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AF changes officer developmental education selection declination policy

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A change to Air Force policy means officers will have the opportunity to decline in-residence intermediate or senior developmental education without the implications of the seven-day option policy.

The seven-day option policy, which generally requires that officers who do not want to accept an assignment must submit a request for separation or retirement within seven calendar days of their assignment notification date, will no longer apply to officers who decline their developmental education assignment.

The decision to change the IDE/SDE assignment declination policy gives officers and their families added flexibility within the Air Force assignment system. The policy itself makes a distinction between operational and developmental assignments.

“Operational assignments are critical in meeting mission requirements and remain essential, while development opportunities are designed to educate and professionally broaden individual officers,” said Maj. Kevin Jernigan, the Workforce Development and Career Programs deputy branch chief. “This distinction allows the Air Force to create more discrete assignment declination polices.”

Jernigan highly encourages open dialogue between officers and their senior raters during this time to discuss what it means in the long term if an officer declines the in-residence opportunity.

“If you’re selected and you decline, you’ll lose your select status,” Jernigan said. “You’ll compete in the future as a candidate.”

Candidates are not guaranteed an in-residence seat and therefore would need senior rater recommendation to the board during the annual call for IDE/SDE nominations to compete again for both a program and a seat.

Jernigan urges officers who are considering declination to explore alternate ways to complete IDE or SDE, such as distance learning.

Air Force Personnel Center requests that officers submit their declinations by Dec. 19, or as soon as they know they are unable to accept the assignment, in order to allow timely notification to alternate designates.

Officers selected for developmental education will attend intermediate- and senior-level development programs such as Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, National War College and more.

The board was held Sept. 12 and designated line and non-line officers to attend in-residence developmental education during the 2017-2018 academic year.

The IDE/SDE selection list has posted to myPers and additional details regarding developmental education are available there as well. Click the force development link from any officer landing page or select any officer category from the dropdown menu and search “developmental education.”

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to myPers. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following these instructions.