Review Board Agency visitors share where to turn for help

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Three leaders from the Air Force Review Boards Agency visited here in March to share information on the agency’s mission and how it serves Total Force Airmen, Guardians, veterans and civil servants.

Col. Amy Brantley, Chief Master Sgt. Leah Chavez and Dr. Carrie Baker spoke with people in multiple base organizations, including several at Air Force Reserve Command headquarters, about the 11 statutory and secretarial boards and one review office that make up the AFRBA. They also discussed the life cycle of cases that span a wide variety of petitions, ranging from line of duty and personnel security appeals and equal employment opportunity complaints to review of alleged errors or injustices, inequities or improprieties related to an administrative action or medical decision.

Brantley, the Reserve advisor to the AFRBA director and Discharge Review Board president, briefed one example of how an AFRBA board can provide administrative relief. She noted that following the recission of the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, as of the end of March 2024, all 98 cases received related to veterans discharged solely for declining the vaccination were granted full relief by the Discharge Review Board.

Full relief includes an upgrade of the service characterization to “honorable,” the narrative reason to “secretarial authority” and the reentry code to 3K, which allows a veteran to be able to apply for reenlistment into the military.

Chavez, AFRBA’s senior enlisted leader, briefed several Reserve functional managers on when and how applicants can apply to the various boards. She explained that since AFRBA boards are at the secretariat level, often there are steps applicants must first take to ensure applications are not returned for “failure to exhaust” other remedies.

She noted that the online MyFSS system and the Air Reserve Personnel Center usually offer the best places to start for most administrative corrections. She also encouraged turning to the AFRBA website and online application portal for a wealth of information that can assist potential applicants.

Chavez also took back questions to AFRBA’s Security Personnel Directorate regarding processing times for foreign government employment applications and the personnel security appeals process from a unit perspective.

Finally, as director of the Air Force Civilian Appellate Review Office, Baker briefed the major command functional managers on the AFCARO mission and updates on the reasonable accommodation process. She also held meetings with teams from civilian personnel, labor law and finance which yielded fruitful discussions on how AFCARO supports the Air Reserve Technician community and identified additional areas for building key partnerships.

Baker’s team supports the uniformed members in the processing of military equal opportunity appeals and serves the civilian work force as the trusted agents to process the formal EEO complaints – from receipt of the formal investigation through the complaint hearing process and issuance of either a final agency decision or final order, to appeals and compliance.

Before departing, the AFRBA leaders offered to hold a virtual briefing with those unable to attend any of the sessions during their three-day visit. They were especially looking forward to continuing to share information on the AFRBA mission at the upcoming Air Force Reserve Force Support Squadron/Senior Enlisted Leaders Conference in July.