Murphy's Law: February 10, 2004


The war on terror has been rough on American troops, with record numbers of them overseas and in combat. But at the same time, record numbers of troops are staying in the military, and more volunteers are trying to join as well. The result is that the U.S. Air Force finds that it has about 16,000 more people (12,700 enlisted and 3,900 officers) than it is authorized, by law, to have. The air force has to shed this excess by Sept. 30, 2005. This will be done by allowing those who want to get out of their current service obligation early, to do so. Another option is to transfer to the reserves. Those who are eligible may also transfer to a job area where there is currently a shortage, which means one less recruit is needed. If not enough people volunteer to leave, then there will be a RIF (Reduction In Force), which is what the military calls a layoff. 

Not everyone in the air force is at risk for the RIF. Not everyone is eligible for the early out or transfer to the reserves either. The job categories listed below are the ones that are currently critical. Not surprisingly, these jobs are either the most dangerous or the most technical. The air force is calling this entire process "force shaping."

Air force job code is followed by name of the job.

11xxAll Pilots
12xxAll Navigators
13bxAir Battle Manager
13dxaControl & Recovery (Combat Rescue)
42pxClinical Psychologist
43hxPublic Health
44axChief, Hospital/Clinic Services
44bxPreventive Medicine
44exEmergency Services Physician
44rxDiagnostic Radiologist
44yxCritical Care Medicine
45bxOrthopedic Surgeon
45pxPhysical Medicine Physician
46xxNurse Utilization Field
47xxDental Utilization Field
48axAerospace Medicine Specialist
48rxResidency Trained Flight Surgeon
62exDevelopmental Engineering Utilization Field 

1a1xx Flight Engineer
1a3xxAirborne Communications & Elect Systems 
1a5xxAirborne Missions Systems
1a7xx Aerial Gunner
1a8xxAirborne Cryptologic Linguist
1c1xxAir Traffic Control
1c2xxCombat Control
1c3xxCommand Post
1c4xxTactical Air Command & Control
1c5xxAerospace Control & Warning Systems
1n0xx Intelligence Applications
1n1xx Imagery Analysis
1n3xxCryptologic Linguist
1n4xx Signals Intelligence Analysis
1n5xx Electronic Signals Intelligence Exploitation
1n6xx Electronic System Security Assessment
1t0xxSere Operations
3e7xxFire Protection
3e8xx Explosive Ordnance Disposal
3e9xx Readiness
3p0xx Security Forces
4a0xxHealth Services Management
4e0xxPublic Health
4n0xxMedical Service
4y0x2Dental Laboratory
7s0xx Special Investigations
8b000Military Training Instructor
8d000 Linguist Debriefer
8f0xxFirst Sergeant
9l000 Interpreter/Translator


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