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Promotion Requirements in the Air Force Reserve

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The Air Force Reserve is part of the Reserved Forces. They provide trained units and qualified personnel who are ready for active duty in the Air Force in time of war or national emergency, or whenever the national security is in jeopardy. An Air Force Reservist is eligible for promotion. However, he must meet specific criteria before he is recommended as eligible for promotion.

Recommendation for Promotion

The first step to a successful promotion within the Air Force Reserve is by recommendation of your immediate commander. The goal of the Air Force is to promote officers using a just and reasonable competitive selection system. You will have to prove yourself, based on past performance and future potential, so that you can move forward.

Promotion Eligibility

To be eligible for promotion within the United States Air Force you must meet a variety of certain criteria such as completing basic training, participation and weight requirements. Individuals must also meet the Air Force's Unit Vacancy Promotion criteria or be deemed an individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMAs). You must also meet all the basic requirements of the Unit Vacancy Promotion criteria and prove that you have been adequately involved in both your fiscal year and Retention/Retirement (R/R) year. Reservists are required to attain appropriate skill level for their grade. Also, they must meet the minimum time in grade/time-in-service and continue to further their professional military education (PME)

Extended Promotion

To qualify for an extended promotion you must complete all the same requirements necessary for a promotion within the Air Force Reserve. However, there is an additional requirement that extends the satisfactory service requirement to 16 years.

Promotion Enhancement Program (PEP)

Promotion Enhancement Program allows merit-worthy and exceptional Air Force Reserve members to move one grade above the authorized grade for that specific position. These promotions are determined by your established ability to serve in the next higher grade. To qualify for this promotion you must meet all the eligibility requirements previously stated except being in a higher graded position.

Withholding Promotion

Promotion within the Air Force Reserve is mandatory because Congress sets the size for the active duty branch of the service and the percentage that is allowed to rise to the next pay grade. This formula makes it necessary and mandatory for annual promotions. Although you may be eligible for a promotion; there may be prior existing conditions that may withhold your promotion. Your name may be removed from the eligibility list because all requirements have not been met. If you are the subject of an inquiry or investigation that may result in action under UCMJ or prosecution by civil authorities, your promotion will be withheld. To avoid ineligibility for promotion, make sure that all requirements are completed and current.


Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.

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