JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - RANDOLPH, Texas --
Noncommissioned officers in unrestricted career fields affected by the fiscal year 2013 NCO Retraining Program have a month to volunteer for retraining, Air Force Personnel Center officials said today. Affected Airmen in restricted fields, however, have until Friday to volunteer.
NCOs who volunteer during Phase I have more opportunities to choose their next career field than those who "wait and see" if retraining will be necessary, said Master Sgt. Angela Harris, AFPC Skills Management Branch Superintendent.
"Most Airmen are in the field of their choice because they know and like the work they do, so it's understandable that few are interested in retraining," she said. "But, overmanned career fields cannot be sustained, so retraining is going to happen - voluntarily or involuntarily. If you are selected in Phase II as a non-volunteer, you won't get to choose the career field you want."
More than 1,400 NCOs are affected by this year's program, and by late August, only 20 percent of those needed to retrain had volunteered.
"Waiting it out in hopes that there won't be involuntary retraining is unrealistic considering the volunteer rate," Harris said. "It makes more sense to volunteer for something you will likely enjoy doing for a living."
The two-phase program is used to balance and sustain the enlisted force.
During Phase I, Airmen in unrestricted career fields may apply for any shortage career fields listed on the retraining advisory, if they meet requirements. Voluntary applications will be accepted only through Oct. 5.
Airmen in restricted career fields will be able to apply only for specific career fields and all application requirements must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. central time Friday in order to meet the Sept. 3 cutoff, Harris said.
During Phase II, the AFPC Total Force Service Center will immediately begin selecting a retraining AFSC from the most qualified and vulnerable Airmen involuntarily, in order to meet the remaining objectives.
The master vulnerability list is available on the virtual Military Personnel Flight website, accessible via the Air Force Portal or the myPers website. To access the secure site and for more information about retraining and other personnel issues, go to the myPers website: https://mypers.af.mil