Air Force Personnel Center
8/17/2012 – JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — High year of tenure changes announced in December will go into effect in September 2013, Air Force Personnel Center officials reminded affected Airmen on Aug. 16.
Changes will affect senior airmen, staff sergeants and technical sergeants, said Lt. Col. Tara White, AFPC retirements and separations chief, who explained that high year of tenure refers to the maximum number of years enlisted Airmen in each grade may remain on active duty.
In 2003, HYT was adjusted upward to retain experienced Airmen during a robust economic era. In 2010, the Air Force began the process to normalize HYT, reducing senior airman, technical sergeant, master sergeant and senior master sergeant levels. In December 2011, the Air Force announced that HYT would continue to be adjusted beginning in 2013.
Beginning in 2013, high year of tenure limits for senior airmen will be reduced from 10 years to eight years; staff sergeant 20 years to 15 years; and technical sergeant 22 years to 20 years.
As a result of HYT, AFPC cancelled some assignments, but those cancellations have no effect on promotion eligibility, White said. Airmen who are otherwise eligible to test for promotion will be able to test during the next cycle.
Although Airmen affected may be selected for promotion before they reach HYT, assignments are selected in most cases between 15 and 18 months in advance, and Airmen must have retainability at the time of selection to ensure a last-minute assignment decision isn’t necessary.
“Normalizing HYT helps develop and maintain the right balance of experience in the Air Force,” said White. “The future of the Air Force depends on balance in numbers, ranks, experience levels and career fields, so HYT is one way we can achieve that.”