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Selective Retention Program helps shape future force

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Cody Burt, 307th Bomb Wing public affairs officer, renders the oath of enlistment to Staff Sgt. Callie Ware, 307th Bomb Wing public affairs specialist at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, June 2, 2019.  Burt, who graduated from Officer Training School only the week before, was giving his first oath of enlistment ever.  (Courtesy photo illustration) (This photo changed to black and white from color with gradient added)

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Cody Burt, 307th Bomb Wing public affairs officer, renders the oath of enlistment to Staff Sgt. Callie Ware, 307th Bomb Wing public affairs specialist at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, June 2, 2019. Burt, who graduated from Officer Training School only the week before, was giving his first oath of enlistment ever. (Courtesy photo illustration) (This photo changed to black and white from color with gradient added)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Today’s U.S. Air Force Reserve faces a dynamic geopolitical environment while contending with on-going personnel needs.  So, retaining quality Reserve Citizen Airmen is critical to its viability and national defense. 

One tool in meeting this challenge is the Selective Retention Program.  Governed by Air Force Instruction 36-2606, the mandatory program outlines the rights and responsibilities of Reserve Citizen Airmen, their supervisors, and unit leadership in the reenlistment process.

Master Sgt. Macord Johnson, 307th Bomb Wing Career Advisor, said the program can simplify the reenlistment process while acting as an instrument for force shaping.

Johnson explained approximately 13 months before a member’s end of time in service, their supervisor receives notification of the event.  At that point, the member’s supervisor and their unit commander can either recommend reenlistment or recommend against it. 

If reenlistment is recommended, then the member has three options before signing the SRP document.  They can choose to reenlist, choose to leave service, or say they are undecided.   If they choose reenlistment or are undecided, they can seek guidance on their options from the wing career advisor if they choose. 

According to AFI 36-2606, should either the supervisor or unit commander not recommend reenlistment, they must submit an Air Force Form 418 along with all corroborating evidence regarding the decision.  The member will have an opportunity to appeal the decision and have it reviewed by a board of their peers.

“Negative disciplinary measures, failing physical fitness assessments, and inability to deploy are all things that can keep a member from being allowed to reenlist,” said Johnson. 

The SRP allows commanders to shape the quality of the force by giving them some discretion in who can and cannot reenlist.  However, Johnson emphasized, the SRP can also be used as a tool to help Airman improve, since the reenlistment window allows time to counsel and mentor members.

Johnson said the SRP also provides valuable information on force needs and factors shaping those needs.

“Someone choosing to reenlist is only part of what the military personnel flight measures,” said Johnson. “We also track data on why people leave service and use that in our analysis of projected personnel needs.”

To learn more about the program, Reserve Citizen Airmen can contact their unit career advisor or contact MSgt. Johnson at macord.johson@us.af.mil.