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It is hard for me to write this, as I know many of you have been following my journey to commission through the NECP since last year. You all know how hard I have worked on my nursing pre-requisites, juggling school and working full-time. I just started volunteering in the Emergency Department at a local hospital to bolster my credentials. I may even go to an intensified night school soon to get my CNA license.
Everything I have accomplished in the last two years was to equip myself for admission into nursing school and the Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program. Unfortunately, Big Air Force has other plans.
Career Field Manning
I have written about the 3D1X1 career field before. When I came in, Client Systems was a career field I was happy with because I knew I would learn a lot and be able to pursue a Master’s Degree that would make me a lot of money someday. When my Air Force goals changed (A.K.A NECP), I knew there was a chance that the manning for 3D1X1’s could hold me back.
Last week, those fears came true when my career functional denied to release me to pursue the NECP.
I am not the only one who was denied. Other critically-manned AFSC’s, as well as other CSTs (Client Systems Technicians), were denied as well. Our career field has been low-manned for years, and I don’t know that the numbers will ever be where they need to be. I don’t know if I will ever be released in the 6-7 additional NECP cycles I will have to apply (if I re-enlist). Right now, as a SrA who could soon make Staff Sergeant, I am simply too critical to the mission, according to the numbers.
I am telling you this as a matter of fact. I’m not mad at the Air Force. I’m not blaming anyone. This is one of those situations where you say…
IT IS WHAT IT IS.
Right now, my chain of command is working the issue, but it’s not looking good for this year’s NECP application cycle.
To put it mildly, I am devastated. I lost my professional bearing and cried in the office when the email came my way. All of the thoughts about failure and what if’s came pouring into my brain. But this is life.
There will be setbacks. There will be failures. Things will be really hard, even when you’ve worked your butt off.
Right now, I feel confused about what to do. Again, I have many options, and many of my future decisions could be made out of fear. I only have a year and a half left of my enlistment. That’s enough to try for one more NECP application cycle before I have to make the decision to re-enlist or get out.
I don’t have to make any decisions right now, but it’s hard to not think about the future. I am a planner. Renavigating that plan is hard for me.
I need to pray about this. I ask that you pray for me as well if you are the praying type.
I still love the Air Force. I still recommend it wholeheartedly. Life is full of disappointments. This may be a setback, but I still have a great job with loving family and friends who support me. I make plenty of money every month and have all my needs met. This is definitely a FIRST-WORLD PROBLEM.
I hope if you’re going through your own setback, you are not letting it get you down. If you have any questions because you may also be pursuing a commission, or you are curious about what AFSCs are low-manned, etc., please feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have.