Retention recommendation forms critical for ERB, QFRB eligibles
By Debbie Gildea, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
/ Published March 04, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Commanders and senior raters of enlisted Airmen slated to meet the quality force review board in May or an enlisted retention board in June must complete an AF Form 3538E, Enlisted Retention Recommendation Form, for each eligible Airman, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. Completed forms must be provided to Airmen and submitted to AFPC by April 4 for the QFRB and May 17 for the ERB.
The retention recommendation form, although common to the officer retention program, is new to enlisted members, said Will Brown, evaluation and recognition programs branch chief.
"Commanders and senior raters who have never completed an RRF for officers may need some guidance on how to complete one," Brown said. "The form is self-explanatory for the most part, but there are sections - like the stratification section - that require commanders to assess their Airmen and rank-order them based on which Airmen have exhibited traits and behaviors that indicate they are suited for retention, so completing the ERRFs will require that commanders and senior raters thoroughly review their Airmen's records."
Board-eligible Airman lists have been provided to military personnel sections for distribution to commanders and senior raters, and information about the form and how to complete it is available in the personnel systems delivery memo on myPers. Lists will be periodically updated in the event eligible Airmen are added or removed from the lists.
With some exceptions at the major command, combatant command, numbered Air Force and field operating agency levels, recommendation forms for technical sergeants and below will be completed by administrative unit commanders. For senior noncommissioned officers, forms will be completed by the senior rater.
The form includes a job description section for duty title and key duties and responsibilities. That information can be pulled from the last enlisted performance report, unless an Airman has changed jobs since the last report, Brown said. In that case, the new supervisor/rater should provide information for the job description section.
In addition, the form has a block for mandatory evaluator comments.
"This section is limited to three bullets, which should relay to the retention board the unique qualities and skills the Airman possesses and justification for retaining the Airman in the Air Force," Brown explained.
For the ERB, commanders or senior raters must then "stratify" their Airmen to let board members know how Airmen compare to others in their current Air Force specialty codes and grades, and how they compare to others by grade only. QFRB-eligible Airmen will not be stratified.
Stratification means differentiating between very good, good, average and poor performers, based on the whole person concept, he explained.
After stratifying an Airman, the commander or senior rater will select the "retain," "consider" or "do not retain" block, print and hand-sign the form, provide each Airman with a copy of his or her form, and submit all forms to the Air Force Personnel Center.
Airmen eligible to meet the ERB or QFRB must be provided with a copy of their ERRFs at least 30 days before their board meets, said Brown. That enables Airmen who dispute or have concerns with the comments, ratings or stratification to discuss their concerns with their commander or senior rater.
"An Airman may also write a letter directly to the board to address any concerns in his or her record. This correspondence should be focused on factual information, rather than opinion or emotion, and the letter is limited to one page, so information must be very clear and specific," Brown said.
Airmen slated to meet the ERB or QFRB can find more information about the program and the ERRF on the myPers website. Go to https://mypers.af.mil and enter "FY14 Force Management Programs." Once on the FM page, scroll down to the enlisted only programs section and review the documents linked there.