HomeNewsArticle Display

Humanitarian assignments considered for Airmen in time of need

Humanitarian Reassignment Program expedites assistance to Airmen in need

No single reason exists why a humanitarian reassignment or deferment might be approved. It might be a terminal illness, death of a spouse or sexual assault of the Airman's child. The Air Force’s Personnel Center views each request with compassion and empathy, giving it careful consideration. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Kat Bailey)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Today’s American Airmen do the impossible every day. They pursue their mission with excellence and integrity to become leaders and warriors, providing help to a world in need. However, even Airmen need help at times, especially if an acute problem occurs with a family member.

The Humanitarian Reassignment and Deferment Program, run by the Air Force Personnel Center, assists active-duty Airmen in resolving severe, short-term problems involving a family member while Airmen continue to meet the needs of the Air Force.

“The spirit and intent of the program is to place the Airman at the closest location to where the problem exists,” said Kimberly Schuler, Humanitarian Assignment Policy chief. “Typically, a reassignment or deferment is a one-time action to resolve a critical problem with a family member within a reasonable period of time, normally 12 months.”

The definition of “family member” for the Humanitarian Program is limited to spouse; child; parents, to include in-laws and stepparents; person in loco parentis; or other persons actually residing in the household who are dependent on the Airman for more than half of their financial support.

“We often get asked about siblings,” Schuler said. “That’s always a tough one because siblings aren’t within the scope of the definition of ‘family member.’ However, if the sibling is terminally ill, we’ll look at the request as an exception to policy.”

In a case that requires a long-term solution, an Airman would have to look at other options, she said.

“The Humanitarian Program is a temporary solution to a short-term problem and the Air Force is unable to consider a permanent or prolonged deferment.”

The comptroller general has ruled that the Air Force cannot make moves at government expense based solely on humanitarian reasons. The reassignment or deferment must be to meet Air Force mission needs in addition to helping the Airman. Therefore, a valid vacancy must exist at the gaining base and the Airman must meet retainability requirements for a permanent change of station.

Schuler’s team in AFPC’s Military Assignment Programs Branch, along with a team of six case managers in the Assignment Support Section and 11 Total Force Service Center Assignment technicians processes approximately 1,000 requests annually to expedite assistance to Airmen in need.

Humanitarian reassignment or deferment is not limited to a single reason. Circumstances can include the terminal illness of a family member, the death of an Airman’s spouse or child, the sexual assault of the Airman’s spouse or child, or issues involving a serious financial impact such as the loss of property through fire or natural disaster.

“The reason doesn’t have to fit into a box,” Schuler said.

In each situation, the AFPC Medical Review Board or the AFPC Administrative Law Office reviews requests for verification of clinical data submitted with an application or for the verification of legal documentation. Careful consideration goes into the adjudication of each request, as these Airmen are normally in a crisis and deserve the most compassionate eyes possible on their situation.

“It’s not just personnelists making the decision,” Schuler said. “It’s a whole system of checks and balances. The entire team looks at the whole-person concept. We look at each situation as if we were in that Airman’s shoes and view the circumstances with empathy and kindness.”

Missing documentation can delay the process, which is normally about two to four weeks. Schuler said the more supporting documentation the Airman can provide about every aspect of the situation, the better, as it paints a clearer picture of the scope of the problem. Burden of proof is on the member to prove that their situation is more than what an average Airman is going through.

“Everyone has a tipping point, so we weigh everything—everything—happening in that Airman’s life to determine the best course of action,” she said.

Currently, 2,916 Airmen are directly benefiting from humanitarian assignments at bases across the Air Force. However, if the Airman’s application does not meet the threshold for an approval under the Humanitarian Program, the case managers take the extra step to research if the Airman may be eligible for another alternative assignment option.

“Perhaps the Airman can apply for a Base of Preference or a follow-on assignment,” Schuler said. “Or maybe they don’t meet the requirements right now, but if something changes, they can reapply. We try to manage their expectations and provide resources instead of just simply saying, ‘Denied.’”

Schuler’s team is also working on improvements to the application process to make it more intuitive. Two efficiencies they would like to implement include a “delivery” status bar, visible to customers in the virtual Military Personnel Flight, and a defined set of statuses with detailed explanations of the application process.

To help Airmen navigate those resources, Schuler’s team hosts recurring webcasts on the Humanitarian Reassignment and Deferment Program. The next webinar for all Airman is scheduled for Sept. 27, 2017 at 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

Additionally, Airmen can chat with a personnel specialist live on myPers about the humanitarian program between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT. To access the chat feature, click on the Humanitarian/EFMP link under “Assignment Programs” on the active-duty myPers Assignment landing page, hover the mouse cursor for 30 seconds and a chat window will appear.

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit myPers. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following the instructions on the Air Force’s Personnel Centerwebsite.

Engage

Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Twitter
Roam Robotics developed a lightweight & inexpensive knee exoskeleton for applications in the health, military & rec… https://t.co/7klpyEaYG1
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Twitter
“With accelerating disruptive technologies...rewriting Air Power for all nations, not just the U.S., continuing our… https://t.co/WDD6LsQGkr
Twitter
#Resilience: The story of the Peck family’s and their battle with breast cancer. #TotalForce @ScottAFB https://t.co/PYGgSOQwcu
Twitter
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Maintaining resiliency in paradise - https://t.co/IXktGzGgWc (Story by the @624RSG) #ReserveResilient https://t.co/ta8mMTP…
Twitter
RT @hack_a_sat: Tune in at 11 AM PDT to watch the LIVE closing ceremony with Dr. Will Roper and @bjgol. 🚀It's all happening at https://t.c…
Twitter
Difficult, but not impossible. @GenCQBrownJr addresses the challenges the Air Force faces going forward. https://t.co/kF4FdxN5S6
Twitter
“I want to show people the power of having faith & sticking to what you say you’re going to do.” - Staff Sgt. Gerem… https://t.co/524l6BUsyI
Twitter
What operates 24/7 ensuring the safety of aircraft & aircrews, AND provides prompt service to whoever is flying?… https://t.co/JMaYsTV5XH
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr explains what the Air Force can expect from his leadership: https://t.co/bxeqgZ1NSi
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Your daily @usairforce news! ✅ @Team_Tinker Airmen are using 3D printing to manufacture metal components successfully…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,265,404
Follow Us