Retraining (AFI 36-2626)
Several retraining programs exist. Among the most common are the Quality Retraining Program (QRP) also referred to as CAREERS, the NCO Retraining Program, and retraining due to disqualification. For the sake of brevity, we’ll limit our discussion to the CAREERS and NCORP. When discussing retraining, always remember that the retraining program exists to “balance the enlisted force.”
CAREERS retraining: This program applies to first-term airmen only. Key point: All first-term airmen are eligible to apply for retraining, of the AFSC they currently hold! Many first-term airmen elect to separate because they feel they are “stuck” in the same job for the rest of their Air Force career. In many cases, a change of jobs could keep them with us!
Eligibility: Four-year enlistees may apply between the 1st day of the 35th month thru last day of 43rd month of service. Six-year enlistees may apply between the 1st day of the 59th month thru the last day of the 67th month of service. Overseas-based airmen must apply between their 9th thru 15th month prior to DEROS.
Procedure: Airmen need to be realistic when listing retraining options. The more choices they provide, the better their chances for approval. Projected vacancies can be viewed on-line at . Airmen are “racked and stacked” based on the following criteria: Most recent EPR, current/projected grade, next three EPRs, DOR, TAFMSD and AQE scores.
Each month, all applicants’ records meet a selection board at AFPC
Applicants are looked at three times; if not selected for retraining after the third board, the application is disapproved.
NCO Retraining Program: The annual NCORP is designed to move NCOs from AFSCs with significant overages into AFSCs with NCO shortages. How do overages suddenly occur? Because WAPS affords equal promotion opportunity to all AFSCs, each year promotions occur which result in “excess” numbers of NCOs in certain AFSCs. Retraining quotas (for both retraining out and retraining in can be viewed at .
Eligibility Requirements: AFPC/DPPAET announces eligibility criteria at the start of each fiscal year program.
The voluntary phase begins when the Air Staff provides the list of AFSCs with significant overages and shortages. The objective is to get as many volunteers in AFSCs with overages to retrain into AFSCs with shortages.
Involuntary Retraining: If retraining objectives for the program are not met through the voluntary phases, selective retraining becomes necessary. Airmen who possess a secondary or additional AFSC in a shortage skill are returned to those skills if in the best interest of the Air Force. If skill imbalances still exist, Air Staff will direct involuntary retraining into selected AFSC shortages.