PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
“…I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
Some service members recite the oath of enlistment with the plan to fulfil one contract and separate, while others raise their right hand with the intent of retiring from the United States military after 20 years or more of service.
Regardless of their career path as they stand in their nearest Military Entrance Processing Center, ready to be sent off to Basic Military Training – things happen, plans change and life does not always go the way one thinks it will.
It is important, for first-term Airmen and career Airmen alike, that all options are weighed. Palace Chase and Palace Front are two options for an active-duty airman to look at if they are considering separating from the military, or would just like to transfer to an Air Reserve Command.
The Palace Chase program is in place to allow an active-duty officer or enlisted airman to complete at least half of their current enlistment and continue their military career with the Air Force Reserve. To Palace Front is to finish one’s current enlistment completely and transfer to a reserve component one day after their active-duty enlistment ends.
“I like to look at it as a safety net,” said Master Sgt. Travis E. Williams, an in-service recruiter at Patrick Air Force Base. “Instead of just ripping the Air Force bandage off completely, reserve Airmen can continue serving for two days out of the month and get their medical benefits, as well as educational benefits like tuition assistance.”
The Palace Chase and Palace Front programs are extremely helpful for those who aren’t sure if they’d like to separate from the Air Force entirely, but want more of the freedom that the AF Reserve can provide – with some of the same benefits.
TriCare coverage, pay, and educational opportunities are a bit different for AF Reserve Airmen compared to those on active duty status – but they are still an active component of serving.
“I enjoy helping people bridge the gap between what their goals are and what the Air Force Reserve can do to help with that,” said Williams. “Whether or not you stay on active-duty for 20 years or you do the same amount in the reserve, you’re still serving your country honorably – it’s all about how flexible you want your job to be.”
For more information on the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs, as well as Air Force Reserve benefits and how they contribute to the Air Force mission, visit https://afreserve.com/.