US military acronym: Reduction in Force

Similar to layoffs experienced by the corporate world, in a RIF a set number of personnel will be separated at each rank. Boards, similar to those met for promotion, are convened to rank each person, at which point enough people at the bottom end of each rank are separated from the service.

The Air Force RIF boards that met during the reductions in the late 1980's and early 1990's have come under fire for using racial quotas and gender quotas to ensure that a greater proportion of white males were riffed than women or minorities.