Airmen walk on the flightline at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in December. Roughly 7,000 enlisted airmen are eligible to face the Air Force's first Quality Force Review Board in May. (Senior Airman Kayla Newman/Air Force)
Roughly 7,000 enlisted airmen are eligible to face — and possibly be selected for separation by — the Air Force’s first Quality Force Review Board in May, the Air Force Personnel Center said.
The board will consider separating enlisted airmen up to the rank of senior master sergeant with a negative quality indicator code, except for airmen with between 18 and 20 years of service as of Sept. 30.
Airmen who are at risk of meeting the board began receiving notification Jan. 6 from their commanders and via email.
Some of those airmen may have previously been told they would be meeting an enlisted retention board, but the email notification said that they will only meet the quality board. The email also advised those airmen to find out if they are eligible for separation, retirement or early retirement under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority to avoid meeting the board.
The board will be part of the Air Force’s deepest force cuts since the end of the Cold War. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh last year said if the across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester continue, the service will have to cut up to 25,000 airmen over five years.
Airmen with negative quality indicators for subpar performance are normally separated under date-of-separation rollbacks, but the Air Force has begun considering them separately.
Voluntary separation pay will not be offered to airmen meeting the board, but airmen with more than six and less than 15 years of service who are separated by the board will receive separation pay. TERA — also known as 15-year retirements — will be offered to separated airmen with more than 15 and less than 18 years of service. Airmen with at least 20 years of service who are separated by this board will receive their normal retirement.
The board will meet May 5 to 16. By the end of June, it will identify which airmen will not be retained. Unit commanders or senior raters will then notify airmen of the results of their board review.