Air Force officials released details Nov. 20 on the fiscal year 2020 Selective Retention Bonus program, which includes 72 eligible Air Force specialties.
“The Air Force works hard to retain our highly trained and experienced Airmen and the annual Selective Retention Bonus program is a key element in that effort,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force Manpower, Personnel and Services deputy chief of staff. “Based on past efforts and the growth we’ve enjoyed the last few years, our manning levels are better than we’ve been in a while. Even so, we still have shortages and will continue to strategically use the Selective Retention Bonus program for those AFSCs that are most in need.”
The SRB is a tool used to retain Airmen in undermanned specialties. The program is designed to improve readiness and capacity by targeting retention of experienced Airmen in stressed career fields or those with high training costs, particularly those in operations, nuclear, maintenance, cyber, space, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and certain support career fields.
“We’ve used this program to balance career fields across the force for many years,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright. “We’ll continue to use bonuses where needed to make sure that our critical career fields are manned in order to meet mission requirements.”
The Air Force will spend more than $150 million for the FY 2020 program, which includes 72 total Air Force Specialty Codes, including 68 that remain eligible from the FY 2019 SRB program. Due to high operational demands, low manning and retention concerns, four AFSCs in aircraft maintenance and cyber security were added to the FY 2020 program. The previous efforts to improve career field health allowed 39 AFSCs to be removed from the list. During sequestration-related reductions in FY 2013-2014, the program had a low of 10 eligible AFSCs, and reached a high of 117 AFSCs while restoring readiness and growing over the last few years.
Determining SRB-eligible AFSCs is a collaborative process with senior leaders, career field managers, policy owners and operations analysts.
“We get this might not be what some folks were hoping for this year, but we’ve looked at it from all angles and this is what our experts are telling us is the right decision. When you look at it from an enterprise perspective, you can see that while not every career field gets a bonus, this is the right move to set our team up for success in the future,” Wright said.
The FY 2020 SRB program goes into effect Nov. 21. Airmen in skills identified for a reduction or termination, and who are currently eligible to reenlist, will have until Dec. 20 to take advantage of the bonus at the previous rate.
The FY 2020 SRB listing is available both on myPers and the retention page on the Air Force’s Personnel Center website at https://www.afpc.af.mil/Retention/.