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Service options add flexibility


Active duty Airmen can transfer to an Air Force Reserve Component (Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve) through the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs. Switching branches of service as active duty requires completion and approval of Department of Defense Form 368 Request for Conditional Release and meeting the varying requirements of each service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Owsianka)


Airmen looking to switch branches, or join the Guard or Reserve while on active duty, have a variety of options.

For those who are looking to leave active duty, but still wish to serve, the Air Force offers two programs to continue serving part time; Palace Chase and Palace Front.

According to Air Force Instruction 36-3205, Applying for the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs, the Palace Chase program is an early release program that allows “active Air Force officers and enlisted members to request transfer from active military service to an Air Reserve Component.” The ARC constitutes the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve.

For Palace Chase, Airmen approaching the halfway mark of their first, or any subsequent enlistment, are able to apply. The application process begins with an in service recruiter who will provide assistance and forms to help. If the Airman is accepted, their terms of enlistment with the Guard or Reserve depends on the time left on their initial active duty contract.

“Palace Chase helps because sometimes Airmen find out active duty is not for them,” said Tech. Sgt. Maritza Moore, in service recruiter with the Central Recruiting Squadron, Barksdale flight. “Sometimes unpredictable things happen, like a loved one becomes sick. We try to accommodate Airmen entering the program.”

The other option, Palace Front, allows the same transfer to an ARC, but after the day of separation.

“Palace Front provides a smooth transition from civilian life,” Moore said. “It helps to serve part time and gives you an edge over those in the civilian sector.”

In these programs, Airmen transition to traditional Guardsmen and Reservists, traditionally serving one weekend per month and two weeks per year.

“Our job is to help guide you to your new career at your new base,” Moore said. “These programs help benefit Airmen because it can help them continue what they started. Sometimes we realize we didn’t make the right decision, this is a way to correct that.”

Switching to another military branch while still serving as active duty is another opportunity.

According to the Army’s official website, Operation Blue to Green allows active duty Air Force and Navy personnel to transfer to active duty Army service. Additionally, selected members of the Marines and Coast Guard who meet requirements may be eligible after completing their current terms of active service.

Air Force Specialty Codes or rates that convert to Army Military Occupation Specialty Codes will require attending Basic Combat Training. Enlisted E1 through E5 will retain their grade and date of rank, as well as officers of any rank.

Requirements include a minimum three year term of service and compliance with Army height and weight standards.

Other branches typically require re-enlisting into active duty through a branch-specific recruiter. Whether one can retain their rank, have to undergo basic training again or is qualified to work in the other branches’ career equivalent is dependent on the branch one served in and is trying to get into, prior service record and other variables.

For example, while the Navy does not require service members from other branches to attend boot camp, it does have a mandatory two week refresher training course for all transferees.

All branches require completion and approval of a Department of Defense Form 368, Request for Conditional Release.

Consult a in service recruiter for more information about Palace Chase and Palace Front. For information regarding switching military branches, consult a recruiter specific to the branch you wish to join.

To contact an in service recruiter at Schriever AFB, call Master Sgt. Marc Gregory at 567-6780.

Sources: https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/current-and-prior-service/continue-serving/transitioning-services/blue-to-green.html


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