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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force is reinstating a Career Job Reservation program for first-term airmen that will limit the number of slots in 30 overmanned specialties.

Beginning May 1, all first-term airmen must have an approved career job reservation to re-enlist.

Airmen in one of the 30 specialties officials have determined are “constrained,” or overmanned, will be placed on a waiting list and “rank ordered” to compete monthly for available slots, according to Master Sgt. Randy Mitchell, a spokesman for the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

If an airman has not gotten a CJR in the job he or she wants by the end of the re-enlistment window, he or she will have to retrain into a shortage career field or leave the service, Mitchell said in a Wednesday e-mail to Stripes.

Rank order will shift as people enter and leave the lists, and is determined by seven factors: any unfavorable information on file, top three enlisted performance reports, current grade, projected grade, date of rank, total active federal military service date and date of birth.

The Air Force used CJRs back in the late 1990s, when retention was poor, as a way to keep airmen in the specialties they signed up to perform, according to service officials.

Now that the force is over its congressionally authorized end strength by 16,000 airmen, the CJR is a way “to ensure the service keeps people only in career fields where they are needed,” Mitchell said.

Four-year enlistees may apply for CJRs on the first duty day of the month during which they complete 35 months on their current enlistments, but no later than the last duty day of the month during which they complete 43 months of their enlistments.

Six-year enlistees must apply between 59 months’ and 67 months’ service.

For more information on the CJR and a list of constrained job fields, airmen should go to their Military Personnel Flight’s re-enlistment office.

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