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Air Force prior service recruiting program open to reservists.

A large percentage of the people who join the Air Force Reserve do so after serving on active duty first. But did you know that this process can work in reverse as well -- that the active-duty Air Force has a prior-service recruiting program that is open to all members of the military branch's reserve and guard forces?

The prior-Service program opens Oct. 1 of each fiscal year with three categories of opportunity: direct duty with no requirements for completed years of service; direct duty with a requirement for completed years of service; and retraining opportunities.

The key element for those wanting to join through the prior-service program is their most recent Air Force specialty code. A select number of applicants will fall into the direct duty with no time in service requirements category. This option is reserved for members holding very specific AFSCs. Most applicants will fall into the direct duty with time in service requirements or retraining categories.

Applicants not falling into the first direct duty category should refer to the prior-service matrix to determine their tentative eligibility.

The matrix is released at the beginning of each quarter and can be found on the Air Force Recruiting Service's portal page. To locate it, select "Publications" from the side menu of the main AFRS page. Then select "Procedural Guidance Messages, 900-Prior Service."

This matrix shows the total number of positions the Air Force needs for each AFSC, broken down by total years of service. For example, if you have 10 years of service, hold the 2A6XI AFSC and there is a positive number in the corresponding cell on the matrix, you may be eligible for the prior-service program.

Members who do not qualify for one of the direct duty positions may be eligible to retrain. On average there are between 75 and 110 retraining slots available for all prior-service applicants into the following AFSCs:

* 1C2X1 (combat control)

* 1T231 (pararescue)

* 1C431 (tactical air control party)

* 3P031B (combat arms)

* 1UO31 (remotely piloted aircraft sensor operator)

* 1T031 (survival, evasion, resistance and escape)

* 3E8X1 (explosive ordnance disposal)

* 8R000 (recruiter)

* 6CO31 (contracting)

The prior-service program will accept 250 applicants (including retrainees) during fiscal 2012 on a first-come, first-served basis. However, this total is subject to change based on the Air Force's needs.

Members interested in this program should contact their local recruiter as soon as possible to determine their eligibility. For information or to locate your local recruiter, visit

(Royster is assigned to the 336th Recruiting Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.)
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Author:Royster, William
Publication:Citizen Airman
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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