Air Force extends HYT dates to retain airmen

In an effort to address a shortage of airmen in certain specialties, the Air Force is giving up to an additional two years to get promoted before being involuntarily separated.

A policy known as "up or out" states that airmen have a set time to make the next rank before being involuntarily separated. If an extension is approved, airmen remain promotion-eligible and their high-year of tenure dates can then adjust.

The voluntary extension, or high year of tenure program, focuses on retaining experienced Airmen in shortage specialties such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, maintenance, nuclear, cyber and special operations to help improve readiness. 

The HYT program allows eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in targeted AFSCs and grades to apply for a high year of tenure extension between 12 and 24 months in order for the Air Force to retain experience and enhance mission effectiveness and readiness. 

“Although retention is high in some career fields and FY16 and 17 retention programs were successful, the Air Force needs to ensure experienced Airmen are available to complete the mission as well as train new Airmen,” Col. Erik Bovasso, Military Sustainment and Transitions Programs division chief at the Air Force’s Personnel Center, said. “HYT extensions will help improve mission capability in key areas where readiness is currently strained,” he added.

The program is open to active-duty airmen from the specified career fields and grades with HYT dates of Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2018. The application window will be open through May 31, 2018.

Additional information about eligibility criteria, application process and other specifics is available  on myPers. Select “Active Duty Enlisted” from the dropdown menu and search “HYT.”


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