Voluntary measures to assist force management program

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kristina Overton
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office
On March 25, the Air Force Chief of Staff released a notice informing Airmen that certain career fields were overpopulated, and that to correct these overages they intended to resize the present force to match the authorized, funded allowances. Prior to the recent release, the Air Force had already begun to offer a variety of voluntary measures formed to reduce personnel numbers. As a result of not enough people taking advantage of those programs, they were forced to implement involuntary measures.

Airmen interested in taking a voluntary route while still having an option to serve their country can take part in the Palace Chase or Palace Front programs.

The Palace Chase program allows active-duty officers and Airmen to voluntarily transfer from active military service to the Reserve or Air National Guard. The member's remaining active-duty service commitment or term of enlistment is waived, in exchange for the member's agreement to participate in a selected Reserve program.

Palace Front is a program for people looking to get out of active-duty after their enlistment is up and continue their service one weekend a month and two weeks a year through the Air Force Reserve.

These Airmen can apply if they've completed 50 percent of their initial enlistment.
The programs are both run by the separations office, but facilitated through the base in-service recruiter, who assists to provide the Reserve positions and guide members through their transition.

"I'm here as more of liaison in helping people get what they want," said Tech. Sgt. Derek Hudson, 341st Force Support Squadron in-service recruiter. "A lot of people like serving their country, but they want to be at home and have more control over their day-to-day lives. In the reserves, you can choose your base and cross train, while still keeping most of your active-duty benefits."

A recent change made to the Palace Chase program was commitment reductions. Prior to the change, for every year an enlisted servicemember had left on their commitment, they would have two years for every one. For officers, the commitment was three years to every one. Now they've adjusted it to a one to one ratio.

Besides having served half of their active-duty tenure, applicants may not have any infractions on record, or be selected for any deployments, temporary duty, or permanent change of station prior to applying.

Certain critical AFSC's may not apply for the Palace Chase Program.

"It's not about twisting anyone's arm to join to the Reserve or even take part in any of these programs," Sergeant Hudson said. "Most people in the Air Force know the Air Force and what it's all about. We just want to make sure if they're getting out, they know their options and they have a good plan. We're available to help supplement that plan."

For more information about the Palace Chase or Palace Front programs, or to learn how to apply, call 731-3776.