Air Force seeks NCOs to retrain into in-demand specialties

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clayton Cupit)
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clayton Cupit)

In an effort to balance and sustain enlisted manpower levels, the Air Force is announcing retraining opportunities for select, eligible Non-commissioned Officers.

In a story released earlier this month, the Air Force said Airmen must be on a second or subsequent enlistment, be a staff sergeant (or staff sergeant-select) through master sergeant, and have a minimum five-skill level in their control AFSC (or a three skill level for those AFSCs where a five-level does not exist). Additionally, staff sergeants must have less than 12 years in service and technical and master sergeants no more than 16 years of active service as of Sept. 30.

The effort is to fill jobs that are at high risk of attrition and specialties that are currently undermanned. These positions will be filled with eligible NCOs from career fields in an overage or career fields that are mostly balanced and where the Air Force feels the risk is worth the reward.

Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, director of military force management policy, said in a statement, “We continue to grow the force and are maximizing our accessions.  As a result, training seats are at a premium and most [Air Force Specialty Codes] are at or near max capacity,” according to the Air Force Times.

Kelly added the Air Force has synchronized its retraining process with broad reenlistment bonuses and high year tenure extensions resulting in improved retention.

Officials aren’t releasing exact requirements, and say the numbers change on a daily basis. However, they are citing cyber operations, paralegal, education and training, as well as some medical and civil engineering specialties as career fields generally having the largest number of retraining-in opportunities.

For retraining hopefuls, the Air Force has established the Air Force Work Interest Navigator tool. Introduced this year for NCOs, AF-WIN, located on the retraining page via myPers, helps Airmen identify potential career field openings by answering a series of questions regarding functional communities, job context and work activities. According to the Air Force, the enlisted retraining advisory on myPers is updated in real time, and assists Airmen by identifying shortage career fields with retraining-in quotas by grade. Standard retraining eligibility and AFSC entry requirements apply for all retraining applicants.

According to Master Sgt. Kristie Reece, Air Force Personnel Center Enlisted Skills Management Branch superintendent, the AF-WIN tool creates a customized job interest report from the member’s responses and compares individual interests to all entry-level AFSCs.

“You will still want to visit the enlisted retraining advisory, however, because AF-WIN does not tell you if that career field is available or whether you are eligible,” she said.

If an Airman as questions, the Air Force has built in technology to assist in real time.

A live chat feature is also available for hopefuls on the “NCORP Phase I and II” Web page. To chat live with a Total Force Service Center representative, go to the page and allow roughly 30 to 60 seconds for a representative to come online.

According to the Air Force, more information about Air Force personnel programs and retraining opportunities can be found at:

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