Air Power Recruiters, Households Already Benefiting from a New Custody Task Program Air Training and Coaching Command Information
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – A recently announced Air Force initiative is already paying off for several Air Force recruits and their families. The new judicial custody decree makes it easier for airmen to postpone or look for assignments so that they can be stationed near their children.
Allocation authorities can now review requests for allocation or deferment so Airmen can serve near their children even if the co-parents are not married.
“This is one we’ve been working on for a while and I’m glad we got it over the finish line,” said former Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth Wright said in a pre-retirement interview. “You know, this Air Force is a family business. Therefore, we owe it to our teammates to ensure they have every opportunity to keep their family together whenever possible. “
Several recruiters have already benefited from the new program.
“It’s a great program that puts family first,” said Master Sgt. Raymond Sanchez, 337th Recruiting Squadron, hired the recruiter to join. “My first sergeant sent me an email about the program. I just had to go to MyPers, look up the court-ordered custody agreement (CCCA), compile all the documents and have them confirmed by my commanding officer. The process was pretty quick, I got my assignment within two weeks. “
While recruiting is a stressful task, keeping your children close by can take the pressure off recruiters and allow them to better focus on their work.
“I think it’s a wonderful program,” said Tech. Sgt. Ismael Quiles, 318th Recruiting Squadron Recruiter. “As Airmen grow in their careers, some of us experience extreme stress from family separation. For us, stability means everything. We have to move every three years and the stress of being apart is always there. Now that this program is here, we really need to worry less. I can now use this energy to develop myself as an aviator. “
“When I can be with my children, it brings me sheer happiness,” said Master Sgt. William McLeod, special program manager for the 330th Recruiting Series. “When I’m happy, my subordinates and managers will notice and it will have a positive effect on everyone involved.”
McLeod was able to postpone an assignment that would have placed him 23 hours away from his children. Although he’s still seven hours away from his kids, it’s much better than the alternative.
“If the schedules allow, I can drive up for the weekend and see you,” he said. “I can go to a soccer game, see a school show, attend parent-teacher conferences, spend a lot more time than we could ever be 23 hours away. The cost of plane tickets, rental cars and hotels have been reduced by at least 70%. “
The new program is life changing as it allows families to stay close and relieve stress.
“My boss had just come here from another duty station and we had a get-to-know session,” said Sanchez. “I just found out that another position was opening in Raleigh (North Carolina, where he is currently based) and I told my manager if he could help me get this job it would mean the world to me and i would go through a wall for him. He told me he would try his best to get it. It meant a lot because my daughter and my family are so important to me. If you’re happy, so am I. “
While this program definitely helps recruiters, the big winners are the kids.
“My kids love this program,” Quiles said. “To always have your father around you don’t have to spend part of your life without seeing me and we can spend time together.”
“My 10-year-old was crying and thinking I had done anything for him,” said McLeod. “He was concerned about flights between North Carolina and Montana. He was very happy. “
Sanchez’s daughter lives with him. His ex-wife, a flight attendant, recently moved to Raleigh. By moving to another position in Raleigh, he was able to keep the family close.
“It means the world to me because my daughter is happy that she can be with her mother more often,” he said. “It takes the stress out of moving and my daughter switching schools, and I don’t have to worry about taking my daughter to her mother and putting her on a plane by herself. That only makes our family stronger and, in turn, makes me a better flyer and harder worker. “
The recruiters who have benefited from this program are determined to share their experiences with their fellow flyers.
“The only way to say thank you to everyone who made this possible is to pay it up,” said McLeod. “I posted the new change on Facebook directly from the Air Force Personnel Center, letting the world know that I was selected and if anyone needed help informing me and I could help them apply. I’ve helped several people apply and answered a number of questions. I plan to do more to promote this program and to help all who need it. “
“I think anyone with a custody agreement should apply for it,” Quiles said. “It’s a seamless process that helps your family. I have already supported a flight comrade with the application. “
“Getting the word out is very important because sometimes we get stuck in our own world and do repetitive things and tend to exclude everything else,” said Sanchez. “I would love to help others because I feel this is a win-win for the family and the Air Force.”
Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Hoglund, AFPC chief of command, said in a recent interview that he commends the Air Force for the implementation of this new program.
“The ability to turn a vision into a reality set the tone for future programs to continue generating profit for our Airmen and families,” said Hoglund. “I’m looking forward to this program running on all cylinders and becoming a normal muscle movement for our operations managers in our Operations Executions Directorate.”
He added that there is a team of experts working behind the scenes to make sure these programs are successful.
“The job’s functional managers and policy experts combine art with science to produce positive results for our Airmen,” said Hoglund.
Service members who are named as birth or adopted parents and who have a judicial custody agreement are eligible to apply. Assignment games are conducted whenever possible and must meet the Air Force’s best needs.
The criteria for judicial custody agreements and suspensions vary. For more information, see the new Air Force Guidance Memorandum AFI 36-2110.
Airmen can submit their application via MyPers. Instructions can be found in the PSD manual, Voluntary Duties: CCCA / CCCD.