The Air Force said Wednesday that if possible, it will deploy airmen and aerospace professionals with custody orders near their children.
Service members can also request that their duties be postponed if the move would take them away from their children, the Air Force said. Child custody has not been taken into account in assignments.
“We know that family dynamics are not always the same and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing people’s careers and roles,” said Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, Air Force chief of staff. “We ask our employees to move frequently, and we know that doing so can create additional stress and sacrifice for their families. This change gives us the flexibility we need to take better care of them. “
From August 17th, service members can apply for abandonment or postponement near their children via myPers.
The change applies to both parents of birth children and adopted children. Service members must be named as parents and have a judicial custody arrangement to request postponement or duty near their children, the Air Force said.
However, the change does not give the aviators full authority to veto an order. The Air Force said matchmaking games will be conducted when possible and must meet the Air Force’s best needs. However, the Air Force said it will try to accommodate the Airmen’s custody situations unless they have no other option for a particular assignment.
“This is one we’ve been working on for a while and I’m glad we got it over the finish line,” Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth Wright said in the press release. “This Air Force life is a family business. Therefore, we owe it to our teammates to ensure they have every opportunity to keep their family together whenever possible. “
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Airmen must continue to meet crew requirements, complete the duties they were trained to do, and meet any requirements to be eligible for permanent relocation without waiver, the Air Force said.