AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – There are times when Airmen that enter the
Air Force may not have fully understood the job that was given to
them, it wasn't what they expected, or they knew what to expect but
are now looking for a change.
Fortunately, Airmen have the
opportunity to attain that change through retraining.
The objective for the retraining program is to balance the
career force of each Air Force Specialty Code as needed; so under
the retraining program, eligible Airmen can apply to join a
different career field.
There are two programs for
retraining: the Career Airmen Reenlistment Reservation System
Retraining Program and the NCO Retraining Program.
CAREERS Retraining Program is designed for first-term Airmen in
conjunction with a reenlistment. No matter what the Airman's AFSC
and manning are, they can apply to retrain. The CAREERS retraining
selection is a competitive process. The retraining package is
prioritized according to the most current EPR as well as the last
three EPRs, current grade/projected grade, date of rank and Airman
Qualifying Examination scores.
“For first-term Airmen it is
important to know when to apply,” said Marcy Holland, 99th Force
Support Squadron career assistance advisor. “For CONUS-assigned
Airmen they may apply no earlier than the first duty day of their
35th month of their current enlistment -- 59 months for 6-year
enlistee -- and no later than the last duty day of the 43rd month of
their current enlistment -- 67 months for 6-year enlistees.”
Airmen assigned overseas may apply for retraining 9 to 15 months
prior to their DEROS if serving any portion of the FTA window on or
before DEROS, which is the 35th month for 4-year enlistees and 59th
month for 6-year enlistees.
The purpose of the NCORP is to
balance the enlisted force through selective retaining of staff
sergeants to master sergeants from overage AFSCs to AFSCs
experiencing shortages which can result in involuntary retraining of
second term and career Airmen.
“I have retrained twice,”
said Tech. Sgt. Adam Sneed, 57th Information Aggressors Squadron
adversary network warfare operator. “I felt like I wanted more of a
challenge in my job, as well as become more technical in the
communications career field.
“The first time I retrained the
biggest challenge was waiting to hear back from the board if I was
approved to retrain. The second time I retrained I was in a balance
career field with no retraining out positions so I had to wait for
the phase 1 and phase 2 of NCORP to be completed and then do an
exception to policy letter to be able to retrain out of a balance
AFSC to a chronic critical AFSC and submit my package to AFPC so the
functional could review and decide whether or not to approve.”
Airmen wanting to retrain through NCORP must fall under certain
criteria in order to be eligible. The Airman must be on their second
or subsequent enlistment, and have a current or projected grade of
staff sergeant through master sergeant.
If an Airman is
projected for promotion they must apply to AFSCs that have shortages
in their projected grade.
“One of the challenges that come
with retraining as an NCO is coming into a new career having to
complete all the skill-level requirements and CDCs while still doing
all the other things that is required of you as a NCO,” said Sneed.
Additionally, Airmen looking to retrain may take advantage of
the monthly Retraining 101 class offered by the career assistance
“The retraining class is highly suggested, because
that is what we are here for,” said Holland. “Retraining 101 is
honestly the best way I can be most effective because then I hit
mass Airmen. We all have learned in a classroom environment.
“My advice to Airmen looking to retrain is to stay educated and
know your window if you really want to retrain,” said Holland. “We
tell Airmen to come to us about two to three months before their
window of opportunity opens.”
For those wishing to apply for
retraining, log into the Virtual Military Personnel Flight and click
on the Self Service Actions followed by the Retraining tab. It is
important to verify eligibility, fill out all the paperwork, and
submit the application.
The application will go to AFPC for
a quality check of the package and then it will forward to the AFPC
Retraining Board who will then determine selections.
By U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis
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