From Digby via DemVet, we see a fascinating analysis of Bush's Air National Guard separation documents, by Paul Lukasiak, which raise interesting questions about the character of Bush's service:
New information with regard to the meaning of a special code which appears on George W. Bush’s Air National Guard discharge papers indicates that he was being thrown out of the Air National Guard for failing "to possess the required military qualifications for his grade or specialty, or does not meet the mental, moral, professional or physical standards of the Air Force." In other words, despite the fact that Bush had an unfulfilled six year Military Service Obligation, he was discharged from the Air National Guard not because he moved to Boston, but because he failed to meet his obligation to maintain his qualifications as an F102 pilot.
The special code is "PTI 961", and is found in the "Reason and Authority for Discharge" section of Bush’s NGB-22, his "Report of Separation and Record of Service in the Air National Guard of Texas and as a Reserve of the Air Force."
No actual "reason for discharge" is cited in this section. However, the reference to "ANGR 36-05 [PTI 961]" provides us with enough information to determine that Bush was being thrown off for failure to fulfill his requirements.
"PTI" stands for "Personnel Transaction Identifier", a code which "identifies the controlled personnel management action being accomplished the personnel data system." And although the particular meaning of "PTI 961" remains unknown, all "900" series PTIs mean that someone is no longer considered part of "Air Force strength."
AFM 30-3 explains how "transactions" involving the "movement of a member within the Air Force strength which does not affect the total strength, that is, movement....to a different command" would have been "reported by PTI 201." Bush’s discharge and reassignment appears to have been a "movement to a different command" (i.e. from the Air National Guard to the Air Force Reserves).
However, when an "action is reported by the 9xx PTIs" it represents a "loss to the Air Force strength." In other words, despite the fact that Bush had almost eight months left on his six year Military Service Obligation at the time, Texas Air National Guard officers were signaling that Bush was essentially worthless to the Air Force, and should not even be retained in the "Ready Reserves" for call up in the event of a national emergency.
In fact, under Air Force regulations, someone like Bush, who had an outstanding Military Service Obligation, could only be placed in an "Inactive Status" if he was being "completely severed from military status."
This "complete severance" was an extraordinary event. Under ordinary circumstances, an obligor would be retained in an active status upon being discharged from the Air National Guard and reassigned to the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver Colorado. ARPC had two special "paper units" designed specifically for those with unfulfilled Military Service Obligations:1) the Obligated Reserve Section, aka ARPC(ORS) which contained obligors who continued to be Ready Reservists and thus liable for mobilization upon order of the President, orThe fact that Bush was discharged from the Texas Air National Guard under a Personnel Transaction Identifier used to denote a reduction in total Air Force strength means Bush was considered not merely "useless" under present circumstances, but of no possible use to the Air Force at any point in the future. PTI 961 meant that Bush was unfit for service in the United States Armed Forces, and that there was no point in keeping him around in case of a national emergency.
2) the Non-Affiliated Reserve Section which was dedicated to obligors, aka ARPC(NARS-B), which was an "active status" section of the Standby Reserves who members were not subject to mobilization on a Presidential order for various reasons (such as hardship, or holding critical civilian jobs.)
This can be established through examining the relevant regulations. ANGR 36-05, which was the "authority" cited in Bush’s discharge papers, has a limited number of "separation criteria" that are consistent with a "900 series" Personnel Transaction Identifier, all of which could only be the result of Bush being thrown out because he wasn't doing his job. (see Appendix 2). The most likely of these criteria is that Bush was discharged for "standby screening", and an examination of the rules under which discharges could be accomplished (see Appendix 3) in this fashion lead to only one conclusion---that Bush was thrown out of the Air National Guard because he was "unfit to serve."
Len on 10.21.04 @ 12:18 PM CST