Retired Airmen invited to return to active duty

| February 8, 2024

The Air Force is leveraging a solution it hopes will help it fill its manpower needs. They are looking to fill up to 1,000 enlisted and mid-career commissioned positions. Should they apply and get accepted, they could look at four to six months before they are back on active service. They will serve no more than 48 months.

From The Military Times:

The service announced Wednesday that it will reopen a recall program to fill as many as 1,000 mid-career commissioned and enlisted jobs, including pilots, combat systems officers, recruiters, air traffic controllers and more. The move comes as the Air Force looks to plug critical staffing holes, facing renewed tensions in the Middle East and possibility of conflict with China.

The application window for the Voluntary Retired Return to Service Program opens Thursday, the Air Force said in a release. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2026, to serve on active duty for no more than 48 months. Those selected can expect to return to uniform between four and six months after they apply.

“The VRRAD program is a strategic enabler to embrace experienced talent, tapping into a valuable resource of retired members to fill critical roles to close the gap against our peer competitors,” Lt. Gen. Caroline Miller, the service’s uniformed personnel chief, said in a release.

The program is limited to commissioned officers who held the rank of captain through lieutenant colonel, as well as former enlisted staff sergeants through senior master sergeants.

The Military Times has additional information here.

Category: Air Force, Retired Issues

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“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in…”


They aren’t pulling me back in with anything short of a D12 dozer.


At the rate things are going, I’ll have retiree recall orders in-hand the day before my MRD finally arrives effective the day afterward.

Last edited 5 months ago by Anonymous

OIF redux, brother.

Back in 2005, active Army guys were getting their IRR notices before they even ETS’d.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

ROFLOL (gasp…gasp) Wait…..wait…….wait……I’ve served to retirement. Gotten (kicked) out, moved on, gotten a new job, a new life.
And now you want ME to quit MY job, sign up, meet who knows what standards, wait up to six months, serve for two years, get kicked out (again), then start all over again looking for another civilian job. And who knows what the economy will be like? Just because YOU f**ked up and can’t recruit or retain?
I have a two word, two finger response for you.

You left out the part about going to fight in a s******* country, because; reasons. I really don’t have any complaints about my service. Like all stories It had a beginning, a middle and an end.

When I was in Iraq in ’07-08, there was a major that came out of retirement at the age of 56. I never met the guy but he deployed near us. Then he got all blowed up. He would probably still be alive today enjoying time with the grandkids. A lesson like that sticks with you.


Plus, what if you have your dream job of being a pilot with a major airline, making 250K a year, and now the Chairforce wants you back for 3 to 4 years, and then sticks you in a desk job.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

As an addendum….I’m over seventy, more than 20 years retired, and a 10% “disability”. Even if Big Gov were to waiver all three, I’d still laugh in their face and say “HELL NO!”

My grandfather was in his early 90s but still up and around with a driver’s license, etc. and expected to be called for something, even if it was only to free up younger ambulatory folk at the schoolhouse for the war, when we were this short (or not even) last time.

Last edited 5 months ago by Anonymous

Must be able to “woke”


This one can woke. But since she is wandering the streets of New York City in 2024 with a stack of resumes, I doubt she can pass the ASVAB, because who does that with a communications degree?

She can’t find a job so she cries her eyes out in public. Therefore she’s lacking on physical courage and is a drama queen, literally.

She says she speaks three languages, which would make her perfect for all kinds of jobs from intelligence to public affairs. But she has zero life skills and therefore would be a complete mess.

It’s not so much that we can’t get people to join, I’m not sure we want them to.


“Army? Eww.” she says.


She also has a degree in acting/theater, so she may just be performing for her TikTok audience. I also suspect she is gettin ad revenue from her TikTok performances.


You don’t say…


A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and one in communications neither are high demand degrees.

Did she learn how to say Do you want fries with that? in all three of those languages.


Well, the Ukraine is drafting all men 16-60.



Option “B”


Oddly enuf, the DRASH and the D-rash smell about the same…

‘Sorry, not sorry’ ’bout the mental image! Sapper started it!


OK I laughed way harder than I should have because I’ve seen this meme all over the place.
I never expected it to be used in this context, and it’s funnier


I don’t even want to know what “unpacking the conex” is code for. But if it is actually unpacking the conex it’s going to be a lot more than 200.


Oh, I can guarantee you if you want a happy ending and have to repack the Connex that’s an extra $ 250.


Our motorpool guy in Viet of the Nam bunked in a conex.


Before it was called a CHU.


Still waiting for an apology (and firing of all responsibile) for all who were kicked out, forced to retire or bar for re enlistment for the covid experimental gene therapy experiment…


That’s what I was thinking. Of course this administration would rather see the military incredibly weakened then go back on that one.


And tattoos! Remember that one?


Nah. I’m 7 years into retirement (USMC) and got 3 years before the magic “30” before they can fuck off for good. I’m still within height/weight standards and live outside the base still (work for county government). They can get fucked with a garden hose if they think I would even CONSIDER coming back in.

Actually: you throw a commission to Captain/above…I’d CONSIDER it.


Bring back the NDSM and I’ll consider a second hitch.


I can’t carry 3.

Hack Stone

That’s our cross to bear.

Old tanker

I retired from the Army 24 years ago next May. Do ya think the AF might have a drone operator position open. I spent a lot of time playing combat flight sims back in the day. I’ve always wondered if a reaper drone could do a loop or a chendelle.


Thank God I’m too old to be called back in. The Navy couldn’t handle old bitter me after an 80-day op.


Annnd goes to look….. 60. I’M OUT.
Not to mention a certain percentage of disability, that’s a significant number.


Yup, wife is slightly concerned if shit pops off in the middle east/Ukraine I could be called back in, but after a certain percentage on the VA, they can’t fucking afford me!


I deployed at 60%, came home and talked to my VSO, UP UP UP.


Let them deploy me one more time! I’ll be at the tMC every morning at opening time and a stack of LODs wait high.

I always hated those guys. Now looking back, they may have been smarter than me.


Oh, man.

I retired with a whopping 10%. I dare you to bring me back.


The program was expanded in 2018 during a 2,000-pilot shortfall. In 2019, Air Force Times found that the program had received only 125 applicants, 50 of whom were pilots.

I’m sure that the military-friendly Biden Administration will have better luck. LOL


Some pilots can make more in service than they can out. Civilian airlines are no longer dominated by military pilots like they used to be. The guy flying a crappy commuter route is making about the same as a big city bus driver, sometimes less.


“big city bus driver”

You mean like this guy?


But, the pilot has a lot more “benefits”😉

Mike B

So the AF wants to bring back Retirees and possibly the Warrant Officer rank.

Tells you how bad the AF is suffering for people.

To bad my DD-214 says permanently disability retired or I would come back in for another hitch.,remedy%20its%20longstanding%20pilot%20shortage.

USAF Retired






We had to buy this album to listen to the song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”.
We still have THIS original album…

Here is the drum solo from the album/song. 4 Minutes.

Enjoy! We Did (And Still Do!)


Was a station in St. Louis that played this every night at 10..after about two months the DJ said “they can fire me, but I’ve had it” and played “Alice’s Restaurant” instead. He got fired…then rehired after a week of fan protests. First thing he did was splay AR again. Still wonder if it was all just a stunt…he was still with the station 30 years later.


That one song was half the album…


All of Side A.

Hack Stone

So the patriotic and eager to server LBGQT+*}# Community is not filling the void? Probably because they do not want to get assigned to a duty station in a State that will not allow them to access to reproductive healthcare, better known as abortion.


😆😆😂😂😂! True, very, very true

Milo Mindbender

I am 28 months short of 60, and just got informed they will not do a waiver package to extend beyond 60. My unit would rather shortfall the manning than extend me beyond 60. I guess that I will fade away, and go about my retired life, with no guilt, or regrets in this regard. After over 40 years between active, reserves, and guard service, I think I may be ready to hang it up.

Last edited 5 months ago by Milo Mindbender

I’m right behind you with a 5-year plan. Retire at 58 with 41 years of service between Compos 1, 2 and 3


If I make it!


When Big Navy recommissioned Iowa-class Battleships a bunch of Fleet Reserve Machinist Mates, Enginemen and Boiler Techs were recalled ’cause no one on AD knew how to run the things.
They were not happy Sailors.


“…Iowa-class Battleships…” Now THAT’s a proper floating Artillery Platform! Iffen I could park “Big Mo” in one of the Kaolin Pit/Lakes nearby, I could effectively cover The North Wall of Firebase Magnolia, Forward Operating Base Hawkins Hill, AND Combat Out Post CRC Timber Ranch. Be still my beating heart!

Good luck, Wing Wipers…ya shouldn’t have run off all the whyte boys.


Ah, The Reagan years. 16-in guns are badass but, You know there was a plan to put a VLOS system in the battleship? Can you imagine? At 58,000 short tons It could have carried 500 missiles. One ship could have wiped out the entire Russian fleet single-handedly. Four of them could have taken on the entire world and won.


It’s being discussed again. Missiles ain’t cheap/plentiful and 5in guns only do so much for so far.


There’s something to be said for being able to simultaneously drop 9 Volkswagen sized projectiles on someone 20+ miles away…

A Proud Infidel®™

Talk about “Reach out and touch someone”, I remember being taught that the Minimum Safe Distance when calling a 16″ Naval Round in was 2 MILES!


The 5-in gun does shoot farther But of course doesn’t have the punch. The idea was to overwhelm with precision and rounds. But it never saw much use.

Using a battleship as mobile artillery seems a waste in today’s environment. When you think about all the capability of lasers and drones and missiles and everything else You could do a lot with a huge warship. Certainly the tomahawk launcher showed that capability during the Persian Gulf War. Being able to do a lot of over a large area is what Will be needed when China invades Taiwan.


Yep…add the VLOS System and I could defend most of the Southland’s Eastern Seacoast, My Daughter’s place east of Tampa, Brothers’ places on the Gulf of LA (Lower Alabama), and a good portion of the kinfolks south of Memphis in Mississippi. Could cover ’bout the same area if I parked Her (BB-63) off the coast of Savannah, but then I wouldn’t be able to see the rounds going down range like I could if She was parked in one of them great big Kaolin Pit/Lakes that are scattered all around my AO….or be close enough to Her to take advantage of a mid-rats visit.


These badasses remember.


You know 90% of that movie was b******* but for entertainment value, 10 out of 10. I also thought that Colonel Gadson’s performance was first rate.


“Sir, are we really firing on Oahu?”

“Sure looks that way.”

“Hoooly SHIT!”

Met my share of old Navy BTs sailing as firemen/watertenders on the old steamships/freighters years ago and they were a unique, hard charging bunch. Amusing as all hell and damn proud of their rate.

Dennis - not chevy

I’d recommend the USAF re-admit only those retirees who took GS or WG gov’t jobs. Those of us who went into the private sector are now in a world of, “If it doesn’t show a profit, we aren’t doing it”.


I’m too old. About 15 years ago I was asked to consider the Rated recall program. I could have gone to Langley as a staff guy, something I had done before.


I recall my dad in ’90, just before Desert Shield/Storm: “I could get on the phone, put at least two, maybe three B-52 crews together in a couple hours. Pretty sure we can still hit what we aim at. We could end this shit right now, let all you young guys stay home”. He retired in ’68.


My father’s uncle, an “Old Breed” Marine who had been part of the Marine detachment onboard USS Enterprise on Dec 7 1941 and later was at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and later Inchon and Chosin Reservoir. After he retired from USMC served 25+ years as a sheriff’s deputy was a little long in the tooth and had no illusions he should go to the sandbox. But he told me he felt he could hold down a Combat position, but he figured he could go be an NCOIC at a Stateside Marine Barracks or something similar and free up an able bodied Marine to do the Lord’s work. His wife, my great aunt told him thats what WMs were for and that’s what she had been doing during WWII when they met.

My Dad was working for the Marine Corps as a civil service WL-12 keeping the flight simulators mission capable so crews/replacements could be sharp. He pretty much accepted his fate and I piled on saying he had a secondary mission of taking care of his kids pets while they were deployed.


You guys throw me to the wolves, and now you want me to go back out there.

Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley


Of course,

comment image

Last edited 5 months ago by Anonymous

HAHAHAHA! How about NO!

I missed this ridiculous news flash from the “Good Idea Faeries” of my former service the other day. You know while I was out doing more medical appointments for all the things the USAF broke on me before they kicked my wrecked butt to the curb a decade ago.
I had to go check a half dozen AF focused sites to confirm I wasn’t being messed with… Wow, just wow….

Prior Service

I retire in June but already got one retiree recall offer from branch. Do I want to work in Orlando?

The pay is decent but my wife and my body both say “no!”


Wearing that Goofy costume all day, Just got to be hot


Going from one Mickey Mouse outfit to another 😉

Last edited 5 months ago by SFC D

We all retire for our own reasons, three of the most common ones being that we’re forced to retire due to rank and time in service caps, we set life goals beyond the military, and we grow tired of the military lifestyle (PCS every 2-4 years, toxic leadership, missing important family events, maintaining a “standard” that is usually relaxed for certain individuals, etc.).

For me, it was the two latter ones. I spent 17 years doing what the Army told me to do. While my peers were constantly deploying and getting promoted, I wasted away on recruiting, then staff, then Drill Sergeant duty, neglecting my own self-care and family for the Army and getting little reward for it. After nearly 11 years as an E-6, I finally made E-7, but when I got back to The Old Guard, the toxic leadership ran supreme in my company. I did what I had to do and spent my final four years working in Big Boy world, at JTF-NCR/USAMDW and PEO Soldier. I found working with O-6s and GS-13s and higher much more tolerable than dealing with young 1SGs and CPTs.

They could try to pull me back in, but I doubt I’d be qualified. That 100% P&T rating has to carry some weight, and frankly, the 21 years I spent separated from my family isn’t something I want to do again. I met some very good friends, some lifelong buddies I can call out of nowhere and have a couch to sleep on and served with some outstanding Soldiers. But I also saw every type of toxic leader the military has to offer.


Let’s see:

The Squad Leader envious that one of his Team Leaders sported a CIB and more medals than he did (TOG, 2005)

The Station Commander who lied and sexually harassed every female that came into the station, this after being fired from his previous station.

The CUOPS CPT who thought that keeping his NCOs at work hours after everyone else left for the day would make up for his lack of career progress. This guy once told me that if any of the O-3s at the Battalions gave me pushback to let him know, because he was “the most senior CPT in the Brigade”.

The PSG who felt his dual tabs made up for his lack of knowledge in running a Leg Infantry platoon. As I always say, he was a great guy personally, but one of the worst NCOs I’ve known professionally. Same guy threatened to fire me for running my squad how I saw fit.

The “Battle Buddies” on the Trail that looked out for themselves over everything. These guys would throw you under the bus if you weren’t there to defend yourself, getting time off while you were stuck doing additional duties because you weren’t able to attend the training meeting.

The Company “Command” Team during my second tour in TOG. Micromanaging, keeping the company at work hours after the rest of the Regiment were released, and generally just emitting an uneasy aura that caused me to take a knee and “fail” upward.

I bitch, I know, but I doubt the military wants Retirees like me who experienced the best and the worst and who want to take care of Soldiers more than “Leaders”.


“the most senior CPT in the Brigade”. Not something to be proud of.

As for the nice guy personally, I did an NCOER for the OPS NCO, when I was an Expeditionary Signal Company OPS OFF (CO XO), I did my job and his. He was terrible. Good guy but a waste of space and stripes operationally. We had 17 points of presence across Southern Afghanistan and he never could tell you where any of our Soldiers were. I get a call from the CSM raising hell about the NCOER and how that could hurt the E7s career, to which I replied “good”! He wanted me to rewrite it, and I refused. About two months later, that CSM was relieved, and sent back to the states.

Shitbirds come in all ranks. I’ve seen them from E1 all the way to GO.


I took an early out rather than offer myself up to the AW Detailers for one more sea tour. One of my better career choices.


8000 Military Members were separated for refusing the Covid vaccine….NOW “The Brass” is short of people?

Green Thumb

Yeah. Not.


i’d do it but I need to lose 60 lbs…4 more years at 3.5% retirement per year would be icing on the cake.