Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Air Force to Release 5,000 Airmen

On March 25, 2010, General Norton Schwartz of the US Air Force announced the commencement of Phase II of the force management program that was initiated in November 2009. In a letter to his fellow airmen, General Schwartz says that Air Force retention is at a 15-year high and that it is now necessary to reduce the active duty force by 3%, or about 5,000 Airmen. Phase II has been initiated due to the lack of response to Phase I, which called for the voluntary separation. “We are reducing accessions for both officers and enlisted Airmen while expanding voluntary separation and retirement programs to try and protect those currently serving,” says General Schwartz.

For many Airmen, the thought of transitioning into civilian job in a weak economy is daunting. This issue is addressed on the Air Force Personnel Center website where they state, “Airmen are known for their tremendous technical skills, work ethic, and adaptability – we believe that, even in today’s tight labor market, there is a demand for our transitioning Airmen…We know that the skills, leadership, and discipline of our Airmen make them great candidates for a host of employment opportunities.”

Indeed, this force shaping initiative will introduce many new veterans to civilian job scene. This will include both enlisted and officers from specialty codes like Aircraft Maintenance/Munitions, Behavioral Scientists, Chemists, Communications and Information, Financial Management, Force Support, Operations Research Analyst, Space and Missiles, Special Investigations, and Weather.

Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet hopes that as this initiative continues throughout 2010 and into 2011, veteran-friendly employers will continue to recognize the value these Airmen bring to civilian employers and will look to these veterans to enhance their workforce. Read more here.

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