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Air Force officials say up to 4,300 enlisted airmen could be asked to leave early as part of a date of separation rollback announced Thursday.
The program speeds up the date of separation for select airmen in grades E-8 and below who have fewer than 14 years or more than 20 years of total active federal military service as of May 31, 2013.
Second-term and career airmen who declined training, retraining or professional military education; are serving a suspended punishment; were denied re-enlistment; disqualified for cause while awaiting retraining; or are awaiting discharge, separation or retirement for cause could be told to leave sooner than expected. Other airmen on the list include those serving on a control roster or who received a reduction in grade for an Article 15, said Col. Emi Izawa, military force policy division chief for the Air Force.
Izawa said commanders at each base received the list of airmen who fit the criteria. Affected airmen should be receiving some form of contact starting Friday.
As has been the case in previous years, airmen with at least 180 days of active-duty service who are separated under the rollback program will receive transition assistance benefits, which include six months of extended medical care for the member and their families and an ID card for access to the base commissary and exchange for two years, according to the Air Force Personnel Center.
Enlisted airmen separated with more than six years of service, but fewer than 20 years total active service will be eligible for one-half separation pay, but must sign an Individual Ready Reserve agreement to serve for a minimum of three years. Those who decline to serve in the ready reserve will be ineligible for separation pay.
Airmen separating under the rollback program or eligible for retirement must leave by May 31.