ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Air Force Reserve Command will convene an officer continuation board Jan. 28 to Feb. 2, 2019, in conjunction with the CY19 Majors selection board, to offer Reserve Citizen Airmen in critical career fields who are nearing separation the opportunity to continue serving.
The continuation boards are part of Human Capital Management (HCM) initiatives in AFRC to address manpower challenges, said Col. Michael Burns, AFRC director of the Selection Board Secretariat.
The command’s three-pronged approach to HCM tackles readiness, retention and recruiting issues. AFRC is slated to increase manpower to 70,000 people in Fiscal Year 2019 and faces new tests in recruiting and rretention. Continuation boards provide short-term relief by retaining officers in high-demand areas, and at the same time, bolster the command’s retention efforts.
“The board is used to retain officers who would otherwise be required to separate due to twice or more failing to promote to the next higher grade,” Burns said.
Subject to the needs of the Air Force Reserve, qualified captains and majors may be eligible for continuation, typically, for a maximum of three years.
“The eligibility may change from year to year, depending on the thresholds established by the commander, but the opportunity is 100 percent for those eligible,” Burns said. “These boards benefit the Air Force Reserve by retaining officers with critical skills, while allowing officers to continue serving their country.”
The Reserve continuation board considers captains who have completed their military service obligation, have less than 20 years commissioned service and are in critically manned career fields.
Majors in the Selective Reserve must have less than 24 years commissioned service and be in a critically manned career field to be eligible for continued service.
Based on current manning needs, officers in the rank of lieutenant colonel and colonel are not considered for continuation, but are allowed to continue to serve until their Mandatory Separation Date (MSD) without the need for a board. For 0-5s and 0-6s, their MSD is typically 28 and 30 years respectively. Should continuation be offered, it may not exceed the maximum allowable period of service, which is 33 years for lieutenant colonel and 35 years for colonel.
Results of the Selective Continuation Boards are normally posted 6-8 weeks after the board convening date, and may be obtained by commanders from the servicing military personnel squadron or flight.
Members selected for continuation can either accept or decline the offer and their Mandatory Separation Date (MSD) is adjusted or updated based on the officer’s response.
Officers who accept selective continuation will have their MSD extended to reflect the length of continuation approved by the AF Reserve commander. The maximum length of continuation for Reserve officers is 20 years for captains, 24 years for majors, 33 year for lieutenant colonel and 35 years for colonels.
Officers who decline continuation will be separated or, if qualified, may apply for retirement.
Once continuation is accepted, officers continue to meet mandatory promotion boards until reaching their MSD.
Continuation boards are follow-on to the regularly scheduled promotion board. A review of the promotion board schedule will give officers an idea as to when they will take place.