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AF Reserve Suspends Commanders' Ability to Waive Retirement Notice

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller (right), commander of the Air Force Reserve Command, greets airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Dec. 12, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard/Master Sgt. Phil Speck)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller (right), commander of the Air Force Reserve Command, greets airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Dec. 12, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard/Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

The Air Force Reserve is ending wing commanders' ability to request a waiver on giving six months' notice before retiring, in an effort to balance gaps in leadership.

"The extension is really a notice of departure from the individual to the Air Force," Lt. Col. Chad Gibson, Air Force Reserve spokesman, said in an email to Military.com. The policy went into effect April 1.

For example, if someone's enlistment expires in May, they separate in May, not six months later, he said.

“[Airmen seeking retirement] have always had to submit paperwork six months prior to their desired retirement date. If the wing commander wanted, they could waiver the six-month wait," Gibson explained.

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The Air Force has suspended access to the waivers until Oct. 1, when it is scheduled to be reinstated.

Gibson clarified the measure is not a six-month extension of duty, nor would it be considered a "stop-loss" measure.

Last year, the Air Force walked back rumors it was going to use stop-loss to keep pilots in longer amid its growing pilot shortage.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said he was not considering using the policy despite public discussions about the option.

"I want to make it as clear as I possibly can: I am not considering stop-loss," Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said last April during a discussion at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

Goldfein said only the defense secretary and president would decide whether to review stop-loss -- an involuntary extension of service -- in "times of emergency."

"It's a tool, and a secretary's tool in the tool bag when we're in a state of emergency, and we're not in a state of emergency," he said.

It is unclear if similar provisions for commanders will be made in the active duty or Guard. Requests for comment were not returned by press time.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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