Air Force Announces Force Management Initiatives

The Air Force recently announced a series of voluntary and involuntary force management programs intended to help it reduce its overall endstrength by as much as 25,000 over the next five years—a necessary step under the sequester. “The difference from years past is that we announced voluntary programs first, then involuntary,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services. “This year, due to the limited timeframe, we’re announcing all programs at once to allow airmen time to consider their options and ensure their personnel records are up to date.” For enlisted airmen, programming includes the chief master sergeant retention board and the quality force review board. Officer initiatives include force shaping boards and the enhanced selective early retirement board. Officers and enlisted airmen in over-manned career fields with more than 15 years but less than 20 years also will be eligible for the temporary early retirement authority. Some airmen, both officer and enlisted, may qualify for voluntary separation pay, states the release.