Air Force Slims Down

The Air Force announced Tuesday it will offer some ROTC cadets and recently commissioned graduates in the Individual Ready Reserve an opportunity to get out of their military service commitment early. In an effort to align its policies and programs to a smaller and leaner force, cadets slated for graduation in 2014 and recent graduates in the following fields may apply for voluntary release in January: airfield operations, nuclear and missile operations, intelligence, cyberspace operations, aircraft maintenance, munitions and missile maintenance, logistics readiness, security forces, public affairs, personnel, acquisition, and contracting. ROTC applicants that have been approved for the program will no longer receive their monthly stipend as of March 1, but the Air Force “will not seek scholarship or stipend recoupment in exchange for release from their service commitment,” states the release. Air Force leaders are encouraging ROTC graduates to look at reserve components for similar opportunities. The Air Force also plans to reduce applicants to the Officer Training School, “but we can’t cut any deeper into OTS production without harming our ability to fill specific technical career fields,” said Lt. Col. Jonelle Eychner, chief of officer accessions and training.