KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The Air Force has notified a Ramstein airman he is ineligible to defer his new assignment for a year so his son can graduate from Ramstein High School.

Master Sgt. Jeff Fohrman had planned to apply for the extension under the new High School Seniors Assignment Deferment Program so his son, Stephen, could stay at Ramstein.

But Jeff Fohrman said Air Force personnel officials told him he was not eligible for the program because he had applied too soon after the program was initiated on March 26.

Jeff Fohrman had already received his orders to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., when he applied for the deferment. He was the first airman in the Kaiserslautern area to complete the application.

“I got the package done and went to turn it in and got notified that I was never eligible to begin with,” said Jeff Fohrman, a section chief with the 723rd Air Mobility Squadron.

Typically, airmen must apply for the Air Force program at least 13 months before they are notified of their permanent change of station date, Chief Master Sgt. Brian Glasgow, of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Airmen Assignments Office, said Tuesday. Families with students graduating in 2006 will likely be the first to benefit from the program, he said.

Stephen Fohrman, 16, said he has accepted the fact that he is leaving the friends he went through high school with.

“It sucks. I was kind of hoping to stay,” he said Tuesday. “But I guess you kind of get used to it when your dad’s in the military. You get used to leaving all your friends and then you’ve got to make new friends.”

The family will leave Germany by June 30, Jeff Fohrman said. Stephen will finish his senior year at a public high school near Barksdale.

Glasgow said no other airmen have applied for extensions under the new program, but he expected applications to increase in the coming months.

The program allows Air Force members overseas to apply for a one-year assignment deferment to allow families with children in their senior year of high school to stay until the school year ends. The program is meant to provide stability to airmen and their families.

It is open to all senior master sergeants and below and officers up to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

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