Another program Cut

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by i1c5x1, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    To start off, I'm mostly a lurker.

    To those than are feeling the cuts in the civilian world, for the fisrt, AD ROTC is suffering too.

    The AECP "Airman education commissioning program" was cut this week. This was the best program the AF had to offer to enlisted troops. The Air Force in exchange for a highly technical degree like super chemistry or weather, would pay housing and Staff Sgt pay. This program has been cut to the foreseeable future. This program in my opinion reperesented the most qualified people for technical degrees.

    There are still other programs that remain, but they only pay for tuition/books, housing and living expenses are your own.
    :frown:
     
  2. bpanter94

    bpanter94 Member

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    i1C5x1,

    I hate to hear that another AF Commisioning Program is being cut. I am also mainly a lurker of this forum as well as a AFROTC HSSP candidate. With the first AFROTC board meeting next week, I wonder if more cuts are coming to that program also. Since joining this forum I have watched the number of scholarship oportunities for the AF dwindle. I know that the number of AFROTC HSSP shrunk last year from around 1600 to a little over 900. Also I read that OCS was cancelled and College Programmer Scholarships were halted this past year. The latest news coming from the AFA Forum reported that the number of AFA appointments was cut down to 1050 for the class of 2016, the smallest class in modern history. Not to mention that the SFT slots were cut to about 55%, and alot of qualified AFROTC cadets were released from the program. I will have to admit that all this bad news is a little concerning to me as a 2016 AFROTC scholarship applicant. I just hope that my AFROTC scholarship package is strong enough to get me one of the few scholarships that will be offered this year. Fingers crossed for a early Christmas present.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    i1c5x1,

    It stinks, and I know it does. However TAP still exists and now is the time to be thankful even for the little things.

    You still have a paycheck. They will still pay 75% for TA. Yes, it will be night school and create a burden. However in the civilian world these bennies of college tuition assistance are dissipating.

    Use the assistance you are eligible for at this current moment. It is an asset. If it means working a 2nd job at night and doing on-line courses, DO IT!

    As bad as you may think it is the fact is AF members are not sitting in the sandbox at the rate of the Army.

    If you leave voluntarily or involuntarily in the next 2 yrs, at the worst you have college credits to your undergrad where you paid 25%. If you stay and this program opens up again, you have a strong packet to be selected.

    Honestly, weather is a dieing breed and I am not sure what you mean by super chemistry.

    Super chemistry for an AFSC is what? Not being antagonistic, just curious what that means from a collegiate degree POV. Chemistry, chemical engineering I understand, super chemistry I need you to define.
     
  4. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    Pima,

    It wasn't as much of a compliant as a notification that ROTC cuts are happening on both sides. This could be useful to someone who is thinking because of the cuts to enlist first and try to work their way up from there. I use TA to the highest extent possible. I for a year took an average of three classes, online, during work hours, and after work. I took 3 classes and even had finals the week before I had my son. I"m never going to quit my education, thank you. The program that got cut isn't a program I was going to use. There are still 3 other ROTC programs for enlisted to do, and I am taking advantage of them. Sorry for me just informing the board that they are not alone on the budget cuts.

    By super chemistry it was just my way of saying, regular chemistry wasn't going to cut it to get it, you have to go to certain certified schools for your degree.

    And by the way, Weather is a critically manned field in the AF, with some of the highest bonuses, so I think that is incorrect.
    Furthermore, I was blessed to be in a career field that deploys every 9 months for 6, to some unsavory places outside of the wire. While the Air Force as a whole deploys less, draw downs are happening and most everyone will benefit from that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    i1c5x1

    The problem with forums like this is there is no way to understand intonation or inflection in a post.

    Please do not feel I thought you were complaining. I did not intend that at all.

    I was stating, it stinks, and I get it, but there are things to still be thankful for. I would never say stop furthering your education and using all the programs out there to do so. You earned those opportunities.

    Reality is even as an officer, you will still need to continue your education to be promoted. It is much easier to do this when you are younger because as you progress in your career you will also have more responsibilities assigned to you which makes it even more difficult to whittle away the hours for your Masters while you are also doing PME in correspondence, seminar or residence.

    The drawdown is happening and it is occurring in the AD world as we speak now where O4s are being RIF'd at their 15 yr marker for not making O5.

    The other factor is that for a while they cancelled non-rated OCS. It doesn't make fiscal sense to keep a program like this if at the same time they are not holding boards for enlisted to officer.

    It costs a lot of money and right now the money is just not there. Maybe in a few yrs it will be, but I am not psychic.

    I think most AF ROTC candidates and posters on this board would say do not go enlisted as plan B instead of a scholarship, mainly due to the fact that non-rated boards for OCS can be a big problem.

    You are correct many candidates propose this scenario, even as a way to get into the AFA, but on a whole people will tell them that this should be plan E because of the AF system. AF doesn't have SMP.

    Honestly, I am ignorant on what super chemistry is compared to chemistry. Are you lumping in organic or bio or Chem engineering in that classification? ROTC scholarships are tied to tech or non-tech.

    As far as weather goes, I know it is a critically manned field. I did not intend to imply there was no need. However, just like the CSO aka WSOs day gone by, their man power need has decreased due to technological advances. 15-20 yrs ago there were 3 fighters that were 2 seaters. Now there is 1. They too are a dieing breed.

    That was my point. Every base has at least 2 weather officers, but because of radar advances the technology is starting to replace the need for physical bodies in the field. Yrs ago they probably had 4 or 5.

    I apologize if my post upset you. That was never my intention. I was just trying to say, it could be worse.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting this country first in front of your own children when it comes to personal sacrifices.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    What happens to pension?

    :topic:

    So what happens to their pension when they are RIFed? Are they bridged or do they get a partial pension or something?

    Personally (and I'm a civvie who never served) this is one of the reasons why I'm at least interested in supporting SoD Penatta's idea of turning the pension into defined contribution from defined benefit. Not trying to start up that debate here though. Just curious how those who are forced out through no fault of their own, but becauseof cuts, are treated in this respect... in case DS faces it someday (probably long after I'm dead and gone :biggrin:).

    Thanks in advance for any insights.
     
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

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    No idea but I received the following message from a friend this morning.

     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I believe in the past, options were separation payment or early retirement. Something like if you have less than 15 years, seapartion payment, more than 15 years reduced retirement.

    Debate is always good - I think military member being forced out early has little to complain - they volunteered to serve in the first place and don't recall any promoise being made by anyone that military members can stay until they qualify for retirement. I left active duty in 2001, one of the considerations was can I serve until I qualfiy for retirement.
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Good point MemberLG. And based on your first sentence it sounds like fair (or perhaps more than fair) treatment in any case.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If they are RIF'd they will get a severance check, and I believe 6 months to separate. The check will vary depending on the yrs in. I am not sure about the finite details of this RIF, but back in the 90's and the early 00's. They were also allowed to have some bennies, such as commissary and health care for a limited time passed separation.

    The severance check can be a big chunk of change, and that is one of the issues for some members. Some states will allow the RIF members to collect unemployment benefits immediately, some states will use the severance check to determine when they can start collecting.

    It also creates a fed. tax issue, because it may placed them in a new tax bracket.

    If you do not serve 20 yrs, currently there is no pension. The reason they are hitting the 15 yr marker is because there is a loop hole, if you are passed over for an O4 or above after 16 yrs, they cannot separate you. You are guaranteed 20 yrs. That is why for most this O5 board was huge. They sped up the board to 15 yrs to utilize the loop hole while decreasing the promotion rate.

    You are also starting to see SERBs...that is where they force retirement upon O5s+. O4's that do not get promoted to O5 by 20 are in essence SERB'd.

    Yrs in and yr groups play into the equation, and sometimes career field too. For example, people tend to believe the last time the AF had any type of a RIF was back in the early 90's. That is a fallacy. They had targeted RIFs in the last decade. Typically it was a small yr group and a field, but it did happen.

    I understand your belief that Panetta's plan has merit. It does in it's own way, but the fear is that if they go this way, the mid-grades in that 8-15 will bounce because they have that option.

    Look at a pilot. They can't walk until at least 11 yrs...around 33. The current societal trend is people are marrying later in life and having children later in life. The pilot that opted to invest heavily will have a nice chunk of change and converting to the busdriver in the sky is not as bad as if the original 20 yrs stayed in place. The AF currently gives 6 figure bonuses on top of flight pay at that 7/8 yr marker. They repeat it again at the 15.

    They are not doing it because they want to spend money for no reason, they are doing it because those are critical yrs when they leave and need to bribe them. Remove that 20 yr retirement pay, may cause an indirect effect...bonuses and flight pay increases.

    The same is true for Medical and legal....dirty little secret if you want to be the highest paid in the AF...go Med or Legal.

    The AF has had for yrs now the ability to invest in a TSP, very few use it.

    Panetta has a great idea, but the devil is in the details, and right now the details are vague. I am assuming he is opting this method to match how it works for GS's.

    Also remember if your child is in the ROTC/SA system now as contracted that will have to be worked out.
     
  11. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    Pima,

    No offense taken. It can be hard to tell how things come across...there should be different fonts for different meanings.

    By "super chemistry" a simple chemistry degree from any college will not qualify. For all of the "technical" degrees they must be ABET certified. For our scholarships there is that program that just got cut for technical only, then the other 3 as long as its not basket weaving it didn't matter until recently.
     
  12. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    Civilians are quickly getting their pink slips. Many of them were recently told that most of them had 60 days to prepare a resume and pack their bags. One unit alone cut 70 civilian jobs. The process over here has been one of the most inane I've seen. Higher HQ cut the job positions, then they tell the Commanders who they cut so there is no back lash to the CC. The one they did for our unit had no assessment on how it would effect this mission. Ramstein is the largest base in Germany but we only have 3 education officer and 6 finance people. Our whole military personnel building that handles separations/promotions/id cards/ect can now only be reached by email only. You may not see them unless you have exhausted every option. Its getting tight.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is getting very tight, and unfortunately this may be just the beginning.

    Have to ask, how do they do the ID cards via email or phone?

    I get the separation because usually they round them up like cattle and do a mass briefing on specific dates instead of 1 by 1.

    I also get the promotions because usually they will allow to download and print up your history via the intranet.

    What I am finding interesting right now is that there is a push for hiring vets, however, many vets go govt., with priority placement. How effective can this program be if at the same time the govt is being reduced in size? If the govt constricts for the DOD, many of these members that were highly competitive due to work experience will not be hired. This is also true for the contractor world. Where does that leave them regarding employment opportunities?

    Back on topic for AFROTC.

    The sky isn't falling, and for most of you none of this will never impact you from an AD perspective because in a few short yrs the system will have sorted itself out.

    As I stated nobody is psychic. Nobody can tell you what it will look like when it is all said and done.

    The most important thing to understand is that the scholarship being awarded to you will not guarantee a commissioning. The lack of a scholarship will also not guarantee you the lack of a commissioning.

    Once in college the slate is wiped clean. HS is not a part of your OML.

    If you enter ROTC with the knowledge it is four more yrs of fighting for it like you did in HS, you will do fine. If you enter believing you can give 50% because college is the other 50% the results will not be as positive.

    This is just the 1st leg of your journey.
     
  14. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    They have narrowed down the hours that you can do ID Cards. You can't call them, but if you have a problem/missing card, you have to set an appt via email with them first. (which is silly cause you need your id card to email...) and it has to be routed first with your supervisor and shirt. Pretty painful.

    Another fun money fact

    Our DFAC no longer has take away boxes/bowls. If you want to take food to go, you have to bring your own tuppaware. Then they load your food on a regular plate/tray and you go to a table and dump it in your container. Return the dishes so they can be washed....
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    We haven't lived outside of Conus since 99, but even stateside with 100% ID that is an issue. Yes, I agree how are they suppose to email if they can't log in with their CAC? I guess somebody has to drive them on base, and then they need someone to log in for them.

    Logic and sense is not always compatible with needs.

    We have heard now that even stateside they are implementing scanning the IDs at the gate. Problem is if you have an old ID card about to expire, it is not compatible, and now they will force you to get a new ID card or they will use an IPad to verify you in the system, which clogs up the gate.

    I found that out through our friends this past weekend, and I asked them how will Pizza's from Papa John's be delivered now? Their guestimate was they will have to sign in at the VC and get a daily pass.

    So in other words they just created more paperwork!

    That is insane about the tupperware. We are now saying money is so tight we can't afford containers to go? I would love to see the cost benefit analysis for this, because the reality is these containers cost very little, however the labor and the utilities to clean these dishes will probably be higher. They now have more dishes, which means more wear and tear on kitchen appliances, and a higher rate of replacements at a higher cost.

    Out of curiosity, do they still offer the Spouse Tuition Assistance Program?

    We are totally off of ROTC programs, and I apologize for diverting the thread, but I would say The STAP, is for overseas. The way it works is they have an allotted amount of funding and it is broken down identical to the ratio of Officer to Enlisted. From there undergrad gets 1st dibs based on their pay and rank for each. Grads are eligible for what is left over.

    I.E. if 80% of the base are enlisted, 80% of the pot goes to them. Than they go deeper and those earning less get it before the higher ranks.

    There is a cap financially.

    I actually got a nice chunk of my Masters paid this way using their program. Even back than it was not publicized so the competition was not stiff. I can't recall how much, but I think it was about 4K a yr they paid. The reason why was no other officer spouses applied, and it was tied to the enlisted/officer ratio.

    Additionally going back to issues for military children. Do not forget come this Feb, the OCSC/ECSC offer 1 time scholarships to children and spouses. They range in awards from 250 to 1000, and in some places, probably like Ramstein they may go higher.

    The scholarships typically require verification of enrollment at the college for the check to be dispersed and can be used for books.

    If you have a military base near you, check with your local HS to see their regs. Some will only offer it to any military child, some will offer it to military children and ROTC, some will offer it to anyone as a community gift.

    It doesn't hurt to ask. My last yr on the scholarship board, we gave to anyone that applied at least a $250 scholarship.
     
  16. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    We have ID card scanners, but I haven't heard of someones cac not working because it is too old.

    They still have TA for spouses. There is the overseas one and the regular one, MYCAA. MYCAA has become so restricted right now. You can't pay for a bach or anything like that, only certificates/associates. The cap is much lowered ($4000) and rank requirements E-1-E-4/O1-O2.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Retirees/dependents receive different id cards, and that is where the problem is currently. Our friend was just talking about how this past Monday, they will no longer individually check it if it is too old, and will force the person to get a new id card.

    Her problem is her DH is a pilot with SWA and he is gone 5 days out of the week, so she has to wait until his schedule allows him to bring her on base because as you know spouses must be with the member to get a new i.d. card for verification purposes.

    I am not surprised by the TA changing, it wouldn't shock me if next yr that totally disappears, or at least change the reqs for it.
     

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