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Financial impact of force shaping lessened

WASHINGTON -- Airmen transitioning to the Air Force Reserve through Palace Chase or to the Army through Blue to Green force-shaping initiatives now face a lighter economic impact.

Airmen will no longer have to pay education costs or unearned portions of enlistment bonuses if they applied for separation after Dec. 1 through the Blue to Green or Palace Chase programs. These offers are not retroactive, officials said.

“Our Airmen who choose to transition from the active Air Force ... should be given every opportunity to do so without incurring financial obligations,” said Lt. Gen. Roger A. Brady, deputy chief of staff for personnel.

“Their continued service to our country through these force-shaping programs should be lauded and every effort should be made to make it a seamless transition,” he said.

The first break Airmen receive reduces the amount they must pay back for education.

Education costs associated with service academy graduation, ROTC scholarships and tuition assistance will not be recouped for transfers through Palace Chase if the Airman completes the remainder of his or her service commitment through the Reserve. Transfer to air reserve components under the force-shaping program results in a two-for-one service commitment for both officers and enlisted Airmen. The service commitment cannot be less than one year, or more than six years.

Airmen with these Air Force specialties are excluded from this policy:

-- 15W: Weather.

-- 61SXA: Analytical.

-- 61SXD: Physicist.

-- 61SXE: Mathematician.

-- 62EXA: Aeronautical.

-- 62EXB: Astronautical.

-- 62EXC: Computer science.

-- 62EXE: Electrical/electronic.

-- 62EXF: Flight test.

-- 62EXH: Mechanical.

The second financial break applies to enlistment bonuses.

Enlisted Airmen released under the force-shaping Blue to Green program will be relieved of any obligation to pay back unearned portions of initial enlistment bonuses and selective re-enlistment bonuses.

Details about these initiatives can be found at http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/retsep/shape2.htm.

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