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Captains, majors could face RIFs this summer

Jan. 10, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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Some captains and majors could be caught up in a reduction in force this summer, according to a chart obtained by Air Force Times.

And force shaping boards scheduled to convene in July will consider ousting some first lieutenants and captains, the chart said.

The RIF and force shaping boards are two of 18 force management programs the Air Force is rolling out throughout 2014 to help it deal with the across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said last year the sequester could force the service to cut up to 25,000 airmen over the next five years.

However, not all officers in those ranks are at risk of a RIF or force shaping board. Other factors, such as career field and time-in-service, will help decide who could face a RIF or force shaping board, but were not detailed in the chart.

The RIF will affect captains and majors with six or more years of total active commissioned service, and less than 18 years of total active federal military service, who have served at least one year of active duty in their current rank, are not on a promotion list, and are not eligible for retirement or will not become eligible for retirement within two years. The Air Force is expected to decide which officers to RIF between mid-June and mid-July, and will notify officers of their selection in September. They will have to separate by the end of January 2015.

The force shaping boards will consider active-duty first lieutenants and captains with more than three but less than six years of commissioned service as of Dec. 31, 2014. They will not be eligible for any separation pay unless they have six or more years total active federal military service, meaning they must have had some service before becoming commissioned to get separation pay. After those boards meet in July, officers will be notified of the results in August and must separate by the end of December.

The chart also says that officers from the ranks of second lieutenant to major, and who have at least six, but no more than 20, years of total active federal military service, could be eligible for voluntary separation pay. Captains and majors who are at risk of being RIFed have the option of applying for voluntary separation pay instead of meeting the RIF board.

Enlisted airmen between the ranks of airman and senior master sergeant, who also have between six and 20 years of total active military service, also may be eligible for voluntary separation pay. As with the officers, those enlisted airmen could apply for voluntary separation pay in lieu of meeting an enlisted retention board. But airmen facing a new Quality Force Review Board or a senior noncommissioned officer retention board will not have that option.

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