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I’m leaving the Air Force in September. At that time, I will have 13 years in-service, having joined the AF the week after 9/11 (I was supposed to go to Basic Training on that day, but my flight was cancelled…go figure).
My separation is not entirely my idea, I have been thinking about it for the better part of 2 years, but due to DOD budget cuts, it will be monetarily advantageous for me to get out now. The Force Management initiatives are brutal, and many good Airmen are getting kicked out, after withheld promotion or reassignment. The majority of these involuntary separations (mine included) are not for disciplinary reasons-the AF needs people gone to meet end of Fiscal manning figures. I agree that defense spending needs to be cut, but when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, closing a factory or a branch of any business affects families. This is no different.
A huge chunk of those getting the axe are the trainers, skilled technicians, and worker bees. It will be like the Spanish Flu outbreak, where many of the problem solvers and capable manpower were no longer a part of the taskforce to help solve that pandemic. Of course, I meant only in terms of sheer #’s of workers, and am in no way attempting to trivialize the great human loss mass disease brings. However, my point is the same- the AF will not be a very fun place to work after October.
That being said, my decision is made, and staying in to retire is not an option. I will be starting a civilian career in the same industry as my military job (Non-destructive testing/engineering) and have marketable skills and experience. I am working on my resume (I’m going to pay someone to prepare it) and seeking advice wherever I can. I’ve posted near copies of this post on several forums.
This is a transition. It’s going to be okay.
What advice, if any, do you have for me? Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did it work out?
Since we’re on the topic of transition, this blog will be transitioning, also. Instead of just picking a single topic and bleeding over it, I will be putting up serial posts on a single theme, I will feature interviews, site redesign, and possibly some giveaways. Oh and 50% more run-on sentences and parenthetical asides.