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Aviation Continuation Pay (ACP - The Bonus)


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Kind of related look at the USMC high turnover personnel strategy in their enlisted ranks.
https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-courage-to-change-modernizing-u-s-marine-corps-human-capital-investment-and-retention/

To have the force the Marine Corps wants, it must increase investment in — and retention of — enlisted human capital in keeping with its appetite for increased capability.

By any standard, the Marine Corps system has managed to meet the internal, selfreferential measures of success as defined within its manpower management orders and directives. The professionalism, sacrifice, and hard work of recruiters and manpower professionals have met demands of the high-turnover, low-investment system. Time and again, young Marines have prevailed on modern battlefields. They have succeeded in spite of — not because of — the system in which they operate. This paper steps outside of the presuppositions of the “logical pyramid” paradigm and considers afresh whether Marine Corps enlisted human capital practices deliver the greatest possible Fleet Marine Force (FMF)capability for a given personnel budget.
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  • 2 weeks later...
13 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

Did the take rates for this year get published yet ?  Or are they too embarrassed to release them?

The current take rates are out there. I think it's on that aircrew task force website.  It's a not well advertised link that you have to hunt for.  I looked at them two weeks ago, and they are abysmal, as should be expected with such a shitty bonus. Overall rate was like 36% or so. Fighter/bombers were even lower. A couple months left for folks to sign it so the numbers may increase, but it looked like it was shaping up to be the worst take rates in the last 5+ years.

I'll track it down today at work.

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On 7/21/2021 at 8:58 AM, Hunter Rose said:

The current take rates are out there. I think it's on that aircrew task force website.  It's a not well advertised link that you have to hunt for.  I looked at them two weeks ago, and they are abysmal, as should be expected with such a shitty bonus. Overall rate was like 36% or so. Fighter/bombers were even lower. A couple months left for folks to sign it so the numbers may increase, but it looked like it was shaping up to be the worst take rates in the last 5+ years.

I'll track it down today at work.

Why worry about retention when PA can just write a chintzy article about retention and how the Total Force hopes it can preserve talent that “The nation has invested millions of dollars in training these great Americans to protect and defend our way of life."

Pilots Leaving Active Duty Have Safe Landing Place in Reserve/Guard

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https://starsdemog.a1vdc.us.af.mil/Avb/avb.html

Here's the AvB 2021 stat tracker site.  (Recommend viewing in Chrome)  Lots of interesting info there, and you can also go back and look at historical data.  There's also a filter section and spreadsheet at the bottom where you can find your MAJCOM/MDS/Base of interest and see what individual people are doing. 

Numbers are abysmal (not surprising given the changes this year), with just over a month left in the window.  Fixed wing pilot take rate is still sitting below 30%.

Full disclosure: I'm likely signing the 8 year bonus, as I was planning on staying in until retirement anyway and I still love my job (most days).  The pros outweigh the cons for my family and my situation.  But this bonus would NOT have been anywhere near competitive enough to convince me if I was on the fence.

Anyone know if the recently marked NDAA from the SASC made any changes to the bonus?

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12 hours ago, Day Man said:

i would enjoy some serious schadenfreude at the AF's expense, but the national security implications are worrying.

 I'll enjoy the schadenfreude. I'd feel a little sympathy if the AF had left the bonus at pre-COVID terms.  But they didn't. They took the risk that COVID would affect the airlines longer, and offered a bonus with shit terms with less money/longer minimum commitments. They gambled and lost. So to hell with a big AF that makes it pretty clear they do not appreciate their rated force.

Edited by Hunter Rose
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2 hours ago, Hunter Rose said:

 I'll enjoy the schadenfreude. I'd feel a little sympathy if the AF had left the bonus at pre-COVID terms.  But they didn't. They took the risk that COVID would affect the airlines longer, and offered a bonus with shit terms with less money/longer minimum commitments. They gambled and lost. So to hell with a big AF that makes it pretty clear they do not appreciate their rated force.

Well given the direction this country is going since we are about to pass a 3.5 Trillion dollar piece of legislation I wouldn't be surprised to see the Airlines get nationalized if the party in power felt it was time to go to war.

 

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On 8/25/2021 at 5:37 PM, di1630 said:

~1 month to go:

Fixed wing overall take rate: 32%

11F: 24%
11B: 31%
11M: 29%

Ouch

Get ready for this kinda take rate being used as justification to kill the bonus altogether… I give it one more FY, tops. 

Makes a perfect compliment to the $300+B in cuts coming to the Pentagon… 

Rough roads ahead. 

Chuck

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9 minutes ago, Chuck17 said:

Get ready for this kinda take rate being used as justification to kill the bonus altogether… I give it one more FY, tops. 

Makes a perfect compliment to the $300+B in cuts coming to the Pentagon… 

Rough roads ahead. 

Chuck

Retention rate would be around 30% regardless if there was a bonus or not.  They won't raise it enough to move the needle, so I certainly see the temptation to eliminate it.  

I'd rather they plan to staff service with the 30% rate in mind.  Open another pilot pilot training base.  Resource it with new iron and personnel.  Staff the FTUs.  Accept 5 to 7 years of degraded  capability while the new paradigm takes hold.

Pipe dream of course.  Bureaucracies don't change wholesale, just incrementally   Most likely COA is to continue the course, massage the data until it meets the metric, and adjust the metric once the fuzzy math won't work.  Maybe a quad chart or something.  

If we're lucky, our mission sets over the next few years will be deterrence focused instead kinetic.  Hopefully.

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55 minutes ago, pawnman said:

If the only people taking the bonus are the ones who would stay anyway... why would the Air Force keep it? 

Retention could tank even further.  I think it is a false assumption that those 30% were staying anyway.  The IDE, Staff, DO, SQ/CC, School, Staff hustle to stay Tier 1 and survive until 20 years becomes A LOT less appealing if you pay them $245,000 or more less...

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I don't think I would have gambled a 3 year ADSC extension (because of COVID) if it wasn't for the extra bonus money. I probably would have taken the ART job or DSG options I had. I sure do regret not taking the ART now!

Granted, I'm also not the main consumer the bonus is being marketed to. The AF really wants people to stay til 20, thus why they dropped the shorter term bonus.

Better question, with the rate the airlines are going to higher...can the AF take a risk messing with the bonus any more just to find out if that 30% would stay regardless? I mean...what if it drops to 10%? Are they prepared to basically gut an entire FY of officers?

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The bonus does matter. Imagine the line pilot working 14 hour days making the same plus measly flight pay as the shoe clerk that barely works.

I’d cut the bonus and make flight pay $1k at UPT and then rise $250 a year to $4k.

We’d get better UPT candidates I bet and better retention.

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20 minutes ago, di1630 said:

The bonus does matter. Imagine the line pilot working 14 hour days making the same plus measly flight pay as the shoe clerk that barely works.

I’d cut the bonus and make flight pay $1k at UPT and then rise $250 a year to $4k.

We’d get better UPT candidates I bet and better retention.

Maybe...but doesn't your scenario describe every pilot who doesn't take the bonus but stays on AD?  I'd be curious if retention rates match bonus take rates. I suspect they're not one-for-one.

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13 hours ago, Chuck17 said:

Get ready for this kinda take rate being used as justification to kill the bonus altogether… I give it one more FY, tops. 

Makes a perfect compliment to the $300+B in cuts coming to the Pentagon… 

Rough roads ahead. 

Chuck

Great.  Maybe they’ll bring back early retirement.

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