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Air Force Implementing 'Early Out' Program To Reduce Enlisted Ranks

Lackland Air Force Base
Eileen Pace
TPR News
Sign to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland where the investigation continues into MTI misconduct.

The Air Force has released a plan to shrink its numbers by 3,340 airmen this year. The "early out" program is helping the service meet congressionally-mandated numbers by the end of September.

Those who choose to accept the offers to retire early must do so in time to be separated by September 29.

According to the Air Force Times, the programs are different for each rank. Lieutenant colonels and colonels in certain groups will be offered time-in-grade waivers, transfers to the guard or reserve, and a reduced requirement for commissioned years of service from 10 years to eight years.

Enlisted personnel not in career fields are offered limited active-duty service commitment and time-in-grade waivers, and an opportunity to transfer to the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve.

Congress has mandated that the Air Force must reduce its end-strength to 329,460 by the end of the third quarter.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.