NOTE: THE ARTICLE BELOW CONTAINS ERRONEOUS INFORMATION. THE PRECISE DEFINITION OF PTI 961 HAS BEEN DETERMINED.
Its literal meaning is “Loss to USAFR – Discharged due to change in residence.”
The AWOL Project, as a member of the Reality Based Community, apologizes for the error and any resultant confusion.
Note: This is a working draft for comment and is part of The AWOL Project, a series of online articles examining the military records of George W. Bush from the perspective of the Federal statutes, Department of Defense (DoD) regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures concerning that military service. (Before linking to anything on this site, please read http://www.glcq.com/me.htm )
Please direct your comments, correction, and suggestions to email@example.com.
UNFIT FOR SERVICE—
THE MYSTERY OF “PTI 961” SOLVED
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.”
From Bush’s NGB-22
From Bush’s NGB-22
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.”
From AFM 30-3
From AFM 30-3 (1977)
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.
From Bush’s 1/30/74 Points
From Bush’s 1/30/74 Points Summary
35-3, Chapter 19, Para 2
From AFM 35-3, Chapter 19, Para 2
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, or
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.)
The 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.
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.”
In addition to the occurrence of “PTI 961” on Bush’s NGB-22 (cited above), three other documents in the Bush files contain the code.
(The second chronological occurrence was on the NGB-22, dated October 1, 1973. Insofar as the written orders discharging Bush (see below) were not promulgated until October 16,and this date is noted on the form itself, it can be concluded that this form was backdated.)
E961 02731001L9CMPY48 900297
E961 02731001L9CMPY48 900297
There are 14 separate criteria listed in ANGR 36-05, paragraph 6a under which an officer could be discharged from the Air National Guard and transferred to the Air Force Reserves. Many of these criteria (numbers 1, 5,6,7,8, and 9) would not have (necessarily) resulted in a “loss of strength” to the Air Force, and thus would not have resulted in a “900 series” Personnel Transaction Identifier. Others do not appear to be specifically applicable to Bush’s situation (2,3,4,10,11, and 13). Unfortunately, the regulations mentioned in 6a(14) are not available at this time, and thus it is impossible to determine if Bush fell under this criteria. Thus it appears (also see footnote 4) that Bush’s discharge was based on the “screening criteria” found in “ANGR 35-03”---and it should be assumed that these criteria were the same as the relevant criteria regaring the Air National Guard which can be found in AFM 35-3 (see Appendix 3).
The Air Reserve Forces Personnel Manual (AFM 35-3) was a compendium of the various rules and procedures governing members of the Air Reserve Forces which was comprised of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves . Chapter 12 of AFM 35-3 is entitled “Screening the Ready Reserve”, and it is this chapter which may provide the key to the procedures that were followed when Bush was discharged from the Texas Air National Guard.
The Air Reserve Forces was comprised of the Ready Reserves (those who could be mobilized by President order) and the Standby Reserves (those who could not be mobilized by a Presidential order because of hardship, a critical civilian occupation, lack of “qualifications”, or other reasons.) Ready Reservists were supposed to be “screened” periodically to make sure that they could be mobilized in the event of a national emergency, and whenever a Ready Reservist was thought to be ineligible for mobilization, he would be discharged from his unit, and assigned to the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC), which would review his files and make a final determination.
There were 12 basic criteria or “rules” for discharging someone to ARPC for “Standby Screening” which are found in Table 12-1 of AFM 35-3. Rules number 1 and 2 (dealing with Air Force officers serving on active duty) and 12 (dealing with Air Force Reservists who had “skills in excess of those required by the Air Force) were not applicable to members of the Air National Guard. Nor is rule 3 (those who had completed their “Ready Reserve requirements”), rule 4 (those entering the ministry), rule 5 (government officials), rules 6 or 7 (those whose mobilization would result in extreme personal or community hardship), or rules 9 or 10 (those who held critical government or civilian jobs). Rule 11 deals with “any other reason” and those other reasons are defined in Table 12-5. Bush is not eligible under the rules of this table, which concern those who are retiring (rule 2), have children (rules 3 and 4), or is currently serving on “extended active duty” which is creating a hardship (rule 5). We can also exclude rule 1 from this table (“cannot be located”) insofar as the discharge orders change Bush’s official address.
This leaves us with Rule 8, which is the “unqualified for service” rule.
This is the rule that is specifically applicable to Bush’s position, because it concerns those who do not “possess the required military qualifications for his grade or specialty.” Bush was an F102 pilot who was not on flight status because he had failed to accomplish his medical examination, and had not put in the necessary hours of flight training in the previous year that were required of F102 pilots.
The rest of the “rule” (“does not meet the mental, moral, professional, or physical standards of the Air Force) makes it clear that the purpose of Rule 8 is to get rid of people who are “unfit to serve.” This rules is about those who don’t measure up to Air Force standards.
It should be noted, however, that Bush’s discharge orders do not contain the language specified in Table 12-1 for all “standby screening” discharges. All such discharges were supposed to include “discharge from ANG and transfer to USAFR, ARPC(ORS), Standby Screening, by authority of Rule [XX], Table 12-1, AFM 35-3.” But insofar as no reason whatsoever appears in the discharge papers, and a PTI number is actually not considered part of the “authority” for a discharge per se, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the inclusion of “PTI 961” was a means by which the Air National Guard could communicate the fact that Bush was considered “unfit to serve” without making it obvious on the paperwork involved in the discharge.
 PTI 961 is also found in three other documents, see Appendix 1
 "Advanced Personnel Data System-Civilian" (APDS-C), AFM 30-3, v.VIII, 1 Jan 1977. Although a manual for the civilian PDS, it uses the military version in its examples.
 In a phone conversation this spring, General Hodges (he was promoted) told me that Bush’s discharge from TXANG was for “standby screening” (see appendix 3) by ARPC. This statement is consistent with the proposition that the reason for Bush’s discharge was not his move to Boston per se.
 Although these regulations are from 1968, and the “Ineligible Reserve Section” of ARPC was renamed the “Obligated Reserve Section” in 1966 (see http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/pubfiles/arpc/36/arpci36-3203/arpci36-3203.pdf ), it would appear that the change in nomenclature was not accomplished in this particular section of the regulations.
 At the time of Bush’s discharge, the Air Force may have been contemplating action against Bush because there was no evidence of him showing up for training for an entire year. (Bush’s officers had reporter that he had not been “observed” for a full year, and had not responded to a demand for more information by the August 6, 1973.) However, there is no evidence in the Bush documents that suggests that the Air Force had taken action prior to Bush’s discharge. Although Bush was placed in an “Inactive Status” effective September 15, 1973 (i.e. before Bush’s discharge from TXANG), an action that could only be done by the Air Force itself, all indications are that the change in Bush’s status was “retroactive”, and occurred sometime after Bush was discharged from the Air National Guard.
 For the sake of brevity and clarity, policies and procedures described here will be those which were applicable to Bush at that time.