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3,500 to be ousted by quality force review board

Jun. 5, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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More than 3,500 airmen with negative quality indicators for subpar performance will be separated under the Air Force’s first Quality Force Review Board.

The Air Force said on Thursday that commanders were to notify airmen about the board results that day. The board reviewed more than 4,600 airmen, and decided to not retain 77 percent of them.

The board considered separating 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 with negative quality indicators for subpar performance are normally separated under date-of-separation rollbacks, but the Air Force has begun considering them separately. The Air Force originally said that roughly 7,000 enlisted airmen were eligible for the QFRB.

The negative quality indicators landing airmen on the QFRB list included those who refused retraining, had a grade reduction, were denied re-enlistment, or were serving on a control roster.

The Air Force Personnel Center said it used a “whole person” concept to evaluate airmen, based on their record of performance and potential for continued positive service.

“These airmen were considered through a standard board process, which has proven over time to be fair and equitable,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said. “Force reductions will always be a very difficult and emotional process, but we’ve worked hard to make it as fair as possible for everyone considered.”

The QFRB is one of several force management programs the Air Force is using to reduce its ranks. Originally, officials said they needed to cut 25,000 airmen over five years. But Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said last month that the service planned to get most of the cuts done by the end of 2015.

Airmen who are being separated will receive separation pay if they commit to three years in the Individual Ready Reserve. Separation pay is based on rank and years of service and varies from about $14,000 for airmen first class with six years of service to nearly $103,000 for senior master sergeants with 18 years of service.

Airmen will also receive separation benefits, such as 180 days of medical care for themselves and family members, two years of commissary and base exchange privileges, and relocation to their home of selection. They will retain their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits for themselves, or their dependents if the benefits have been transferred, but they cannot transfer this benefit to their dependents after being notified of the board’s results, the Air Force said.

Airmen who are eligible for retirement and chosen to be separated will receive their normal retirement benefits, or adjusted benefits if they are retiring early.

Separating airmen must attend the Transition Assistance Program at their home station, or at an alternate location.

“We will do everything we can to help those separating from the Air Force do so as smoothly as possible,” Cody said.

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