Cross-training Guide

Cross training is a difficult process.  When your career is at stake, it pays to know all of the rules to contradict all of the nay-sayers you may inevitably encounter along the process.


Learn the Retraining AFI inside and out.  If you assume your local retraining office are experts at the retraining process, you are wrong.  AFI 36-2626 Airman Retraining Program (pdf) is your foundational guidance on your availability to retrain and when.

The Retrain Shortfall Requirements List is a MyPERS memo that states Airmen requesting to crosstrain to Battlefield Airmen careers (and a few others) may do so earlier than noted in the AFI.  Simply stated, you may crosstrain at the half way point of your enlistment.

The Crossflow Retraining Policy states that any Airmen that meets cross-training and eligibility requirements may pursue cross-training into Battlefield Airmen career fields.  This memo largely addresses candidates that were having difficulty being released from their original AFSC’s Career Field Manager (CFM) due to having their own manning issues.

Retraining Process

To start the retraining process, go to MyPERS and click on the ‘Apply for Retraining’ link.  Inside, take a look at the ‘Online myPers Retraining Advisory and Retraining Advisory Notes‘ to see how many slots are available.  Note: This quota for battlefield airman slots in the past has not always been accurate.  The career field AETC Functional is ultimately the guy that has the best handle on how many slots are available.

Next, check out the Enlisted Classification Directory (ECD) and look at the retraining requirements for the career field you are interested in.  Also have a look at the ECD Attachment 4 for other requirements.  Some of the requirements you’ll want to keep an eye on are ASVAB score, Time In Service limit, Rank limits, among others.

Expect to need these documents for submittal:
-CC recommendation letter
-Class III Flight Physical (med reqt details on this page)
-Completed PAST Test (more info here)
-125a (if applicable; see note).  To request your 125a, request through the BA Training Group Registrar at

*Note: The 125a is an AETC form for Record of Administrative Action, utilized to document failure or SIE from a previous selection course.  If you have been to Battlefield Selection course in the past, you will have a 125a on file with the Battlefield Airmen Training Group Registrar.


-The career assistance adviser is your advocate for retraining.  Each installation has a career assistance adviser and some have more than one. These folks have access to AFPC and AETC subject matter experts and can guide you through the process of retraining and interpreting the AFI.

-Unit First Sergeant and Chief Master Sergeants are largely put in place to assist airmen with issues that they encounter throughout their career.  Many young airmen may be hesitant to reach out to their senior grade Chief and Shirt, but these guys have built local and Air Force wide relationships and know how to reach out to people directly to get things done.

-The Forums are designed for guys to ask questions about any issue.  There is a subforum dedicated to Crosstraining where PJs past, present and future are available to offer advice.


Once AFPC has accepted your crosstrain package, you can expect to receive an email notification from the career field you are applying for.  PJ and CCT conduct a Phase II selection at least twice a year.  TACP conducts a phone interview and Phase II.  The Phase II selection is a one week tryout to see if you have what it takes.  Crosstrainees are strictly evaluated and must meet standards in which the Phase II cadre have set.

Crosstrainees inherently have a higher level of discrimination placed against them.  They are expected to be leaders in a multitude of disciplines- physical, mental and leading others.  When crosstrainees quit at selection, it can produce devastating results- typically bringing a few non-prior service guys with them out the door.  If crosstrainees go to Phase II selection meeting or slightly exceeding PAST standards, they will fail at Phase II.



ETCA Information for PJ Phase II


TITLE: Pararescue Retraining Assessment & Selection–Phase II

AFSC: Various

CATEGORY: Technical

SECURITY: Unclassified




LENGTH: 6 Days (Including Travel)


Contact:  HQ/AETC A3TB (Pararescue Training Pipeline Manager DSN: 487-9464)

Course Description:  This course provides in-service enlisted Airmen an opportunity to assess for selection and approved retraining into the 1T2X1 (Pararescue) career field. Individuals will be required to complete the retraining application through AFPC and AETC prior to being selected to attend this assessment.  During the assessment candidates will be required to perform:

  • A Physical Fitness Test on Day 1, which includes:
    • 3 Mile Run; 1500m Swim; Pullups; Situps; Pushups
  • Running up to 4 miles
  • Heavy Calisthenics (Push-ups/sit-ups/Body Weight Exercises, etc.)
  • Ruck March – Carrying rucksack w/50 lbs. for 4-5 miles on uneven terrain
  • Carrying Heavy weight (patient litters and equipment) for extended distances
  • Lifting heavy weight using proper lifting techniques and moving extended distances
  • Problem solving skills under stress, and in a team environment
  • Face-to-Face Interviews (Communication Skills)
  • Water skills – display skill and confidence in order to complete Pararescue Indoctrination Course and USAF Combat Dive School training. This includes being able to conduct:
    • Repeated 25 meter underwater swims on a [2:30] interval
    • At least 2 Minutes of sustained treading water with hands out of the water
    • Buddy Breathing from a Snorkel (Survival float with partner and share a snorkel to breath while undergoing simulated rough water conditions)
    • Mask and Snorkel Recovery (Underwater swim to equipment, don, and clear water from mask and snorkel, without removing lips from snorkel)


Enrollment Procedures:  Quotas to this course are obtained through HQ AETC/A3TB. Individuals will be notified by HQ AETC/A3TB when they have been selected for the assessment and will be required to complete additional administrative actions as directed.

Equipment Required:  Personnel selected to attend Phase II must report with the following standard Air Force equipment and uniforms:

  • Appropriate Civilian clothing required for travel
  • Service Dress Uniform with all accoutrements
  • 2x sets of serviceable Garrison ABUs
  • 2x sets of Field ABUs (These will get wet/dirty/etc)
  • 1x set garrison use boots
  • 1x set of broken-in field/ruck boots (no steel-toed)
  • 4x sets of tan shirts with LAST name (only) stenciled on Front and Back high centered (coordinate within the team for uniformity)
  • 4x sets black shorts for PT (Soffe style, or runner’s shorts)
  • 1x pair of broken-in running shoes
  • Undergarments (underwear, t-shirts, and extra socks) as needed
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Cold weather gear (jacket, gloves, thermal underwear and stocking cap)
    • As required during cold months, based on weather forecast
  • Rain Gear (ABU Gortex)
    • As required, based on time of year and Weather Forecast
  • Camelback or other similar water container
  • 2x Towels
  • 1x Sleeping Bag, or set of sheets in order to sleep on dormitory bed
  • 1x Pillow
  • Personal Toiletries as required


Security Requirements:  None

Selection/Reporting Process:  Each candidate will use the Defense Travel System (DTS) for orders using the line of accounting provided by Mr. Dale Nichols at ACC. Individuals will select meals available, and ensure breakfast, lunch and dinner are marked.  Candidates will remain on the Medina Annex during the duration of the assessment, and therefore do not need lodging.  Each candidate will make their own flight arrangements into San Antonio International Airport (SAT) (arrival NLT 1430CST).