Being separated from the Air Force involuntarily due to reduction in forces requirement

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Contributor

My husband received notice that he is one of over 150 military families that are being separated this year, after 15 years of service, by not making promotion in order to reduce the number of troops in the Air Force. I see that forces have been reduced in the past, but was stunned they would do it in this manner. There is not much guidance or help provided on what happens with our insurances, life, dental and health and other transition issues. We had a financial plan for his retiring at 20, 5 years from now. We were completely unprepared for this. My kids are elementary and younger. He has been job hunting since the day he got notice, with nothing so far. Should we be having conversations with our mortgage companies ahead of the separation or once we have no income source? Can we request a rate reduction or modification to the loans without affecting our credit rating? We cannot sell one property since it is on lease until next year. How do you take advantage of the small window they are offering to move when you do not know where employment will be and may not have a job when the separation comes? It seems like it is use it or lose it. What happens to your residency that was determined from his first assignment? Are we required to take residency, car and voter registration where we are on the day of separation or can we and for how long maintain that residency? I already have absentee ballots for primaries from that state. All my vehicles are due for registration which expires in the month after separation. What would be good resources for a spouse to seek help from. To all the other military families in all the branches that could be impacted be these reductions, as noted for the Army here at USAA, in the economy of today it is a difficult situation to find yourself in. Do what you can each day to prepare for the possibility of losing what you were promised when you joined. I wish we would have known of this possibility 5 years ago. Hindsight is always 20/20.

13 REPLIES

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Dear Anonymous: Let me first start by saying that I'm sorry to hear that your military career is ending prematurely. I hope that this response helps you make the most of this situation. I think your overall best bet is to consult your Transition Assistance Program (TAP) at your Base or Installation. They're equiped to handle most of these questions. Since this is a relatively new reduction in force, the details may be a bit limited for a bit. Also, there can be several variables depending on your unique situation, rank, etc. Please consult the military-provided resources as your primary source of info. That said, here are a few things to consider once you've been updated from your branch of service: Should we be having conversations with our mortgage companies ahead of the separation or once we have no income source? I think you should take a look at the currently available options related to Loan Modifications, Short Sale or Foreclosure. Lots of programs exist out there. Understandibly so, you've asked this question as though you won't have an income source. Hopefully, it won't come to that and you will be able to land a career that keeps you where you wish to live. Some fact-finding as to your options might reveal things that can help you. Can we request a rate reduction or modification to the loans without affecting our credit rating? As mentioned above, all this depends on the course of action you take. In addition to all that, there are other considerations that I will defer to the folks at USAA to respond to. I will make sure this question gets routed to the appropriate person at USAA who can answer this best. We cannot sell one property since it is on lease until next year. How do you take advantage of the small window they are offering to move when you do not know where employment will be and may not have a job when the separation comes? It seems like it is use it or lose it. You may have some options on your lease due to the fact that you have a unique situation that's causing you to have to break your lease early. You may consult your legal assistance office for more guidance on this. As far as the small window of time available to make your move, I'm guessing you're referring to a government-paid move as you transition out of the military. The Transition Assistance Program should provide you the details here. However, if you can leverage the government-paid move as a benefit for a future Employer, that could work out great for you. For civilian companies to relocate new employees, the costs can be in the thousands of dollars depending on how far you have to move. Many companies try to recruit new talent locally in order to save money. After you've completed some job interviews and get to the point in the conversation about your ability to start working in any given city, it places you in a better position if you have a way to get moved at no expense to your new Employer. This could be a game-changer. What happens to your residency that was determined from his first assignment? Again, I'll defer to the details of Transition Assistance Program for this and the next question as well. Are we required to take residency, car and voter registration where we are on the day of separation or can we and for how long maintain that residency? I know I was not able to fully answer all of your questions. I'm confident that the details will be provided to you by the Air Force (as with all other branches of service affected by this) soon. You definitely put a lot of thought into how all this will affect you and I'd like to commend you on that! Being proactive is the key. I'd also like to invite you to take a look at the collection of articles shown on the rest of the USAA Military Spouse Community Blog. Lots of great information is available that's designed to help you prepare for many of the things you mentioned. Just keep in mind that your branch of service will spell out the specifics and you can formulate a plan based on those details. Thanks for your service and let me know if you have any additional questions!
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I am in the same situation. I do understand were you are coming from. My husband on the otherhand didnt get notice. The Navy made sure they let him go asap without consideration for his family. I have come to the conclusion that the military is no longer about family its has become a corporate business. We have small children as well and my husband is still trying to find work and is unable to as well. I am working temporary jobs and we are trying our best to make ends meet. I can say that there are some veteran resources out there that can help for one time assistance and they were very helpful for us, because we were at the point we didn't know if we were gonna be homeless or not. But as said before its only one time assistance. I will keep you guys in prayer. Because as said without prayer we have nothing and prayer has been keeping us together.
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My heart goes out to you and your family. I was lucky in 2000 I got to retire at 20 as an E5 in the Navy. get with your TAP Office. Get copies of Medical and Dental record for all. If your husband has any service connected medical problems make sure they are documented. (Back problems, Stomach, and injuries that have been reoccurring) . Join the VFW, DAV, if you have any medical problems happened in the service they will help you out PTSD too). 30% from the VA will get your college paid for under Chapter 31 Vocational rehab. If you get 50% or better you can get that paygrade earnings depending on 50% or above as disability. If you have a technical background (Electronics) O-Level Lockheed in Georgia is hiring. if your back ground is more in Logistics, go to UPS or FEDEX. Remember, you can use your vets preference in taking postal exams. Get your resume in order. Use K-Force, Manpower, or a temp agency to get your foot in the door of a job, but remember you are a temp, and be prepared to not have medical unless you pay dearly for it. Go to USAJobs.com look for federal service jobs. Border patrol hires, FBI, State Department, and so on. Good Luck, and thank you for your service.
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I was involuntarily separated from the AF after being passed over twice for Major. I can tell what transition assistance benefits we received 18 months ago. Confirm these with MPF (military personnel flight). Six months of free TriCare Prime, but you have to re-enroll after separation date (not terminal leave date). Two years of Commissary and BX privileges. One year to move household goods to location of choice. Lastly, separation pay. Your husband can also take advantage of the Transition Assistance Program Seminar (TAPS) by taking it multiple times even after separating. I took it twice (once each time I was passed over) and it helped me with resume development, networking (traditional and online), and the interview process. I was fortunate enough to be hired for a federal civilian job before my separation date. Spouses are welcome to attend all or part of this seminar as well (call Family Readiness for details). As for residency, it changes to the location you currently live at on the separation date (verify with MPF). My wife's advice is look into the Family Readiness programs (TAPS, govt resume workshops, etc...), network with anyone and everyone (TAPS helps with this), and don't let pride/shame/bitterness stand in the way of getting hired. Good luck to you and your family.
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Stop and take a deep breath! Your family has not lost the opportunity to get to the twenty year retirement. I think you have stated that you have the fifteen years already, so look for a Reserve/National Guard unit that might accept your skills. Don't forget to go immediately to any Veterans Hospital and get a VA Health Card, it helps in many ways with the high costs of medical insurance. Look to use the military time to get preferential hiring in Government Jobs. Sign up to work in a local/Federal cannidate's election office. If your family is going to be out of the active service role, get into the civilian role by making new connections. All is not lost, but you will have to make it work out yourself. You seem to have done that already so keep it up and my best wishes!
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Best advice I can give in 3 words,,, School, School, School,,,Go back to school,, In this day and age you cannot have enough education, even if you already have a Masters, go back to school,,College will not only give you time to reintegrate in to civilian life, you will be better prepared to compete in the work force,,,,,Good luck with the future
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The best job search engine is http://www.tweetmyjobs.com/ I have helped many people over the years to write their resume and know of many job search engines, but tweet my jobs is outstanding. ALL the jobs are current, as of the last hour or day. Have your husband sign up.
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He might want to take a look @ the Reserve or Guard now to see what his options are with benefits for your family too! Good luck and thanks for your patriotic service! AIR FORCE VET
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US rail roads love Vets NS, CSX, BNSF, UP, CN just go to there website and apply they will train you on the job if you are hired. They have the best benefits I have seen since I got out. Im a current NS conductor and I love my job.