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Palace Chase requirements change

Posted 3/16/2012   Updated 3/16/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Andrea F. Liechti
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

3/16/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La.  -- As part of the latest force reduction plan, Airmen can now apply for voluntary separation through Palace Chase transfers, active-duty service commitment waivers and the Air Force Blue to Green Inter-service Transfer to the Army program.

Airmen interested in the Palace Chase program are no longer required to double their service time, as long as their applications are in before June 30.

"Basically it means if you have a year left on your active-duty contract, one year is all you owe to the guard or reserve," said Master Sgt. Kenneth Esaw, Air National Guard recruiter.

First-term Airmen interested in applying must complete half of their enlistment, he said. They can apply as early as six months prior to their half-way point, and if accepted, can begin their Air National Guard duty at the half-way point of their contract.

Second-term Airmen and beyond can apply at anytime, Esaw said. They must make the same commitment as their active-duty contract states, not to exceed six years.

"The biggest difference between active duty and guard is that it's part-time as opposed to being full-time," Esaw said. "One weekend a month, two weeks a year, for a total of 39 days per year is all the time guard Airmen are required to fulfill."

According to Esaw, Guard deployments are usually on a volunteer basis. Airmen get paid according to their rank and the number of days they work. Therefore, ANG Airmen, looking to make as much as their active-duty counterparts, volunteer to deploy to supplement their regular income. Those who choose not to deploy are paid for their 39 days of work per year.

This allows Airmen to follow the Air National Guard motto, "Part-time Blue, Full-time You."

Benefits are also similar to active-duty benefits, but vary from state to state. To find the most up-to-date information, the in-depth details are located at under the benefits section.

Before beginning the application process to transition from active duty to guard or reserve, an Airman should decide which state he or she would like to reside in, Esaw added. This will make the job search smoother. Airmen can also decide if they'd like to stay in their current career field or cross-train.

"Cross-training is an option as long as the Airman meets the requirements needed for the unit he or she is interested in," Esaw said. "That unit must also have an opening for that position."

To locate available jobs nationwide, Airmen can visit the Air National Guard website which lists job openings by Air Force Specialty Code, state and individual units.

Airmen who have active-duty contracts coming to an end also have the opportunity to continue their service through the reserves or Air National Guard. This program is referred to as Palace Front. Similar to Palace Chase, Airmen can choose to stay in their current career field or cross-train.

"They don't need their commander's approval for this program," Esaw said. "They just need to find an open position and submit the paperwork."

For more information on the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs, contact Esaw at (501) 246-9224, (318) 456-6897 or at

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