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Air Force Humanitarian Assignments

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Continued from Military Humanitarian Assignments Introduction

The Air Force Humanitarian Assignments Program was established to assist members in resolving severe short-term problems involving a family member. The program allows placement of the military member at the closest location to where the family member concerned resides to provide the family member maximum support, consistent with the manning needs of the Air Force.

For the purposes of this program, the term "family member" is limited to spouse, child, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, person in loco parentis, or other persons actually residing in the household who are dependent for over half of their financial support. Stepparents can qualify as a family member if they meet the basic criteria for in loco parentis.

    In loco parentis refers to one who exercises parental rights, duties, and responsibilities. This condition must exist for a minimum of 5 years before the member's or spouse's 21st birthday, or before entry on active duty, whichever is earlier. Requests based on in loco parentis status must include affidavits from all parties (to include other family members, neighbors, or family friends) stating the details of the custody, control, care, and management of member or spouse, and copies of any documents that may have been created at the time establishing in loco parentis status and relating to the custody, control, care, and management of member or spouse. NOTE: The mere presence of a person in the home for a number of years, during which time he or she exercised a degree of custodial but not parental responsibilities does not constitute in loco parentis. In order for the child to have been in the care and custody of one acting in place of the parent, the parent cannot have been also in the same home (unless the parent was mentally incompetent).

Emergency or ordinary leave should be used first as a means of easing family hardships or problems before applying for humanitarian reassignment.

The situation must be able to be resolved in a limited period of time (one year or less). All Air Force personnel must be able to respond to any contingency wherever and whenever called upon to do so. Permanent or prolonged deferment from reassignment cannot be considered. If a reassignment or temporary period of deferment is approved, the member must thereafter (following the deferment period) revert to worldwide assignable status. If the problem cannot be resolved within a year, humanitarian discharge consideration is more appropriate.

Eligibility Criteria

Members can apply for a humanitarian reassignment or deferment if they meet all of the following conditions:

  • They have a documented and substantiated short-term problem involving a family member. (See see above for the definition of a family member for the purpose of the humanitarian reassignment program.)

  • The problem is more severe than that usually encountered by other Air Force members with a similar problem.

  • The member's presence is absolutely essential to alleviate the problem.

  • The problem can be resolved within a reasonable period of time (normally 12 months).

Humanitarian Conditions Usually Warranting Approval

The approval authority will normally approve a humanitarian reassignment or deferment under these conditions if a vacancy exists at the new duty station if a PCS is involved; however, this list is not all inclusive.

  • The recent death (within 6 months) of the member's spouse or child, including miscarriages of 20 weeks or more gestation time. Humanitarian reassignment is normally approved on the death of a child or stepchild under the age of 18 who is living in the member's home at the time of death. Reassignments made under this provision will be considered on a case-by-case basis in order for the member to receive extended family support or to relocate to the closest available base to the burial site. The overall consideration will be the needs of the Air Force; however, every effort will be made to ensure the member is provided an assignment as close to the area of support as possible, within their AFSC.

  • The member has a serious financial problem not the result of overextension of personal military income (such as loss of primary home of residence where member or dependents currently reside or possessions through fire, theft, or natural disaster) and will suffer a substantial financial loss unless his or her presence or continued presence can be ensured. It must be shown the problem cannot be solved by leave, correspondence, power of attorney, or by any other person or means.

  • The member is serving an unaccompanied OS tour and his or her spouse abandons their dependents. It must be shown it is not possible for the dependents to join the member at the OS location when an accompanied tour is authorized and that the member's presence is necessary. The assignment location under this provision will be based on the needs of the Air Force.

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