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Join Spouse Program

What is a join spouse couple? It's essentially an active duty military member married to another active duty military member. Air Force policy is to assign military couples together, when possible, to a location where they can live in the same residence. Remember, each member is serving in his or her own right and must fulfill the obligations expected of all Air Force personnel. Because the Air Force cannot guarantee military couples will be reassigned together, you should take all necessary steps to reduce the impact of a separation should it occur. Understanding the Join Spouse Program and applying it correctly is essential in preventing self imposed family separations. Here is a brief overview of the various aspects of the Join Spouse Program:

How to apply

Married military couples are required to complete the AF Form 1048 (Military Spouse Information). This form lets AFPC know what your intentions/desires as a couple are. It tells us whether you do or do not want to be reassigned together. If you do want joint assignments, we will do everything reasonable to accommodate your desires in most situations. While your join-spouse-intent-code might tell us you want to be assigned together, there are some situations where it will be necessary for you to also formally apply for join spouse consideration. The situations that require formal application are:

  • Air Force members married to active duty members of another branch of service
  • Members who marry while assigned to different locations
  • Marriages that occur after one member has an assignment

It is very important for AF members who marry while proceeding to different assignment locations to contact the nearest Air Force installation. They should submit an application for Join Spouse assignment before arriving at their new duty location. This is important for the military couple because it allows AFPC to consider the join spouse application and possibly issue instructions for a change in assignment.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a join spouse assignment you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have 24 months time on station for a funded move (CONUS to CONUS and to OS) or 12 months for a permissive move (within the CONUS or OS-to-OS within the same theater)
  • Permissive moves from CONUS-to-OS and OS-to-CONUS are not authorized
  • You must be able to obtain 24 months retainability from the reporting date for a CONUS-to-CONUS move
  • When assigned to the same or adjacent overseas location, you must serve the accompanied by dependents tour length
  • Both members must be serving on extended active duty in one of the US military services. This does not include reserve members on active duty for less than 12 months
  • You cannot be pending separation or retirement within 12 months from the date you will be joined

Guidelines for approval and disapproval

When considering approval of a join spouse application, AFPC uses established guidelines. These guidelines ensure equal consideration of all requests. In order for us to approve a request, a requirement, not just a vacancy, must exist at the desired location. What's the difference between a vacancy and a requirement? A base may have an empty or vacant position available, but it might not be a requirement. We rely on a process that identifies which empty positions are required to be filled. Once an empty position has been identified as needing to be filled, it is called a requirement. Sometimes, there are vacancies that are not requirements and therefore, will not be filled. The next guideline for approval is that the member and his or her spouse must meet all eligibility criteria. Be aware that join spouse assignments are not permitted in conjunction with any Base of Preference (BOP) reassignment program. In the event a member's AFSC cannot be used at the spouse's location, he or she may apply for retraining if otherwise eligible.

If you voluntarily request cancellation of a join spouse assignment or self-initiate a reassignment to a location other than where your military spouse is, you have told AFPC that you don't want to be assigned with your spouse. As a result, you may be separated from your spouse and won't be eligible for further consideration to your spouse's location...... BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR . While your spouse may be able to subsequently request an assignment to your location, such a reassignment would not be under the join spouse rules and, depending upon the circumstances at the time, could be a long shot at best. The AF will try to keep you together, but you have a key role in the success of this program.

As a military couple you are not authorized to be jointly assigned to overseas locations where government approved accompanied housing is not available. For example, if both you and your spouse were selected for assignment to Kunsan AB South Korea, you should immediately advise your MPF so corrective actions can be taken. In such a case, we would, depending upon the circumstances, attempt to find a different short tour during the same time frame for one of the members. This is especially important for couples who get married after being selected for an assignment. (If, by chance, you do end up at the same short tour location, one of you will be "continued" on to a different location. Obviously, it would be better to have this all settled up front rather than after you arrive at the "wrong" location). Military couples who are married in the overseas area while currently serving on a dependent restricted tour (such as Kunsan AB), may continue to serve in their own right and DEROS upon completion of the tour. Additionally, they can request to extend to match their spouse's DEROS so they can depart at the same time.


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