Facing its largest drawdown since the end of the Cold War, the Air Force will implement voluntary and involuntary separations this year affecting thousands of airmen. To help mitigate involuntary cuts, the Air Force is encouraging those interested to take advantage of Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA), rather than waiting and potentially becoming a casualty of forced retirement. Airmen are being advised to ensure their personnel records are accurate, so that separation boards will have all information at their hands. New Air Force Personnel Chief Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox is urging airmen to find out what voluntary retirement/separation programs are available. He also wants them to take advantage of educational programs offered and for each person to make him/herself “a more valuable team member.” Airmen should also watch their behavior. What in the past may have been viewed as a minor issue may be more scrutinized now, aiding in efforts to determine who is eligible for promotion. Final guidance from the secretary of defense, expected in a few weeks, will help with making firm plans. Also affected? Promotions, training, re-enlistment bonuses and base benefits.
Still angered over cuts to some military retiree benefits, military and veterans groups are working to get the cuts repealed.