JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
The Department of the Air Force will implement several voluntary officer and enlisted force management programs for fiscal year 2021, including an expanded PALACE CHASE program and limited Active Duty Service Commitment waivers.
These programs provide provisions for both enlisted and officer members who meet specified criteria. The application window runs Jan. 20, 2021 through June 1, 2021.
“Voluntary force management programs provide Airmen with flexible options to retire, separate or affiliate at times that suit their personal circumstances and allow the Department of the Air Force to balance certain specialties to ensure we meet the needs of the high-end fight,” said Col. Richard Cole, Chief, Military Sustainment and Transition Program Division.
Capt. Bill Werner, Military Personnel Flight commander at Hill Air Force Base, said the voluntary programs provide the Air Force the leverage to allow Airmen in certain AFSCs the opportunity to separate or transition to another component without forcing anyone to separate involuntarily.
The limited ADSC waiver program allows eligible Airmen to retire no later than Sept. 1, 2021, or separate no later than Sept. 29, 2021. Retirement-eligible Airmen must complete at least 20 years of total active federal military service and, for officers, at least 10 years of total active federal commissioned service, before the requested retirement date.
Enlisted ADSC waivers will be considered for permanent change of station, date estimated return from overseas curtailment, and senior noncommissioned officer promotions. Officer waivers will be considered for PCS, DEROS curtailment, tuition assistance, direct accession, and Extended Active Duty ROTC and OTS service commitments.
The FY21 Expanded PALACE CHASE Program provides an opportunity for Airmen in selected Air Force specialties and grades to apply for a transfer from active military service to an Air Reserve Component position. For enlisted Airmen transitioning into an ARC position, the service commitment is reduced from a “two-to-one” service obligation to a “one-to-one” exchange. For officers transitioning into an ARC position via PALACE CHASE, the service commitment is reduced from a “three-to-one” service obligation to a “one-to-one” exchange.
“Air Force leaders are working hard to preserve the mission and care for the Airmen who accomplish it,” Cole said. “Implementing a variety of voluntary programs allows the Department of the Air Force to offer retirement and separation options that may align with an Airman’s needs or goals.”
Interested members should review the eligibility criteria and the list of eligible Air Force specialties, grades and year groups before submitting their applications for consideration. Applications will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis. Members in a specialty that is not on the list of eligible Air Force specialties may apply on a case-by-case basis.
Airmen approved for a service commitment waiver are required to repay the government for related unearned portions of bonuses, special pays, education assistance and all other monetary incentives. Airmen released under the expanded PALACE CHASE program are relieved of recoupment obligation for unearned bonuses. Recoupment of education costs will be deferred contingent upon successful completion of the PALACE CHASE obligation.
Separation and retirement applicants who meet basic eligibility criteria and apply for release under these programs are not guaranteed approval, Cole said.
“While an Airman may be eligible, manning and mission requirements will be considered when evaluating applications,” he said. “Airmen should consider their options and apply promptly if interested, as eligibility is subject to change quickly as applications are approved.”
Werner said Airmen interested in these voluntary programs should first review the applicable Personnel Systems Delivery Memorandum and Eligibility Matrix to ensure they are eligible to apply under this program.
"If a member is ineligible to apply for this program and still interested in voluntarily separating, they should refer to the Separations PSDM to see if they are eligible for voluntary separation under another program," Werner said.
For more information, and to check eligibility, go to myPers at FY 21 Enlisted Voluntary Force Management Program and FY 21 Officer Voluntary Force Management Program. In addition, Hill AFB Separations within the Military Personnel Flight’s Career Development Section can be reached at 801-777-1661 or 75FSS.FSMPD.CareerDevelopment@us.af.mil.
(This article has been updated to reflect the PALACE CHASE application window extending to June 1, 2021.)