices posted on myPers today, to ensure they know their latest status.
The enlisted retention boards and officer enhanced selective early retirement board for Airmen who are still eligible will occur in June with results released in late July or early August.
"Based on our discussions with Air Force senior leaders, the secretary and I decided to retain 4,000 Airmen who were previously eligible for the involuntary retention boards this summer," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "This adjustment is necessary because we're not sure whether we'll be allowed to execute the difficult decisions we made to divest force structure next year and because of our recent decision to increase manning in the nuclear mission.
“We don't want to cut a single Airman more than the number absolutely necessary to keep our force in balance. This adjustment is another action that keeps us aligned with that principle. Thanks again for who you are, what you do and what you stand for," Welsh said.
Updates to information on force management and other personnel programs will continue to be available on myPers . Airmen can also use the force management graphic on the Air Force Portal, which will take them to updated matrices and force management program details.