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Airmen should be mindful of CAC dates

Photo of Airmen standing at attention.

Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 307th Bomb Wing attend commander's call at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Oct. 20, 2019. Recent changes to the Command Access Card have caused some members fo the unit to miss re-enlistment dates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Callie Ware)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Recent changes to the Common Access Card created unintended consequences for some Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

A change of dates on the CAC has caused some members of the unit  to miss re-enlisting  on time.

CAC expiration dates were once commonly aligned to the members Expiration of Time-in-Service  date.  Many Reserve Citizen Airmen used the CAC expiration date to determine when their current enlistment expired and for planning re-enlistment dates.

Members can no longer rely on this option, explained Master Sgt. Macord Johnson, 307th Force Support Squadron wing career advisor.

“The expiration dates on current CAC cards does not reflect the member’s actual ETS date, so a traditional reservist can’t use it as a guide for planning,” he said.

Doing so can cause a member to have a break in status and bring about a host of negative consequences.

“Missing an ETS date can cause benefits to stop,” said Johnson. “Accomplishing a re-enlistment after the fact creates an inconvenience for the member and additional work for the career advisor processing it.” 

However, members that miss re-enlistment deadlines do not automatically change service status.

Johnson said there are several manual procedures that must be implemented for a change in duty status to occur. These serve as a form of insurance against accidental separation from service.

Despite this safeguard, Reserve Citizen Airmen should be aware of their ETS date to avoid temporary loss of benefits such as education and pay.

There are several ways for Airmen and their supervisors to remain aware of current duty status and take steps to ensure proper re-enlistment.

When a Reserve Citizen Airman has access to a CAC-enabled device, they can look up their ETS date by accessing the Virtual Military Personnel Flight website. 

Johnson also generates a monthly list of Airmen eligible for re-enlistment and emails it to supervisors throughout the wing prior to each unit training assembly. 

For more information on how to access ETS dates, wing members can contact Johnson at 318-529-3768 or email macord.johnson@us.af.mil.