The 99 promotion test answer sheets lost in transit from Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, to the Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio are considered officially lost, and affected airmen will have to retest.

By Wednesday, those airmen must tell the Air Force how they want to retest. They have two choices:

■ They can retake the promotion fitness exam portion only on Aug. 20-21. They do not have to retake the skills knowledge test.

■ They can wait until their next test cycle and test on both the promotion fitness exam and skills knowledge test. Those scores will be applied for both the 2015 cycle and for supplemental consideration for 2014.

"Both options provide advantages/disadvantages and are dependent on the Airman's personal preferences," AFPC spokesman Mike Dickerson said in an email Monday.

"The advantage of testing PFE only is the reduced amount of material to study; however, their scores are compared to other individuals who also only studied for a single test. As a result, the cut-off score for promotion is historically higher than for individuals who test both PFE and SKT," he said.

"The advantage of waiting and testing PFE and SKT is that the member will be competing for promotion against others in their AFSC who have also split study time between both sets of materials," he said.

FedEx, the contracted carrier, concluded July 30 that, after three separate searches, the tests would not be found, Dickerson said.

The package was picked up by FedEx on May 16 and shipped to Memphis, Tennessee, its last known location. The package was properly sealed and labeled in accordance with AFI 36-2605 Air Force Military Personnel Testing System guidance, Dickerson said.

The Air Force will file a follow-up claim using normal procedures, he said.

All but 10 of the test answer sheets belonged to senior airmen testing for staff sergeant; three belonged to staff sergeants and seven to technical sergeants testing for master sergeant.