Morale, Welfare and Recreation – Air Force

American flag

This page includes information on Morale, Welfare and Recreation for the Air Force.

United States Air Force Services — United States Air Force Services provides eligible patrons with recreation and leisure programs as well as family member and community services programs.

Air Force Sports — Air Force Sports allows active duty, National Guard and reserve Air Force personnel to participate in Air Force, armed forces, national and international sports events.

Air Force Libraries — Air Force Libraries provide eligible patrons with internet access, reading rooms, reference books and media and collections of fiction and nonfiction literature.

Air Force Arts and Crafts — This program provides military personnel and their families with activities in fine arts and industrial arts. The arts and crafts centers provide hands-on instruction and group instruction.

Air Force Information, Tickets and Travel — The Air Force Information, Tickets and Travel website provides service members with information on resorts, cruises and tour destinations for recreational travel.

Air Force Aero Clubs — Air Force Aero Clubs provide a safe venue for learning to fly and also provide the opportunity to fly light general aviation aircraft.

Air Force Golf — The Air Force Golf program operates and maintains more than 60 golf courses around the world, offering open rounds of golf and instructional courses for beginners.

Casualty Assistance – Air Force

American Flag

This page includes information on casualty and family support services for the Air Force.

The Air Force Aid Society is a private, nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to Air Force members and their families, including interest-free loans, grants or a combination of both. The society maintains an open door policy that encourages individuals to apply for assistance when they feel an emergency situation exists. For surviving spouses and dependent minor orphans, the society provides emergency assistance at or shortly after the death of an Air Force member.

The Air Force Personnel Center provides answers to frequently-asked questions concerning casualty services, casualty assistance representatives and death benefits and allows users to submit additional questions.

The Air Force Wounded Warrior program was created in 2005 as a Department of Defense and Air Force initiative to provide personalized care to airmen who are separated or retired as a result of illness or injury received in support of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Air Force PCS Moving Support

Airman assisting with PCS claim forms

If you have orders for a temporary duty or permanent change of station move, it is recommended that you contact your local transportation office for help arranging your move. The office will be able to help you schedule your move and deal with the more complicated entitlements and accounting procedures that are typically associated with a military relocation.

Household goods inspection rate increase

Updated: Nov. 2, 2017

Effectively immediately, the Air Force inspection standard for household goods, unaccompanied baggage, non-temporary storage and local move shipments into, out of or within a transportation officer’s area of responsibility is increased from 50% to 80%.

Also per the memo, Air Force Personal Property Program Offices should offer one-on-one counseling to all service members:

Personal property offices will provide one-on-one counseling to all members as the norm. Group counseling and self-counseling through the Defense Personal Property System may be used where mission or unique circumstances dictate.

For more specific information, view:

Claims guidance – filing directly with your transportation service provider

On delivery day, it is very important that you write down new damage or missing items on the front of the Notice of Loss/Damage At Delivery form. This form may also be called the Form 1850 or DD Form 1840, and it may also be pink in color.

When listing the damages, you want to make sure you are very descriptive. For example, if you have DVDs missing, you need to put the inventory number of the missing box as well as the number of DVDs that were packed in the box. If your furniture has been damaged, list the inventory number, the item name and the specific type of damage. For example, record “kitchen table right leg scratched” versus “kitchen table scratched.” Both you and one of the delivery team members will sign and date the form, and each of you will receive a copy.

IMPORTANT: Please be sure to check the form for your transportation service provider’s contact information as any claim you may file will be directly with the TSP.

Filing the Notice of Loss/Damage After Delivery form

You may discover loss or damage after the moving company leaves your residence. If so, you must give notification of the loss or damage to the TSP. You do this by filling out the Notice of Loss or Damage After Delivery form and sending it to your TSP within 75 days (applicable to household good shipments picked up prior to May 15, 2020) or within 180 days (applicable to household goods shipments picked up May 15, 2020 and after) from your delivery date. You must note what was missing or damaged within the required timeframe or the TSP can deny liability for those items.

An extension to the notification timeframe may be granted by your Military Claims Office, or MCO, for periods of official absence. Official absence includes temporary duty or deployment or any periods of hospitalization or medical incapacitation. Your MCO is the Air Force Claims Service Center located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The office contact information is provided below. Documentation, such as TDY orders, paid voucher or medical profile, must be submitted to your MCO for justification for extension. If you do not have justification for an extension, the TSP will not be considered liable for any missing or damaged items.

Filing your claim

You have nine months to submit your claim against your TSP in order to receive full replacement value, also referred to as FRV, for any missing or destroyed items. The TSP’s liability is to repair the item or provide full replacement value, whichever is less. If an item can be repaired, that’s what the TSP is liable for. If the item is missing or can’t be repaired, they must offer you full replacement value for that item.

Your TSP is responsible to obtain repair estimates or replacement cost substantiation. They may require your assistance to schedule inspections and repair estimates. They may also request that you provide the replacement cost substantiation. You must contact your TSP for information on their claims submission procedures. If you do not submit your claim within nine months, the TSP’s liability decreases to the depreciated valuation, so it is to your benefit to file your claim as quickly as possible. Your TSP has to provide the contact information for your claims examiner within 15 days of your claims submission.

Negotiating with your TSP

Your TSP has 60 days to adjudicate your claim from the date you submitted your claim. After reviewing your claim, your TSP will make a settlement offer to you.

If you agree with the settlement, the TSP will pay you or arrange for repairs. The TSP has 30 days to mail a check to you for items you have agreed on. The TSP should provide an itemized listing of their offer on all items.

If you don’t agree with the TSP’s offer on an item, you can ask them to reconsider their offer by providing further information which might sway them to make a better offer. If you receive a final denial or don’t agree with the TSP’s offer, you can file with your MCO for those items. In most cases, the MCO can only pay depreciated valuation, but will assert a recovery action against the responsible TSP in which they may be able to recover additional monies for you.

IMPORTANT: You cannot receive payment from your TSP and your MCO for the same item.

Claims assistance

If you require assistance during the claims process, please contact the Air Force Claims Service Center by calling DSN 986-8044, toll free 877-754-1212 or commercial 937-656-8044. Alternatively, you can email them at AFCSC.JA@us.af.mil.

Duty hours are 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

For a downloadable version of the claims information listed above, visit the claims process document.

Customer service information

Air Force Customer Service
For entitlements, exceptions to policy and general information, contact:
Email: ppahq.ppec.customerservice@us.af.mil
Phone (DSN): 487-3357
Phone (commercial): 210-652-3357
Facebook: Personal Property Activity HQ

Claims

For claims assistance, contact:
Email: afcsc.ja@us.af.mil
Phone (DSN): 986-8044
Phone (commercial): 937-656-8044
Phone (toll free): 877-754-1212
Fax (DSN): 986-8307
Fax (commercial): 937-656-8307

Retirement/separation HHG extensions

Email: hqppa.ecaf-ext@us.af.mil
Phone (DSN): 487-3312
Phone (commercial): 210-652-3312
Fax (DSN): 954-4263
Fax (commercial): 210-321-4263

Address

PPA HQ/PPEC
555 E. Street East, Suite 4
JBSA Randolph, TX 78150-4439
United States

Supplemental policies

For detailed information about personal property moving and storage, consult the Air Force Household Goods Policy.

General information

Want to find the phone number for your installation’s Relocation Assistance Program or Military and Family Support Center? Find those and more on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. For updates and information specific to your location, visit your installation’s official website. You can also follow your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms.

Air Force Special Forces: Applying to Become a Combat Controller, Pararescueman, or Special Operations Weatherman

service member and helicopter

Each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces has its own elite forces, including the Air Force’s Special Tactics teams. The pararescue specialists, combat controllers and special operations weathermen in these teams are some of the most highly trained service members in the force.

If you’re a currently enlisted airman thinking about Air Force Special Operations, talk to a career counselor about transferring. You can apply and participate in the special ops selection process while enlisted and can return to your old assignment if you don’t make the cut.

Here’s a look into what it takes to join these elite teams for your future military career.

Air Force pararescue specialists: Duties, qualifications and training

The primary mission for Air Force Special Operations pararescue specialists – also known as “PJs” for “para-jumpers” – is personnel recovery. They save service members from hostile or hard-to-reach locations.

Since 9/11, PJs have successfully run over 12,000 combat rescue missions. That doesn’t include the more than 5,000 civilians rescued from natural disasters.

Anyone who wants to become a pararescue specialist must be:

  • Between 17 and 39 years old
  • A basic training graduate
  • Able to get a secret security clearance
  • Financially responsible
  • EMT-certified
  • Physically fit enough to jump from an airplane and SCUBA dive
  • Intelligent, with high general ASVAB scores

If you’re selected for transfer, expect about 70 weeks of training before your first mission. This training covers diving, parajumping and emergency medical treatment.

Air Force combat controllers: Duties, qualifications and training

The support provided by an Air Force Special Operations combat controller is second to none. After all, they have all the duties of a civilian air traffic controller – only in foreign territories made dangerous by extreme weather or enemy fire. They need to be able to safely get to foreign air strips while supporting air crews from all service branches.

Those interested in becoming a combat controller must be:

  • Between 17 and 39 years old
  • A basic training graduate
  • Physically fit enough to dive, jump from airplanes and serve on air strips
  • Financially responsible
  • Skilled as a mechanic

Combat controller training involves learning how to drive a snowmobile, SCUBA dive and parachute. In all, technical training will take more than 94 weeks to complete.

Air Force Special Operations weathermen: Duties, qualifications and training

If you’re fascinated by weather and new technology, becoming an Air Force Special Operations weatherman might be a great career choice for you. These military meteorologists deploy with other Special Forces units from both the Army and Marine Corps to provide mission-critical weather reports. Special Forces may be able to take down the enemy, but no one can stop flash floods, looming storms or sudden brushfire – all of which the Air Force weathermen can see coming and is a vital piece of mission planning.

Service members interested in joining a special operations weather team must be:

  • Between 17 and 39 years old
  • A basic training graduate
  • Physically fit and able to parachute
  • Financially responsible
  • State licensed to drive
  • Qualified to bear firearms
  • Good with electronics

Advanced training to become a special ops weatherman takes more than 138 weeks to complete. During those two-and-a-half years, you’ll learn how to report on environmental and weather conditions, use sensitive instruments and join special operations tactics.

Learn about other branches’ elite units as well as other military careers to pursue. Discover all the ways Military OneSource is your connection to information, answers and support to help you overcome challenges, reach your goals and thrive.

Becoming an Officer in the Military After College

Officer Training

While it’s common knowledge that basic training sets recruits on the pathway toward becoming an enlisted service member, those with a desire for leadership opportunities and a bachelor’s degree can take another route into a military career – as a commissioned officer.

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program for college students and Officer Candidate School or Officer Training School for graduates are great options for those who want to earn a four-year college degree before joining the military. Each service branch offers both ROTC and officer schools as entry points to an officer commission.

The benefits of joining the military after college

Joining the military as a commissioned officer can offer the best of both worlds for those who want the college experience but who also want to serve their country. The benefits include:

  • A guaranteed job after college
  • A leadership role at a young age
  • Higher pay than joining as an enlisted military member
  • Greater opportunities for promotion and training

Rising through ROTC

The ROTC program prepares students to become military officers while they pursue a four-year degree at an accredited college. ROTC is offered at more than 1,700 colleges and universities nationwide.

The Army, Navy and Air Force each offer four-year ROTC scholarships to college-bound high school students, and two- and three-year scholarships for students already in college. Navy ROTC students have the option of joining the Marine Corps after graduation.

The scholarships help pay for tuition and books and includes a monthly stipend for living expenses. ROTC students who accept scholarships commit to service as an officer after graduation. The military service obligation varies according to branch, but ranges from three to eight years.

Enrolling in ROTC

Enrollment requirements differ among service branches, but in general, ROTC candidates are required to:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be at least 17 years old and on schedule to receive their college degree before age 27
  • Score above a certain minimum on the SAT or ACT standardized tests
  • Meet physical fitness requirements for their branch of service
  • Receive medical clearance

How ROTC works

While there are differences among each service branch, as an ROTC cadet, you can expect to:

  • Take courses in military science, leadership and related topics alongside your regular college curriculum
  • Participate in regular drills and summer training activities
  • Maintain a minimum grade point average during college

Army ROTC graduates earn a commission as a second lieutenant and continue their training in their specific branch at Basic Officer Leaders’ Course. Navy and Air Force ROTC graduates continue their training at Officer Candidate or Training School before receiving their commission as a second lieutenant.

Learn more about the ROTC program at each service branch:

From officer school to officer

The Army and Marine Corps call it Officer Candidate School. In the Navy and Air Force, it’s Officer Training School. No matter its name, this intensive training program will prepare you mentally and physically for the demands of being a commissioned military officer.

Requirements for officer school

Being a U.S. citizen and having a four-year college degree or higher are the bare minimum requirements for officer school. Beyond that, the selection process is highly competitive across service branches. Candidates must meet physical standards, may have to pass a qualifying test, and demonstrate that they have leadership ability, integrity, dependability, academic discipline and adaptability.

About Officer School

Officer school spans 9 ½ to 12 weeks, depending on your branch of service. During that time, you will begin to develop the qualities of an officer, including military bearing, teamwork and the ability to perform under pressure and under adverse conditions.

Curriculum varies according to service, but in general, training school includes:

  • Regular physical conditioning and physical fitness tests
  • Academic classes in military subjects, leadership and ethics, and other subjects
  • Military training, including inspections and drills

Learn more about Officer Training School and Officer Candidate School by service branch.

Other paths to becoming a military officer

Attending officer school after college is just one way to earn a commission in the military. There are other paths as well:

  • Attend a military service academy. Each branch of the military has a four-year university that offers full scholarships to its students. Graduates serve as commissioned officers in the military. Acceptance into these academies is highly competitive.
  • Advance through the enlisted ranks. Enlistees may use their military education benefits to earn a four-year degree, then apply to officer school.
  • Receive a direct commission after earning a professional degree, such as a medical, law or religious studies degree. Direct commission officers are required to attend officer training. This is a good option for civilians who want to serve their country and who have special skills to offer.

You can learn more about joining the military as a commissioned officer by contacting a recruiter from your service branch or calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.

Air Force Basic Training: What to Expect

Basic trainees align in formation.

When joining the Air Force, you can choose one of two paths:

Your Basic Training Schedule May Be Impacted by COVID-19

Contact your recruiter or commander for the most accurate, up-to-date information.

  • Enlist: If you enlist, your first stop will be Air Force Basic Training, eight-and-a-half weeks of physical preparation to serve, before you move onto more technical training.
  • Get a commission as an officer: If you take the officer path, you’ll go to Officer Training School, the U.S. Air Force Academy or Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

What you need to know:

  • The Air Force Basic Military Training location is Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Basic Military Training is eight-and-a-half weeks. The training focuses on getting you:
    • Your flight assignment
    • Individual duty assignment
    • Equipment
    • Uniforms
    • Orientation
  • You’ll learn the basics of military life:
    • How to handle and fire a weapon
    • Basic defense
    • Combat life-saving skills
    • Countering threats to national security
    • Airmanship skills
  • The sixth week: Basic Expeditionary Airmen Skills, or the BEAST. This will assess everything you learned during field training exercises and combat scenarios.

After Basic Military Training, you’ll move on to technical training to learn the skills needed to perform your specific Air Force job.

Entering the Air Force as an officer

You can do this in one of three ways:

  • Attend Officer Training School after earning your bachelor’s degree
  • Attend the Air Force Academy after high school
  • Join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in college

Additional details regarding all of these programs are available on the U.S. Air Force website.