7/31/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force announced changes to its accession policies on July 30 to make entering the Air Force easier for Airmen with families.
The changes modified dependency and pregnancy policies for Airmen entering the Air Force, enabling Airmen with up to three children to enlist with a waiver and standardizing pregnancy policies across the accessioning sources.
“It’s important for us to attract the highest caliber men and women to serve in today’s Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, Director of Force Management Policy. “These policy changes open our doors to more individuals who are highly qualified, but whose family obligations would have previously disqualified them.”
The changes were driven when Air Force officials realized that pregnancy policies for Airmen entering the Air Force were not being uniformly applied across accessioning sources.
“We discovered that the language in our pregnancy policy was too ambiguously written and could be interpreted in multiple ways,” said Ms. Tina Strickland, Chief of Air Force Accessions and Training Division. “We wanted to make sure the policy was being applied consistently across the Air Force. Reviewing the policy also drove us to examine our other rules for Airmen entering the Air Force with families.”
The pregnancy policy for both Officer Training School and Basic Military Training School now allows trainees to return to their accessioning program after their pregnancy upon receiving medical clearance. Cadets in ROTC can commission and proceed to follow on training if cleared to do so by a medical authority or will be re-checked until they are medically cleared.
Dependency policies were also changed to become more family-friendly. All enlisted applicants with two or less family members under the age 18 who are incapable of self-care are eligible to enlist with an approved family care plan. The policy for officer training school was changed to allow single parents and parents with military spouses to access upon completion and approval of a dependent care plan. Cadets with dependents may now sign contracts to join Air Force ROTC, regardless of the number of dependents, upon approval of a dependent care plan. A dependent care plan is not required for ROTC cadets who are married to civilian spouses.
“Creating an atmosphere that supports our Airmen and their families is a priority for the Air Force,” said Grosso. “Our accessioning programs are the first exposure Airmen have to the Air Force, and it’s important that our accessions policies align with our priorities.”