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pittsdriver

AFRES Cat E Promotions

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All, looking for some guidance. I am looking into doing the Academy ALO program which is a category E, points only program. My question is in regard to rank. If you are an O-4 Are you allowed to continue to 20 years or do you have to make 0-5 to get to 20? 

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I've looked into the Cat E Reservist thing myself. What I've discovered is you don't want to get twice passed over as a Cat E dude, since the sanctuary is somehow treated differently.

So to answer your question directly...based on when you pinned on Maj, will you be twice passed over before 20? You'll meet your primary board the summer of your 6th FY in rank, and your "twice passed over" board the 7th FY summer.

For me, that means I'll stay as a Cat A Reservist, flying planes until I'm a LtC select, then I'm going to go Cat E. IMA is also an option to get that final promotion, but for me, going to a staff to cup some GO's balls isn't in the plan. I'd rather fly, and when it's time to reduce my military commitment, I'd like to REALLY cut it. And the 35 days a year required as a Cat E in the CAP or ALO is pretty sexy.

The funny part is, it has nothing to do with getting the LtC rank itself, just the security of not meeting the promotion boards before 20 yrs. The AF has shown me that LtC is simply a pay grade, and has no direct bearing on leadership ability whatsoever.

I searched around for actual AFI on this, but couldn't find anything official. Any current Cat E guys, please speak up, I'm monitoring this one as well. 

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On 7/11/2017 at 10:24 AM, pittsdriver said:

All, looking for some guidance. I am looking into doing the Academy ALO program which is a category E, points only program. My question is in regard to rank. If you are an O-4 Are you allowed to continue to 20 years or do you have to make 0-5 to get to 20? 

Guess I'm still the only dude that cares about this one, as I post the 3rd consecutive time in almost 2 yrs. To answer the above question:  Whatever rank you have entering Cat E, expect that to be the rank you exit Cat E. If you're already a LtC, that's a good place to be. If you're a Maj with prior E time, you may be good there as well...as long as you're not twice passed over as a Cat E. The sanctuary rules do not function the same as with Cat A (flyers) and Cat B (IMA). If one is twice passed over as a Cat E, recent history shows that continuation is not offered, meaning that dude has to get out with only a couple years to go to 20. It sucks.

The rub:  The ARPC promotion results for 2018 show that 4/4 Cat E CAP dudes with PME made LtC. That is the only document that reflects that...all the CAP and ALO leadership with which I've interviewed have told me the exact opposite.

Furthermore, the CAP is under a hiring freeze effective 2 weeks ago. Duration unknown. For an organization that lacks a UMD and therefore any discernible budget, most likely scenario is the CAP overages will lessen through attrition. That means the freeze will potentially last quite awhile as their swell in numbers very slowly reduce.  

So in an attempt to reignite this thread...anyone know these unicorns getting promoted as Cat E? Just curious how reality looks on that side of the CAP or ALO fence. Thanks.

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A CAP-USAF Cat E just made O-6, so it's not impossible.  Same formula as anywhere else: PME, AAD, work the boss recognizes and appreciates.  The aforementioned O-6 select spent WAY more time on his Reserve job than several Cat Es combined, took great care of his people, and totally deserved the promotion.

Most Cat Es that make O-5 will do so based off their career/strats/OPRs prior to leaving a more active position.  There's plenty of PRF-fodder work to do as a CAP-USAF dude; most don't want to do it because that's why they're a Cat E in the first place.

I've been told explicitly that as long as you can get 20 good years in 21 or 22 (?) years you won't get booted as a twice passed over Major.  There was something about it that could mess you up, but most of us wouldn't fall into that.

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26 minutes ago, nunya said:

A CAP-USAF Cat E just made O-6, so it's not impossible.  Same formula as anywhere else: PME, AAD, work the boss recognizes and appreciates.  The aforementioned O-6 select spent WAY more time on his Reserve job than several Cat Es combined, took great care of his people, and totally deserved the promotion.

Most Cat Es that make O-5 will do so based off their career/strats/OPRs prior to leaving a more active position.  There's plenty of PRF-fodder work to do as a CAP-USAF dude; most don't want to do it because that's why they're a Cat E in the first place.

I've been told explicitly that as long as you can get 20 good years in 21 or 22 (?) years you won't get booted as a twice passed over Major.  There was something about it that could mess you up, but most of us wouldn't fall into that.

Very cool, thanks for the reply!

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As a primary duty CAT-E ALO, I can tell you what I've heard at a very recent area meeting regarding promotions:

Three big things are required to get a DP to O-5:

1) Participation.  Min points for a good year is 50, but they want to see more activity.  I think 70-90 was thrown out there.  As a minimum.  More is better, and it is easy to find extra ways to contribute and earn those extra points.  Just takes a little time and motivation.

2) PME.  Has to be done or you are dead in the water.

3) Leadership positions.  In the ALO world, you need to hold at least the Deputy LOD title to show you are doing/seeking leadership stuff.  In a real squadron I'd say this amounts to being an ADO or maybe a DO (that's probably a stretch though).

If you meet these three requirements, you have a good chance of getting a DP, and for ALOs with a DP, promotion to O-5 has been 100%.

If you want to get promoted, the ALO/USAFA team (at least in my region) wants to help you get promoted.  If you do #2 above, they will help with #1 and #3.

If you don't want to get promoted and just want to min run it, you can.  I'm not sure where you heard sanctuary is different in the CAT E world, but I've talked with ALO leadership and a personnelist at AFRPC to confirm if or some reason I don't make 0-5, and I'm inside 2 years remaining, I can stay on, and I've been told this is the case by all.  I'd need to see a reg that states CAT Es aren't the same as the rest of the AF regards to that if you've got it.

Hope that helps.  

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It helps IMMENSELY, and thank you. I also haven’t found the AFI ref for the sanctuary diff for Cat E; I heard it primarily while interviewing for the CAP position. Will see if I can get some hard data on why I heard that so many times.

Again, thanks. I’m about to ALO myself, I’ll pass along any lessons learned.

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Yeah ask around for sure. I’m curious about why they are saying that. Hasn’t been what I’ve seen at all, and without proof of a reg stating CAT Es are different, I’d have to assert that we are protected just the same. But it is a weird little niche of the AF, so keep digging just in case. That’s why I put in the call to AFRPC. 

Good luck with the transition. If you are coming in as an additional duty ALO, it’s a quick and painless process. If you are coming in as a primary duty ALO...well, brace yourself.  And plan for plenty of time to get transitioned over  

Let me know if you have any other questions.  Overall I’ve found it to be a fairly enjoyable job. Most of the kids are sharp and motivated. Once you understand that you are now pretty much on your own regarding the AF queep and readiness tasks, and figure out how to navigate all of that, it’s a pretty good way to get to retirement. 

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To piggyback on this thread with similar questions, I'll be hitting 17 years of service this November. Currently ANG tanker dude. O-5 ROPMA for me is Oct '20. My plan is to start the 1288 process this Fall and shoot for a Cat-E job by early '20. I was rushing my local CAP unit who said they were planning on hiring quite a bit more this coming year, but I haven't talked to the CC in 3 months or so. Hopefully this hiring freeze spoken about in a previous post doesn't last too long. My question is, if ROPMA for me is Oct '20, is bailing in early '20 too early for me?

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Make sure you're talking to CAP-USAF, not CAP.  
Yes. I talked to the USAF CC of the region.

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To piggyback on this thread with similar questions, I'll be hitting 17 years of service this November. Currently ANG tanker dude. O-5 ROPMA for me is Oct '20. My plan is to start the 1288 process this Fall and shoot for a Cat-E job by early '20. I was rushing my local CAP unit who said they were planning on hiring quite a bit more this coming year, but I haven't talked to the CC in 3 months or so. Hopefully this hiring freeze spoken about in a previous post doesn't last too long. My question is, if ROPMA for me is Oct '20, is bailing in early '20 too early for me?
Ok so after more homework at the unit, looks like my ROPMA board will be Apr '20 for an Oct '20 promotion. When would be the earliest I should transfer to the reserves to Cat E? Wait until the results come out summer of 2020?

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2 minutes ago, Gazmo said:
On 3/26/2019 at 10:16 AM, Gazmo said:
To piggyback on this thread with similar questions, I'll be hitting 17 years of service this November. Currently ANG tanker dude. O-5 ROPMA for me is Oct '20. My plan is to start the 1288 process this Fall and shoot for a Cat-E job by early '20. I was rushing my local CAP unit who said they were planning on hiring quite a bit more this coming year, but I haven't talked to the CC in 3 months or so. Hopefully this hiring freeze spoken about in a previous post doesn't last too long. My question is, if ROPMA for me is Oct '20, is bailing in early '20 too early for me?

Ok so after more homework at the unit, looks like my ROPMA board will be Apr '20 for an Oct '20 promotion. When would be the earliest I should transfer to the reserves to Cat E? Wait until the results come out summer of 2020?

Earliest to submit 1288 is PRF Accounting Date, which is 150 days prior to your board. At that point, you've been "accounting for" under your current Senior Rater, and he/she would have to take additional action to remove you from the MEL for that upcoming promotion board. That normally would include someone with negative personnel action, or someone who hadn't been on station very long. All subjective based on your Senior Rater and your time on station. (All those possibilities are listed in the Promo Board Announcement MFR if you can to read the details)

The other calculus is how long it will take to change from Cat A to Cat E...I've been told by more than a few (including the interviewer who hired me) to expect 6-10 months. 

With the long processing time (and I'm told no one gets a fast track), you're safe to drop papers (get your 1288 signed) after the accounting date. For me, the 6-10 month wait will not only include the promotion board itself, but also the board results announcement, and the beginning of the next FY, where I'll pin that rank on. Not tooting my horn about the chances for the promotion, but let's be honest, for a Cat A Reservist, it's a simple PME check from AFRC. 

The SAFEST time to drop is after you've pinned on that rank you'd need to get through 20 YoS. Then it's in the bank, no one can change it. However, I think the plan outlined above would work due to the extended processing time to become a full time ALO. I guess I'll let you know if I crash and burn. The alternative for me is almost 6 months of mandatory orders next year...no fr!cking thanks.

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Cat E ALO here, currently waiting on O-4 board results... have gotten the same advice above regarding PME complete,  70+ annual points, no bad years, and “leadership positions” to get a DP to O-5. Not that hard to do, and selection rate with a DP is great.

The issue I have seen for guys not getting to retirement as an O-4 has been when they have breaks in service. I’ve seen it more than once where they were twice passed over for O-5 but didn’t quite make it to 18 years for sanctuary. I almost had this issue coming from AD... took 9 months to gain me into Cat E, had a 40 day break in service, and ended up successfully doing a BCMR to get it fixed.

It’s also not impossible to make O-6 as an ALO, but the odds are pretty slim. You probably have to be in a “national level” leadership role, SDE complete, and a few of the current O-6s likely need to retire first as well.

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Earliest to submit 1288 is PRF Accounting Date, which is 150 days prior to your board. At that point, you've been "accounting for" under your current Senior Rater, and he/she would have to take additional action to remove you from the MEL for that upcoming promotion board. That normally would include someone with negative personnel action, or someone who hadn't been on station very long. All subjective based on your Senior Rater and your time on station. (All those possibilities are listed in the Promo Board Announcement MFR if you can to read the details)

The other calculus is how long it will take to change from Cat A to Cat E...I've been told by more than a few (including the interviewer who hired me) to expect 6-10 months. 

With the long processing time (and I'm told no one gets a fast track), you're safe to drop papers (get your 1288 signed) after the accounting date. For me, the 6-10 month wait will not only include the promotion board itself, but also the board results announcement, and the beginning of the next FY, where I'll pin that rank on. Not tooting my horn about the chances for the promotion, but let's be honest, for a Cat A Reservist, it's a simple PME check from AFRC. 

The SAFEST time to drop is after you've pinned on that rank you'd need to get through 20 YoS. Then it's in the bank, no one can change it. However, I think the plan outlined above would work due to the extended processing time to become a full time ALO. I guess I'll let you know if I crash and burn. The alternative for me is almost 6 months of mandatory orders next year...no fr!cking thanks.

Thanks! Good info. So.... I was sifting the internet for some IMA vacancies and found one near me that sounds relatively interesting. It's a 40 min drivable commute (same as my Cat E option). Non-flying. 24 IDT/14 AT (quite standard for IMA). They want an O-4 rated officer (pilot). Obviously no promotion potential. I am leaning toward IMA just because I get pay, bennies and retirement points instead of just points. The downside is, if I go that route, I may kiss O-5 goodbye. Not really too big of a deal for me really. It will probably be about $300 a month difference when I retire. My biggest concern is getting the F out of the operational world NOW for QOL and I think I am willing to forego the promotion.

 

Any suggestions? How long could I stay IMA as an O-4? I am at 16.5 years of service right now.

 

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Get to 18 yrs TIS before 2x FOS+6 mos and you’re in reserve sanctuary.


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Get to 18 yrs TIS before 2x FOS+6 mos and you’re in reserve sanctuary.


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Can you elaborate a little more on this?

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Posted (edited)

Surely. Even as an Individual Ready Reserve member, you are on the Reserve Active Status List. Because you are active status you have the reserve sanctuary protection which states that once you reach 18 years Time in Service you may not be discharged (except for misconduct) prior to reaching 20 years. So what that means is that if you are twice non-selected for O-5 you will be discharged 6 months after the board results are made public, upon your second failure of selection--except if upon that date (2x FOS +6 mos) you are in sanctuary.

We were talking about this 6 years ago:

 

Edited by Chida

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Additionally, you do have promotion opportunity as an IMA (cat B) or PIRR (cat E). Many people get promoted to O-5 in these positions. The key is to do PME and have decent OPRs and a decent number of points (i.e. more than the minimum). So many people don't do PME that that becomes the main discriminator. Cat A, B, and E all compete on the same promotion board. Straight IRR has a separate board and almost no one (historically) gets promoted on the straight IRR board (what ARPC calls the non-participating reservists).

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Additionally, you do have promotion opportunity as an IMA (cat B) or PIRR (cat E). Many people get promoted to O-5 in these positions. The key is to do PME and have decent OPRs and a decent number of points (i.e. more than the minimum). So many people don't do PME that that becomes the main discriminator. Cat A, B, and E all compete on the same promotion board. Straight IRR has a separate board and almost no one (historically) gets promoted on the straight IRR board (what ARPC calls the non-participating reservists).
Ok.. so if I left the ANG as an O-4 to an O-4 IMA job before I met my ROPMA board, would I be able to get to 20 years as an O-4 and retire? Are there ROPMA boards in IRR / IMA jobs?

My ROPMA board is Apr '20 and at that point I'll be at 17.5 years. My O-5 promotion date would be at about 17.9 years. Let's say I apply for an IMA job now, start the 1288 process and leave the ANG at the end of '19, am I good?

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You’ll need to look at Mypers to find out the dates associated with the ANG promo board and the dates associated with the AFRES board, then time your transfer according to who you want to be promoted by. I’d suggest transferring to AFRES prior to the ANG and AFRES PRF accounting date. That way AFRES will write your PRF and you’ll avoid possible difficulties with the FEDREC process delaying your promotion. Also with an AFRES promotion you might be able to be accelerated, which is more rare in the ANG. So to sum up: transfer now and you’ll be fine.


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You’ll need to look at Mypers to find out the dates associated with the ANG promo board and the dates associated with the AFRES board, then time your transfer according to who you want to be promoted by. I’d suggest transferring to AFRES prior to the ANG and AFRES PRF accounting date. That way AFRES will write your PRF and you’ll avoid possible difficulties with the FEDREC process delaying your promotion. Also with an AFRES promotion you might be able to be accelerated, which is more rare in the ANG. So to sum up: transfer now and you’ll be fine.


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Roger that. If the IMA position is advertised as a"Major" position, will I even meet an AFRC board? I wouldn't want to be promoted out of a job. I'd be willing to stay an O-4 'til 20 if it meant staying in a good deal, easily commutable IMA gig.

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Idk. Ask the question to the hiring authority or ARPC. There are over grade waivers, re-grading of positions, etc, but my understanding is that as a part timer, your promotion will not be held up regardless of the position to which you’re assigned. 

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On the latest AFRC LtC board, there are several O-5 selects that I know personally currently in the Cat E program. Dudes that gave up on Cat A deployments, LtC board be damned, and it worked out for them to make O-5 having done several years as a Cat E leading up to the LtC board.

I think there was a bit of luck involved in some of those, but I also think the fear and loathing I've heard about going to Cat E prior to the O-5 board was incorrect. The data does not bear that out.

Still awaiting board stats though...what I'd really like to know is what percentage of Cat Es did make O-5. That is better actionable data than my straw poll "I know a few guys who made it."

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