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Air Force rolls out NCO career status program

The Air Force introduced the Noncommissioned Officer Career Status program for career Airmen with 12 or more years of service.

The Air Force introduced the Noncommissioned Officer Career Status program for career Airmen with 12 or more years of service. Eligible Airmen enlisting on or after Nov. 18, 2019, will be included in this new program. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The Air Force is scheduled to implement the Noncommissioned Officer Career Status Program, which will effect eligible contracts signed, beginning Nov. 18.

An Airman with 12 or more years of service will have to reenlist one more time for the program to take effect. That enlistment will last until they reach the high year of tenure for their rank or until they elect to separate.

“Career Airmen are consummate professionals who have demonstrated their commitment to service,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “They play a crucial role in developing the next generation of Airmen. With this adjustment, we’re providing them the associated flexibility to make individualized career decisions.”


Career Status Airmen will no longer have dates of separation in their records until they are within 12 months of their HYT date. When they are promoted, their date of separation will be updated to reflect their new rank’s HYT.

Under this new program, Airmen are able to separate prior to their HYT date with an effective date no later than 180 days from the request date. For Airmen with changing plans and growing families, this simplifies the decision process of deciding whether or not reenlisting is a smart decision for them.

Airmen will no longer have to set aside time to reenlist. This will allow Airmen on day shifts to focus instead on achieving the mission and give swing and mid-shift Airmen more time at home.

“(This program) is going to save a lot of time for me,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher McMinn, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron gambler support section noncommissioned officer in charge. “Taking time out of my day to get off the flightline can be extremely disruptive, and anything we can do to avoid a loss of much needed presence from NCO’s who are busy mentoring younger Airmen (will be beneficial to us.)”

The NCO Career Status Program will not affect the selective retention bonus program. The Air Force Personnel Center will identify and notify Airmen on career status contracts who are eligible for a selective retention bonus on a monthly basis.

Another intention of the program is to reduce the amount of paperwork and squash potential errors between personnel and financial systems.

“This program will be extremely helpful and save a lot of time for us,” said Staff Sgt. Roxanne Esperanza, 20th Force Support Squadron, Force Support Personnel Development career development supervisor. “It is going to be a much smoother process for (Airmen) as well and we won’t have as many errors with paychecks, or paperwork getting lost.”

“Unify. Simplify. Win.” is the 20th Fighter Wing’s formula for mission success. By simplifying the reenlistment process, the wing will save time and manpower as well as give career Airmen more time to focus on mentoring the next generation of Airmen and applying themselves toward personalized goals.

For more information visit: https://www.afpc.af.mil/Retention/NCO-Career-Status-Program/.