According to a letter signed by 61 aviation officers, the US Army has altered the guidelines dictating service requirements to prevent soldiers from being discharged at their scheduled time, The Daily Caller reported.
With recruitment and retention failures plaguing all branches of the US military in recent years, the aviation officers allege that the Army is updating the service requirement guidelines for some officers to make up for the shortfall in personnel.
In a letter sent to at least 11 members of Congress, the aviation officers explain that in reinterpreting the language of the service contracts, the Army is preparing to add three years to the seven or eight years of service the airmen were initially promised.
One of the officers who spoke to the Daily Caller anonymously said the language in the contract signed by cadets at West Point or in ROTC contained confusing language. The officer said the contract is not a form from the Department of the Army.
Another officer who spoke to the Daily Caller agreed, calling the contract a “vague document.” He said he consulted with a JAG attorney who provided a different interpretation of the contract than the one the Army gave.
Central to their complaint is the three-year “Branch of Choice Active Duty Service Obligation” or BRADSO. Until recently, the Army permitted aviation officers to serve those three years concurrently with flight school.
However, the Army changed the rules requiring aviation officers to serve the 3-year BRADSO consecutively instead of concurrently with flight school, which tacks three additional years to the officers’ total service time.
Video footage obtained by the Daily Caller shows a Human Resource Command officer explaining in 2020 that the three years would be served concurrently with the Active-Duty Service Obligation flight school.
According to the officers who spoke to the Daily Caller, they were alerted to the change in February.
In their letter to lawmakers, the airmen are asking for an inquiry into the Army’s Human Resources Command citing mismanagement in its enforcement of Active-Duty Service Obligations for aviation officers in the Army.