USAF Shortens Tours for Special Duty Assignments

Air Force basic military training trainees listen closely to Military Training Instructor MSgt. Michael Hernandez, a Reserve citizen airman with the 433rd Training Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas. Air Force photo by Sy Pinthong.

The Air Force is shortening tour lengths for several special duty assignments following input from airmen and career field managers who called for a reduction in time spent in these positions.

Military training instructors, military training leaders, Air Education and Training Command technical training instructors with certain Air Force Specialty Code prefixes, and professional military education instructors located stateside will now serve three-year tours instead of four, according to an Air Force release.

Recruiters, however, will remain in the four-year tour because “building and maintaining community outreach efforts” is critical to recruiting success, according to the release.

“The Air Force is committed to returning our experienced and professional workforce to their operational career fields and reducing the unique stressors associated with these special duty tours,” Second Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy said in the release.

Airmen assigned to these positions on or after July 1 will receive the three-year assignment, and those already serving in the position have 30 days to either accept a three-year tour or stick with their original four, according to the release.

Airmen surveyed earlier this year reported that “assignment fatigue” increased at about the three-year mark of a tour, with issues of shift work, demands outside duty hours, and time away from their operational career fields the primarily causes of stress, according to the Air Force.