The Vomit Inducing Roller Coaster of the Air Force Personnel Center

May 09, 2015



  Words by Mike Weisbecker.

What Do You Mean I Can’t Leave?  You Said I Couldn’t Stay! (Opinion)

Ah… the cesspool of lies, half-truths, denials, and “I never said that exactly” that is now the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC).  Check out the latest in the never ending saga that is force reduction in the Nation’s youngest service.

On April 4th, AFPC emailed some folks who had approved applications to retire early under several programs the Air Force enacted right before Christmas.  Turns out that the recipients of this email were told that the retirement application they had received a week earlier had just been revoked due to the application erroneously being approved (WTF?) and that due to changes in force reduction strategy they can’t retire now (Seriously WTF?). 

Big Blue has been completely mishandling this from the start and it blows up in senior leadership’s face at every turn.

The AFPC Primary Office (An artists' approximation)

The first among many fiascoes was dumping 18 force reduction programs on the rank and file airmen right before the Christmas holidays; nice way to celebrate…  Enjoy the hams and turkeys this year, we might be out in the cold this time next year despite the fact that I’m a good airman!  Christmas cheer indeed.

Let's just put it out of its misery 

Then they (The AFPC, the folks that are setting a new bar for how not to manage a personnel force) probably got many more applications for early retirement or separation than any of the perfumed princes (David Hackworth’s fave expression for the ones who rarely breathe anything but the rarefied air inside the beltway in DC) ever expected. 

Remember all those climate surveys you’ve filled out just to get your boss off your ass and get off the stoplight chart at the staff meetings?  Well I can guarantee that the Air Staff got a big wakeup call when the numbers came thru from AFPC.  Part of me wonders if the “chairborne” personnel warriors even passed on the true numbers to Air Staff and the Chief of Staff.

All of a sudden the brakes went on hard.  They called it a “strategic pause”.  When did we let our leaders stop speaking English?  Now a lot of folks who had made the decision to leave a service they were growing more and more dissatisfied with and that had told the thru their actions that they didn’t care if they left were now hanging in the lurch.

Then they revised what career fields were eligible and reduced the numbers and pay grades of those that still needed to shed some folks.  The numbers in all cases were greatly reduced.   Many folks are disappointed that they have to stay in this bipolar service.

Your Air Force Career (An artists' approximation) 

Then the email that went to supposedly approved for early retirement folks on 4 April.   Oh yeah on top of Big Blue saying they aren’t approved for retirement anymore, they are ineligible to apply for early retirement/separation under any of the other programs this fiscal year. 

Well the backlash on this one, which affected about 20 individuals (Big Blue’s number by the way, take that for what you will) prompted a quick response on 8 April.  They will honor the retirements. 

At least 20 get to escape this roller coaster now.