Beginning in October, 1 percent of new fiscal 2004 Air Force enlisted accessions, or about 370 recruits, will be able to sign up for a 15-month enlistment, as part of the National Call to Service program.
The congressionally mandated program is designed to let people serve their country who might otherwise shy away from a regular four- or six-year active-duty enlistment, according to Chief Master Sgt. Dennis Drogo. He is the Air Force chief of enlisted accessions policy at the Pentagon.
The 15-month obligation for these airmen does not begin until they complete their initial training -- basic military training and technical training school, he said.
The (clock begins) on the date they report to their first duty station, Drogo said. When they near the end of their enlistment, they will have the opportunity to choose whether they would like to extend their active-duty commitment for 24 months, or join the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve for the same length of time.
However, after the additional two years of service are complete, these airmen still have another four years of service to fulfill.
This service can be accomplished by re-enlisting in the active-duty Air Force, extending their Guard or Reserve commitment, transferring to the Individual Ready Reserves, or participating in another national-service program such as Americorps or the Peace Corps, the chief said.
Airmen who enlist under this program will only be able to serve in 29 Air Force specialties. These specialties were chosen based on inputs from career-field managers. Some of these specialties will have special requirements, such as civilian certification or training, that prospective airmen must posses before being considered for entry into the career field.
This will allow these airmen to be spun up quickly and begin contributing to the mission, he said.
Airmen who enlist under the program will be able to choose one of three special incentives for the program. The incentives include a $5,000 cash bonus, $10,000 student-loan repayment for qualified loans, or education assistance benefits comparable to the Montgomery GI Bill.
If they choose to re-enlist, airmen retain their chosen incentive and can elect to participate in the MGIB.**** Drogo sees the program as having two benefits.
First, it will increase the number of people in the general public with military experience to help better inform the American public about what we do in the military, he said. Surveys have shown that what most people know about the military they have learned from family and friends who have served.
The second major benefit of the program will be to help provide another source of accessions for air reserve components, he said.
The Air Force specialty codes open to 15-month enlistees are:
- 1C0X1, airfield management
- 1C0X2, operations resource management
- 1T1X1, aircrew life support
- 2F0XX, fuels
- 2R0X1, maintenance data systems analyst
- 2R1X1, maintenance production management
- 2S0X1, supply management
- 2T0X1, traffic management
- 2T1X1, vehicle operations
- 2T2X1, air transportation
- 2T3X1, special purpose vehicle and equipment maintenance
- 2T3X4, general purpose vehicle mechanic
- 3A0X1, information management
- 3C0X2, communication-computer systems programming
- 3E1X1, heating, ventilation air-conditioning and refrigeration
- 3E2X1, pavement and construction equipment
- 3E4X1, utilities systems
- 3E7X1, fire protection
- 3M0X1, services
- 3P0X1, security forces
- 3S0X1, personnel
- 4A0X1, health services management
- 4A1X1, medical materiel
- 4C0X1, mental health service
- 4D0X1, diet therapy
- 4E0X1, public health
- 4Y0X1, dental assistant
- 5R0X1, chaplain assistant
- 6F0X1, financial management and comptroller