10/23/2006 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- Veterans interested in joining the Air Force or becoming an active-duty Airman once again may be eligible if they have served in one of nine career fields.
During fiscal 2007, the Air Force Prior Service Enlistment Program is available to 40 veterans who have served in the following careers: -- airborne or ground cryptologic linguist. -- combat control. -- tactical air command and control. -- survival, evasion, resist and escape operations, also known as SERE. -- pararescue. -- explosive ordnance disposal. -- premier or regional band.
Applicants must have separated from military service in the pay grade of E-5 or below and have no more than six years total active federal military service.
Prior-service applicants include those who have served in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy or Marine Corps; Reserve or Guard; or as an individual mobilization augmentee ordered to extended active duty for the limited period recall program. Sister-service veterans must have served in a career field similar to one of the nine specialties currently available. Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve veterans are eligible for direct duty only. No retraining is authorized.
The prior service limitations are a result of force restructuring and are designed to help replenish stressed career fields, said Chief Master Sgt. Edward Vargas, Air Force Recruiting Service operations division superintendent. Force restructuring is part of the service's current force shaping initiative. By 2011, Air Force officials plan to cut the number of Airmen in the service by 40,000 to meet appropriate end-strength numbers.
Eligibility requirements in the prior service enlistment program vary. Veterans interested in applying for Air Force active-duty service are encouraged to contact their local recruiter. Veterans can access the www.airforce.com Web site and click on the "Contact Us" and "Locate an Advisor" links either to request a recruiter contact them or to find a recruiting office.
Throughout fiscal 2007, Air Force enlisted recruiting emphasis remains on hiring new non-prior servicemembers. The FY '07 goal is for 27,760 high school graduates or the equivalent, ages 17-28, to join. The Air Force also seeks about 480 college graduates to join its officer corps.