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Air Force Expanded Force Management Program

Recently, the Air Force expanded their efforts to meet lower targeted manning levels through the Force Management Program (aka Force Shaping).  High levels of retention have led to challenges in meeting career field, skill and overall personnel strength goals.  If you are currently an officer in the Air Force and are exploring career options because of the recent changes, I highly recommend getting information before you make your decision about whether to separate under this new program.  Here are some key points to consider:

  • The Air Force needs to reduce their officers by over 2000 personnel (almost 900 in the year groups from 1998-2004).  They are using Voluntary Separation with Pay (VSP), reduced accessions (promotions) and other incentive programs to allow officers who wish to separate the chance to do so.  It appears that if targeted numbers are not met, a Reduction In Force (RIF) board will convene this September.  If you are thinking about separating under VSP, the $ incentive will be greater if you volunteer than if you are separated through the RIF.  This information is based on preliminary data available and should be verified by each person reviewing these programs.  It is highly advisable to check the AF website for details.
  • If you decide to separate under this new Force Management program, the target separation date is the end of the calendar year (12/31/2010).  Before you set your timing, make sure you have a game plan.  If you are wondering about terminal leave, scheduling for a conference, how to leave time for follow-up interviews, or even using your final military move, please give us a call and we can help you plan out your timing.
  • Getting paid to leave the Air Force is only a good thing if you have a career to step into after you leave.  You will find that a VSP check can get used up quickly if you haven’t set yourself up for success.  We are seeing increased numbers of opportunities for our candidates, and our client companies expect to have strong development career opportunity needs in 2010.  Let us help you determine your ability to be successful in achieving a career as a business leader directly out of the service, so that you can put your VSP check in the bank.

Keep in mind that making a decision to stay in or get out is just the first step.  If you decide to get out, the planning and preparation you put into your career transition will be a major factor in determining how successful you are.  Think this through, set a timeline for your plan and make sure you know where you are headed after the service.