I thought that while it is discouraged, it is still possible to backout while in DEP.
Much pertinent to the BA AFSCs depends on if individual is entered into DEP as a qualified applicant with a job reservation, or not.
General policy is "I understand that the Air Force will try to reserve me a job for which I am qualified. If my choices are not available, I may offer additional choices or elect discharge from the Delayed Enlistment Program."
The disconnects of the orientation to your reasoning and reality are: (1)Getting MEPS qualified is getting qualified to enlist (no entry classification for a specific job has happened yet), (2) a job reservation for PJ, CCT, SOW, TACP, SERE, EOD) is impossible without being entry classification qualified (Production ASVAB, TAPAS, MEPS medical exam, PAST), and (3) Eligibility to be administered PAST requires the individual to be in DEP without a job reservation for PJ, CCT, SOW, TACP, SERE, or EOD, but possibly with a job reservation for another job or a aptitude area enlistment job reservation). Simply a GTEP contract offer for these AFSCs will not happen until all qualification test results and medical qualified MEPS medical exam results are officially entered into the Air Force Recruiting Information Support System.
Although Air Force Recruiting Service policy is: "Not make statements that imply the Air Force will take legal action against an applicant/recruit who refuses to go AD or EAD. Applicants who enlist in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) or take a commissioning oath in the Air Force Reserve will not be ordered or otherwise forced to report for active duty (AD) or extended active duty (EAD)." Further official policy is a DEP discharge can always be requested by the individual and AFRS and recruiters.
The DEP separation (Discharge) shares significant similarities to the Entry Level Separation (Discharge).
There are many separation reasons connected to both, some without any consequences and some with consequences. The separation reasons I will focus on have similarities in orientation to separation (discharge causals connected to claiming conditions that interfere with military service or having entry level performance and conduct problems. Simply these can be attributed to individual backing out of the enlistment declaring I QUIT, I want-need to go home to my mommy, I didn't realize I actually was going to have to get out of bed every day to work, or I'm special and you can't make me be not special similarities.
Reference AFI 36-3208 ADMINISTRATIVE SEPARATION OF AIRMEN.
A3.5. Entry-Level Separation. This type of separation is given only when the person is in his or her first 180 days of continuous active military service or the first 180 days of continuous active military service after a break of more than 92 days of active service. This is a discharge that does not attempt to characterize the type of service as either good or bad. It is not the only type of separation authorized during the first 180 days of military service, as it is possible for a person to receive either an honorable or an under other than honorable conditions discharge as well.
6.2.2. Board Hearing. Airmen recommended for discharge for a reason in Chapter 5 must be offered an opportunity for a hearing by an administrative discharge board if one or more of the conditions listed below applies: ...
18.104.22.168. The respondent has 6 years or more total active and inactive military service at the time the discharge processing starts. This includes service in the delayed enlistment program (DEP). The disposition board hearing meets this requirement for cases processed under Chapter 5, Section 5J.
The text emphasized in red correlated to being in DEP is an enlistment in the Inactive Reserves that brings with it a term (period)of eight years of obligation to military service. The DEP separation (Discharge) removes serving that obligation the individual voluntarily entered into.
I emphasized text in red that is pertinent to backing out prior to obtaining the GTEP contract. It is pertinent as without the GTEP any specific job placement is not on the table and the going to MEPS to become MEPS qualified is becoming qualified to enlist and not to be a PJ, CCT, SOW, SERE, TACP, or EOD. Specific job placement does not enter into reality until the GTEP contract for a specific AFSC is obtained.
What many refuse to realize or be cognizant of is they have no legal right to demand or expect getting a GTEP enlistment contract and none of the Military Services have legal or ethical obligation to offer any individual a GTEP contract.
The DEP discharge does have separation codes similar in nature as the codes used to indicate reason for the Entry Level Separation.
The significant difference between the DEP Discharge and the Entry Level Separation is the DEP Discharge is not connected to entering in active duty and serving a military obligation. Thus while there is no military service record generated there is a record of DEP discharge that is retained in MEPS databases and recruiting databases for up to eight years. The consequence are pretty much limited to trying to enlist during this period and the separation code reason connected to the discharge that is basically used in the same way a separation code and reenlistment (reentry) code is used.
Even the benign "No longer qualified for option and declines alternate" separation code has potential trying to enlist in the Air Force or get Air Force commission appointment future consequence. Some of those code have consequences in trying to enlist in the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Be careful of what you wish for in exercising the I quit DEP option just because you can.