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Over the last couple of years, in a reckless and deeply unpopular policy move, now-retired E-9 James Cody pushed through mandatory timelines for developmental course completion — timelines that imposed strict consequences on airmen who failed to meet them, regardless of the circumstances. This was done without making sure the testing resources were in-place, and it was done without anyone actually reviewing and quality-checking the course materials, which turned out to be riddled with issues.

It was also done without giving airmen the commensurate time or focus to get the requirements finished. It felt like just another harassment program. Airmen fed this back and were ignored, marginalized, and threatened with punishment if they didn’t shut up about it.

Then, despite common sense and a mountain of evidence showing it was hurting the service, the deadlines were enforced anyway, leaving 9,300 airmen ineligible for promotion, reenlistment, and in many cases reassignment. Again, complaints ensued, and again, nothing happened.

And then, the Air Force blinked.

In an email that went our yesterday from the Pentagon to personnel offices in the field, the Air Staff has ordered removal of the codes restricting reenlistment (though not promotion, notably) based on missing the course completion deadline.

That’s all the detail we have at the moment. 

More soon.