RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Unit commanders are no longer required to maintain or establish personnel information files on Air Force members in their command, said officials at the Air Force Personnel Center.
According to Air Force Instruction 36-2608, the only time a PIF is mandatory is when an officer receives either a letter of admonishment or letter of counseling and the commander does not create an unfavorable information file. Squadron commanders use PIFs to file all documents relating to a member. Some examples of PIF documents are separation actions, newcomers letters, line-of-duty determinations, assignment and sponsorship correspondence, local clearance actions, promotion actions, credit information, counseling records, additional duties and duty roster information.
Although they are no longer mandatory, PIFs CAN be kept at the squadron level and may contain any document the commander deems necessary in the day-to-day management of the unit’s personnel. If a commander elects to no longer maintain a PIF, it should be provided to the affected member.
If PIFs are maintained, Air Force members can access their PIFs at any time. Contents must be made available to commanders, raters, first sergeants, senior raters, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and staff judge advocate personnel as warranted. PIFs should be kept current and safeguarded in a locked cabinet or drawer to prevent unauthorized access.
“Due to the loss of commander support staff personnel who administer the PIFs,” said Capt. Ronald Bell, chief of Personal Services Delivery Operations at AFPC, “commanders can now decide not to maintain PIFs, so they can channel their time and energy into other significant programs and issues impacting their units.”
Captain Bell added that PIFs often contain redundant information that can be obtained through other means, such as the Automated Records Management System and the Military Personnel Data System.
As Air Force bases transition to the new Base Level Service Delivery Model, individuals supporting commanders in the field will move from the units to military personnel flights to provide centralized personnel service. BLSDM will provide commanders a data retrieval mechanism, or Dashboard, that will help commanders access personnel information from their computers.