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Shortfall list provides career opportunities

Shortfall list provides career opportunities

Staff Sgt. Gregory Spearman, explosive ordinance team leader with the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, examines a simulated explosive device during an exercise at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, March 6, 2018. Spearman’s Air Force Specialty Code is one of nearly 40 currently on the Air Force shortfalls requirements list, which means eligible Airmen are more likely to be approved for retraining should they apply for those jobs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- For Airmen looking for new career opportunities in the Air Force, the Shortfalls Requirements List may provide a near surefire way to get a highly-desired job.

Nearly 40 jobs are currently on the list and include everything from pararescue, to explosive ordinance disposal, to chaplain assistant.

“The shortfall list is particularly advantageous for new Airmen to pursue because you don’t have to meet the typical minimum time requirements to retrain,” said Master Sgt. Janelle Amador, career assistance advisor with the 50th Force Support Squadron.

Typically, first term Airmen may not apply to retrain into another specialty until the last year of their contract. First term Airmen, (not already in a shortfall AFSC) have an opportunity to apply for shortfall jobs at their half-way point.

Career Airmen may apply for retraining at any time.

Amador said there are several reasons Airmen should consider the shortfall list.


“The bonuses can be a huge incentive,” Amador said. “The amount of money offered as a signing or reenlistment bonus can help set you up financially for the future or take care of debt.”

The exact amounts of bonuses are broken into zones calculated by the variables in skill level, experience and amount of years for which someone is enlisting or reenlisting.

Jobs like survival, evasion, resistance and escape, pararescue and certain airborne cryptologic language AFSCs, have bonuses approaching $90,000 for certain zones.

Post-Air Force career:

“There’s nothing wrong with serving your country honorably while also setting yourself up for a post Air Force career,” Amador said. “That’s smart planning. You can make good money on the outside doing many of these jobs.”

According to Amador, air traffic control, medical diagnostic imaging and flight engineer are examples of shortfall jobs that pay well in the civilian sector.


“Consider the inflight refueling AFSC,” Amador said. “You get to fly all over the world, receive flight pay and experience cultures you maybe wouldn’t get to otherwise.”

Flight attendant, airborne cryptologic language analyst, and airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operator are other examples of flying opportunities.

Staff Sgt. Gregory Spearman, explosive ordinance team leader with the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, joined his AFSC for the experience; in his case, the experience of making a difference.

“When I first joined the Air Force, I had no idea what EOD was,” Spearman said. “But through our preliminary course and tech school I learned how important this job is and how you can truly save lives. Throughout the long hours of training, I understood more and more what I was being trained to do and fell in love.”

While Spearmen encourages anyone interested to apply, he offered sage advice.

“You're going to be tested in many different ways and if you think you are the expert and that you can't be taught anything new, you're wrong,” he said. “No matter how long you have been in the military or EOD there is always room for improvement.”

Spearman, stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, knows firsthand about being tested as he recently suited up to diffuse a simulated explosive device at Schriever Air Force Base during an exercise.

“Emergency responses can happen anytime, anywhere, so being ready and being current on all of your training is a must,” he said. “Also, being able to work as a team is a must. Stateside or
deployed, you're going to have at least one team member with you and your job is to keep each other safe.”

Amador stressed the importance of understanding the gravity of a career change.

“If you’re considering changing course in your career, I strongly advise you to come see me first so I can guide you through the process,” she said. “It’s important you understand the impact of decisions you make when it comes to your career.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Amador, call 719-567-5927. Airmen at Peterson AFB can call Master Sgt. Matthew Heenan at 719-556-9226.

To view the current shortfall list, Airmen can log into MyPers and click on the retraining link. For civilians looking to start an exciting Air Force career, Amador suggested they visit their local recruiter to determine all of their options.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui