PEB Forum Veteran
Air Force PEB Update
A few notes on AF PEBs:
First, there is a new "practice" from the FPEB in requesting an "Advance Adjudication" in cases. Essentially, this is not really a "new" or "official" practice; the FPEB has always accepted argument prior to the FPEB hearing in order to reconsider cases before the formal hearing. However, currently, the FPEB is regularly "requesting" members/counsel to submit a memorandum prior to the formal hearing to present evidence and argument that might allow the FPEB to make a decision prior to a formal hearing. This is, in my view, a good practice in many cases as it allows for an early favorable decision in a members case. However, I would point out that this is not "official" in the sense that AF regulations do not specify this process. Is this problematic? I don't think so- reason being that it is not prohibited by AF (or DoD) regulations and may allow for an earlier "good outcome" in members' cases; essentially, it is a "semi-formalized" process for getting another "bite at the apple" for Airmen going through the IDES.
The Advance Adjudication is not technically mandatory- that is, there is no requirement that a member actually participate in, or submit a memorandum for, an "advance adjudication." If the member does not submit argument and evidence or simply opts out (by not responding), then they still have their right to the Formal PEB hearing (for this reason, I see no legally objectionable argument against this new practice- the member loses nothing, and has no rights taken away by participating or not in this practice; it is not an "official" practice, in my opinion, as it is not provided for by regulation. But, like I wrote above, I don't see a problem with this practice as it does not seem to negatively impact Airmen's rights).
Why do I think this process has developed? I think it is a direct result of timeline focus/pressure on the FPEB (and the PEB process generally). I also think it is an effort to tamp down on travel costs for transporting Airmen unnecessarily to San Antonio if the case can be resolved beforehand. Nothing facially nefarious about any of this- again, my instinct is that this is a good development. However, I will watch how this plays out and report any issues I see on the forum.
The other piece of news is that the PEB has consolidated operations at Randolph AFB (or, technically, Joint Base San Antonio- Randolph). While this move should not really be a big deal, it may slightly slow cases in the short term while the board and support personnel complete the transition and deal with internal issues with the move.