06/21/02 - WASHINGTON -- Air Force
personnel officials announced June 21 the
release of most Air Force specialty codes from
Stop-Loss, a Defense Department program
designed to retain members of the armed forces
beyond established dates of separation or
This announcement comes as a result of the
latest review of AFSCs by the major
commands, Air Staff, Air Reserve Component,
Secretariat and the Air Force Personnel Center,
and applies across the board to both active-duty
and Air Reserve Component members, said Lt.
Col. Jan Middleton, chief of promotion,
evaluation and separation policy at the
The officer career fields remaining on Stop-Loss
restrictions are: 11S, 12S and 31P.
The enlisted career fields remaining on
Stop-Loss restrictions are: 1A1X0, 1A1X1,
1C0X0, 1C0X1, 1C0X2, 1C1X0, 1C1X1, 1N0X0,
1N0X1, 1T2X0, 1T2X1, 2F0X0, 2F0X1, 3P0X0
Middleton said Air Force members with an
approved date of separation or retirement in
those career fields approved for release are free
to separate or retire almost immediately.
Officials are developing guidance for the release
of all personnel remaining on Stop-Loss and
expect to make the announcement to the field
within the next couple of weeks, she said.
“Any released active-duty or ARC member, not
mobilized or deployed, with an approved
expiration of term of service, date of separation
or date of retirement may be allowed to
separate or retire no earlier than July 1,”
Active-duty and ARC members who are
deployed in support of ongoing operations or are
either voluntarily or involuntarily on active duty to
support ongoing operations will not be released
until they return from their deployments or they
“Since Stop-Loss was first implemented, the Air
Force’s exit plans have called for a gradual
drawdown of the number of affected AFSCs,”
she said. “We have tried to release as many
AFSCs as possible after each review.”
Stop-Loss was not used as a manning tool,
“The determining factor for an AFSC’s release
was based upon the Air Force’s ability to
maintain sufficient forces to meet ongoing
mission requirements,” she said. “To
accomplish this, we review current manning and
authorizations, the number of people deployed
for operations Noble Eagle and Enduring
Freedom, the number of Air Reserve Component
people mobilized, and the overall health of the
However, Stop-Loss waivers have been and still
are available, and may be granted based on
specific circumstances, she said.
“We understand that many people and their
families have had to put their plans on hold
since Stop-Loss was first implemented,” said
Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche.
“I just want everyone to know that the Air Force
and this nation are grateful for your service and
the sacrifices you have made to keep us safe
This is definitely good news for those who were waiting for stop loss to end, and I am glad to hear it. My question is, what about the ARC units that remain on active duty? If the higher ups don't do something quickly to get the activated guardmen/reservists deactivated, I predict a mass exodous from the guard/reserves. The air force was correct to get rid of stop losss, but at the same time, they need to see to it that all activated guard/reserve members are released back to their lives. The activated guard and reserve members who are "forced" to remain on active duty while they watch as active duty members are released to civilian life will grow very cynical and unhappy if not allowed the same departure provisions!
Please don't take this the wrong way, but many of us on active duty watched as ANG and USAFR personnel made a big stink back during Desert Storm about how much money they were losing having to leave their airline or other jobs behind as they were activated to help with the war. It was the first time since I had been in the AF that I had seen an activation like that and I was quite surprised at all the complaining. I never saw any reserve guys complain when I was at Norton and they were getting two days pay for one days work (and a short day at that). I never saw any ANG guys when I was at Andrews complain about never having to do an additional duty job like all us poor active duty guys had to do. All they had to do was show up and fly. So I didn't have a lot of compassion for these complainers who had been getting the big check every month and doing very little for it. They all knew when they signed the contract what COULD happen. Just as I did. That's why I've been silent on this stop loss thing. I've got over 20 years in but if my country still needed me I was there. Yeah, I wasn't all that happy about it but I didn't complain, at least not publicly.
Now, if a guard or reserve guy has had his papers in since before 9-11 or wants to put them in now to get out, they should let them out just like the active duty guys. But if they want to continue in the guard or reserve they should be prepared to get activated at any time. That's the way it's always been and it shouldn't change. With the drawdown of active forces we cannot fight all the battles ourselves. We need help from the "total force". Each person that wears the uniform must be prepared to serve, wherever and whenever.
The way I read the message, active duty or ARC folks who are deployed are not going to be let out until their deployment is over. It's equal treatment for both. Again, if the ARC folks want out when they get home, let them out. I'm sure there are lots of active duty guys who would happily take those jobs.
While I respect your opinion, I must disagree with you on a few points. Before doing that though, I want to emphasize that this should not be a battle of active duty vs guard/reserve. When all is said and done, we are all on the same team. If you will look at my previous post, I never once mentioned nor was I trying to imply that stop loss should not happen. I was only trying to make the point that if we are implementing the end of stop loss (for the most part), we should at the same time be deactivating guard and reserve units. This process should go hand in hand.
Now for your points:
(1) You claim that there was a lot of complaining during the gulf war conflict. I was on active duty during that time period serving as an instructor pilot. As such, I did not have any interaction with the guard/reserve, therefore I cannot disclaim what you say. I believe what you say to be true, but at the same time I would hazard a guess that there were plenty of active duty folks who were complaining as well. Do I fault them? Absolutely not, they were in a horrible place during an uncertain time. Although they may not have been complaining about the same things, I'm sure they were complaining none the less.
(2) You also talked about the guard/reserve making two days pay for one day of work. In essence I will agree that we can sometimes make almost two days pay for one day of work, but it doesn't always work out that way. Many times we don't even get a full day of pay when we go into work. On the other hand, when you are in the guard or reserve, you ONLY get paid (last time I checked) when you went into the unit to do duty. When you are in the active duty, you get paid everyday whether you go in to work or not. Now unless you are going into work 30 days per month, I'll bet you are getting paid for some days when you don't go to work. I'm not complaining about that, it's just the way it is. By the way, while on active duty I got my full flight pay every month regardless of how many days I flew. During my first 12 months as a bum in the reserves, I flew almost twice as many hours as I did during my BEST year on active duty, but I never once got my full flight pay for the month. It was always just a percentage of the full amount. Also, you will get to start collecting retirement pay the minute you step out of your uniform for the last time. We don't get to start collecting retirement until we reach age 60. That's quite a few years of "disparity" of income.
(3) As for your point regarding additional duties, there are plenty of pilots in my unit who come in and do duties other than flying. While it doesn't happen as much as on active duty, in all honesty, we shouldn't be expected to do it as much as active duty. If we did, we would have to work around 15+ days per month in our reserve/guard job while at the same time working nearly that much in our civilian job. One thing I learned quickly was that just because I was a reservist, my monthly flying requirements didn't change. I am required to log just as many events as my active duty counterpart to stay current. If I had to do all this flying and at the same time be expected to do numerous additional duties with the unit, and finally, perform my civilian job, I would never have any time left for my family.
(4) We all know what COULD happen when we join the military, whether that be active duty or guard/reserve, and I imagine you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would not volunteer to step up to the plate to defend our country. On the other hand, when members of the guard/reserve perceive they aren't being utilized while in an activated state, they begin to wonder why they are activated in the first place. This is especially true when they start to believe that active duty units doing less than they are doing (i.e. getting released from stop loss while they are locked in to service).
(5) "Now, if a guard or reserve guy has had his papers in since before 9-11 or wants to put them in now to get out, they should let them out just like the active duty guys." I agree completely with this statement. Unfortunately, based on how I read the AFPC message (although I may be interpreting it incorrectly), certain guard/reserve members will not be allowed to get out if they want to get out. At least not immediately.
(6) "With the drawdown of active forces we cannot fight all the battles ourselves. We need help from the "total force"" This my friend is a very dangerous statement. As most of us know, as long as we continue to get involved in location after location without an increase but rather a drawdown of our force we will continue to be spread thinner and thinner. With this in mind, what would you have the guard/reserve do? Should we activate our units on a whim anytime there is even the slightest blip on the radar screen? Should we set up rotations where every reserve/guard unit gets activated for a year every three to four years? I agree that we need to stop the drawdown of active forces and instead we need to bolster these same forces. The question is is the American public ready to fund such a force? I can guarantee you that when you put an undue task on the guard and reserve you will lose members. Whether this is right or not is moot, I can guarantee it WILL happen. What is the answer? That is WAY WAY beyond my pay grade, but obviously something needs to happen.
Let me wrap this up with this, when I joined my unit, I was told that my family came first, then my civilian job, and finally my reserve commitment. I honestly believe that the leadership of my unit felt that way when I joined and they still do. I am not trying to sound like a whiner or complainer, but if the leadership of this country feels like we no longer need a stop loss, and we are getting things under control, then we can obviously allow our reservists and guardsmen to get back to their families and civilian jobs. I am also sorry that it appears you had some bad encounters with guard and reserve members in the past. I can assure you that having been in both worlds, the reservists in my unit are every bit as professional in their reserve jobs as the active duty personnel I have known.
With that I find that I have rambled on far enough. I wish you God speed and safe flying, and I wish you luck in your retirement from active duty service. Thank you for serving this great nation!
I don't know what to make out of your question "where are you gonna work?". Maybe, I'm reading into it too much--if it is a commentary, then you're missing the point. Stop loss ending is awesome news--pilots previously affected by the manning policy we've been subjected to since last year is over (for now). A whole new realm of choices and opportunities have opened which were previously closed. Freedom, get it? I find it amazing how many half empty attitudes there since stop loss has ended. "What now?" types. The point is pilots previously affected can do whatever the hell they want to do assuming they have served their commitments.
On the other hand, if your question was in regards to who is hiring...The Guard, the Reserves, jetBlue, FedEx, SWA, Airtran, Fractionals, Regionals, and a list of other companies, both flying and non-flying.
Again, it is about freedom and new, open opportunities for military pilots, namely AF types who were affected by stop-loss, that were once closed.
Stay in and follow your dreams, or venture into the "unknown" and follow your dreams on the outside. Either way, this is awesome news...
"Active-duty and ARC members who are deployed in support of ongoing operations or are either voluntarily or involuntarily on active duty to support ongoing operations will not be released
until they return from their deployments or they are demobilized. "
It seems to me that nothing has changed for the activated ANG/AFR units and the dudes in them. They will continue to be used until HQ deems there units are no longer needed. Certainly seems they will be needed for a longer period of time since the AD AF will most likely see a reduction, however small, in its pilot force.
I dont see a massive return of activated ANG/AFR to the airlines. The only guys affected are the non-activated ANG/AFR guys, and the non-deployed active guys. But good news none the less.
BTW in response to the "two days pay" deal, lets say you work 7 days a month at the Reserves, using 2 days of 2 TPs, and 2 days of 2 UTAs, plus 3 mandays. Thats about 11 days pay for 7 days work. Monthly thats about 19 days work for 30 days pay. Now take an active duty guy. To get 30 days pay, he works 30 days minus 2.5 days of leave, minus say 4 1/4 weekends, and assuming no memorial day, labor day, new years day, MLK day, Christmas, 4th of July, pre-mission crew rest, post-mission crew rest, weekend duty officer, scheduler, etc..., he works about 19 days. Seems pretty even to me.
I wouldn't be too concerned about the folks who are exiting immediately from the AF. Most of them (a vocal few) already have jobs lined up on the outside (SWA, JetBlue, FedEx, NetJets) and were kept on hold, prevented from starting those jobs until now. The remainder of the pilots who are eligible to exit, now that stop-loss is gone, are going to take a good hard look at the current hiring environment before punching out. I wouldn't expect a mass exodus from the AF any time soon -- primarily because of the economy. I just don't see too many leaving the Active Duty right now without at least a good lead on another job.
Another job may mean AFR/ANG -- The Reserves/Guard may have some more people leaving, but those jobs will be snapped up by the Active Duty guys leaving over the next year or two.
The bottom line is that the already flooded pilot job market won't be that much more flooded with an additional couple of hundred AF pilots.
Good Luck to all. It's a great feeling to have my freedom back.
11S is Air Force Special Ops Pilots (ACs, MCs, etc.)
12S is Air Force Special Ops Navs, FOCOs, EWOs, etc
As per the discussion about activation/deactivation, I am in a reserve unit that has been activated and am waiting a class date at SWA and Jet Blue! Now, I have some active duty folks getting out ahead of me? I can only hope to deactivate and continue to serve as a reservist and not lose too much seniority. I think we will see rapid deactivation as the costs are astronomical. I agree with the above post, there will be a mass exodus from the reserves, but it will be the airline pilots who have decent seniority and will not be willing to "activate" in the future. There should be plenty of Guard/Reserve opportunities for the AD AF folks that are bailing. See ya,
For FL510GV: good words, there's a lot of the older guys reading the tea leaves and throwin' the chicken bones to see what may be going on in the "real world" so they can throw down their retirement papers and still have a shred of an income to feed their families. But, one note to add to your train of thought is to highlight that the Reserves are now open to retiring O's as well under recent law changes. So, if someone really wanted it that bad, they could switch form their active duty spot to a reserve unit (if someone will take them that "senior"). They lose a day's worth (out of 30-days worth) of retirement pay per day of work, but pick up more than that in Resereve pay. And their time continues to build 2.5% for each year's worth they accumulate. Can't see this as mega-probable for most greyhairs, but it's a pretty interesting concept.
For #1 Windmilling: Just how does a fellow Herkybird pilot get in the same enviable position as you (minus the activated part)? But, the flight room agrees with you...most younger airline guys we know are still planning on keeping the part-time status with their units (even those that have been out a couple of years). Saw the older guys get out of the ANG/AFRES after the Gulf war, and have been hearing the grumblings that there's too much "active duty" support going on these last couple of years (even though the trips were to really nice places and not Pope or Lawson). Plenty of guys willing to be thrown into that scenario after the last half-dozen years worth of taskings and shuffles. The flying is great once ya get there, if you get to fly (anyone around when the Saudi's were pissed at us, so they denied all flying that wasn't directly protecting their borders?) We've got folks lining up their ANG/AFRES resume's and letters and will knocking on ya'lls door pretty soon.
Good luck to all..whether staying in or stepping out....
As a response to your inquiry, I worked my tail off in preparation for the airline interview. I started the process (FE written, ATP, etc) a full 2 years prior to my separation. I had all my apps out with 12-14 months left on active duty. I made religious updates and stayed in contact with most of my AF buddies throughout the years. I leaned on all of them for letters, info, etc. It paid off, as I had two interviews lined up and took a job while on terminal leave. When I got furloughed, it didn't stop. I kept in contact with my friends at Guard/Reserve bases and also hit up folks at Jet Blue, SWA and the cargo haulers. I have been very diligent and also very lucky. I also used an interview prep (free) at Randolph AFB. The lady conducts the interview prep at the family services center and her name is Faye Simmons. She is outstanding and was amazingly helpful. You go see her in your blue suit/red tie get up and she will videotape and critique your performance. Most of the AETC guys at Randolph know the value of her service.
Now, I know some guys who dropped ONE app off with AAL in 99, got hired in early 2000 and are singing! So, it does come down to some timing and luck.