Transitioning from one lifestyle to another

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Without a plan, changing from military life to civilian life can be difficult, and can be hard to accept if leaving active duty is not by choice.

Master Sgt. Richard Isaacson agrees, the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard are a great opportunities for airmen who still want to keep a military tie, as well as airmen who want to leave active duty and spend more time focusing on their civilian endeavors without leaving the military altogether.

"You never know what life has planned for you and I'm here to tell you that there is more than one option before leaving the military life," said Isaacson, 366th Force Support Squadron in-service recruiter.

Isaacson provides airmen around the base with two different options to join the guard or reserves, if they are eligible. The programs offered are Palace Chase and Palace Front.

For enlisted airmen Palace Chase allows enlisted airmen to serve two years in the guard or reserves for every year of active duty that remains in their contract. This program is primarily driven by the Air Force's manning in an airman's current Air Force Specialty Code.

The approval for this program is as follows:
  • The airman can't be on a control roster.
  • Must have a fitness test score of 75 percent or higher and cannot be on a physical profile.
  • First-term airmen must complete 50 percent of their initial active-duty enlistment or two-thirds of their initial active duty service commitment.
Members can start applying for palace chase four to six months prior to the halfway mark of their enlistment.

Palace Front allows enlisted airmen to transition into the guard or reserves at the end of their enlistment with no break in service, and have a traditional part-time position secured with an unit of their choice before separating from active duty. All records and documents are automatically transferred to the gaining unit. Airmen can start applying for Palace Front six months prior to their date of separation. Palace Front members may also qualify for an enlistment bonus worth up to $20,000, depending on their AFSC.

Both Palace Chase and Palace Front programs allow airmen to cross-train to their desired AFSC based on the members' qualifications and available positions. The basic commitment with the ANG is one weekend per month and 15 additional days of annual training per year.

Palace Chase and Palace Front hold the same qualifications for officers except that Palace Chase requires every year of active duty remaining in their contract is three years guard and no added commitment for reserves.  

Airmen can speak with the in-service recruiter at any point to get guidance and learn more about the programs. Additionally every airman reaching their separation date is required to meet with the in-service recruiter to decide if the reserves are a good option to help them transition to civilian life.

For more information contact the reserve in-service recruiter Master Sgt. Isaacson at 208-828-6053 or Tech. Sgt. Cirena Champaco the in-service ANG recruiter at 801-568-1125.