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Prior service program open but strictly limited

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- A very limited number of specialized careers are open in the Air Force Prior Service Program.

The prior service program is an enlistment option that allows a select number of people who separated from military active duty, the Guard or Reserve, to enter full-time Air Force service. The number of applicants being accepted for fiscal year 2014 has dropped from 250 to 50.

"The goal number for the prior service program is based on the needs of the Air Force," said Angelo Haygood, the Air Force Recruiting Service deputy division chief of operations. "It is reviewed by Air Staff A1 at least once annually."

Headquarters Air Force in Washington D.C., determines prior service requirements by examining career manning and determining the need for experienced people.

"Currently, we are only accepting applications for the direct duty and retraining categories," said Tech. Sgt. Todd Benson, the AFRS enlisted accessions program manager.

"Direct duty means applicants can enter active duty without going to technical school," he said. "This category is for applicants who held that particular Air Force specialty code previously or those who currently hold the AFSC in the National Guard or Reserve. It's also open to applicants from sister services who were trained at a joint technical school because all service branches receive the same training."

"Retraining is open to applicants from any AFSC who want to become Battlefield Airmen," he added.

The career fields currently being accepted for direct duty are:
1A8X1, airborne cryptologic linguist
1B4X1, cyberspace defense
1C2X1, combat control
1C4X1, tactical air control party
1N4X1A, network intelligence analyst
1T0X1, survival, evasion, resistance, and escape
1T2X1, pararescue
1W0X2, special operations weather
3E8X1, explosive ordnance disposal
8D0X0, linguist and cultural advisor

Skill certification for EOD expires after two years, so applicants who held that AFSC more than two years ago will have to process under the retraining category, Benson said.

Retraining for fiscal 2014 is limited to pararescue.

"The processing time for direct duty applicants varies, but on average it can take from four to six months," Benson said. "Retraining applicants may have to wait up to a year for a slot to open in a technical school because space is very limited."

Prior service officer applications are considered by the Air Force Personnel Center on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, or to apply for direct duty or retraining, talk to your local Air Force recruiter. You will need to provide the recruiter with documents such as: DD Form 214, last five enlisted performance reports, a letter of recommendation, prior PAST results or DD Form 368 (release from National Guard duty).

You can also go to www.airforce.com and speak with an Air Force advisor, or call 800-423-USAF for information and guidance.

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