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Air Force 2014 NCO Retraining Program applies to JBLM

Change your Air Force Specialty Code

Illustration by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths

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The Air Force recently announced that it would start the first phase of its fiscal 2014 NCO Retraining Program (NCORP), which invites noncommissioned officers to cross-train into undermanned career fields and be reclassified with a new Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC). Potentially, those that are currently in overmanned career fields and choose not to participate in NCORP could face forced retraining or, in the worst-case scenario, separation from the Air Force entirely.

Airmen in one of 33 overmanned fields can retrain into the 58 critical, yet undermanned AFSC of their choice if they apply by July 7, according to the Air Force Personnel Center. Undermanned career fields range from flight engineer to cyberspace defense operations and military dog handlers to a variety of medical specialty fields.

The program, which also occurred in 2012, is starting the retraining process earlier this time since they are casting a wider net and including master sergeants as being eligible to retrain.

Since NCORP is completely voluntary, it will not target any particular base, airmen from any base, to include Joint Base Lewis-McChord, McChord Field, are able to apply to be retrained.

"This is a great opportunity for NCOs who are looking for diversity of leadership experience and seeking a new skill. This program presents them with a focused view of which AFSCs the AF is looking for and allows them to choose a new career," explained Master Sgt. Aaron Weslow, 62nd Airlift Wing career assistance advisor.

"Starting in a new AFSC as an NCO is far easier than transitioning into a new career from civilian life - these NCOs already know that the AF is for them," he continued. "Additionally, their perspective and experiences with other aspects of the AF mission will give them a unique skill set in their new job - perhaps one that even makes them more promotable in that new AFSC."

In total, the NCORP goal is to retrain and thus reclassify 970 NCOs prior to the start of fiscal year 2014 on Oct. 1. If the necessary slots are not filled by July 8, phase two will begin and the Air Force Personnel Center will begin selecting the most qualified NCOs branch-wide to retrain into whichever AFSC is still in need; that process will run through Sept. 8.

To apply for any of the voluntary NCORP retraining, airmen must be on at least their second enlistment, be an E5-select through E7, and have a minimum 5-skill level in their control Air Force Specialty Code. For staff sergeants, to be eligible to retrain, staff sergeants must have fewer than 12 years of active service, while technical and master sergeants can have no more than 16 years of active service by Sept. 30. Furthermore, retraining applicants must have at least 24 months left in their enlistment contract upon completion of their new career field technical school.

"The NCO retraining program will benefit the AF and our airmen because without this type of AFSC management, the overmanned AFSCs will suffer with stagnating promotion opportunities, while the undermanned ones suffer with limited NCOs and the resources that ensure good supervision, development, and mission fulfillment," Weslow stated.

For complete eligibility and application information, go to myPers at and enter "Enlisted Retraining" in the search window.

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