AIR GUARD Frequently Asked Questions

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1.   What do I need to know about deployment?

2.    How can I reach my State Family Program

3.    How can I read my Wing Family Program

4.   How can I reach my State Air National

5.   How
do I obtain Identification Cards for Military Family Members?

6.    Where can
I obtain more information about TRICARE, the military
health care system? See also Health Center.

7.   How can I contact military personnel?

8.   Can I send e-mail to our troops?

9.   What can you tell me about military
mailing addresses?

10.   Do you have a list of military lodging
available in the U.S. and overseas?

11.    What is the Civil Air
Patrol and how is it related to the Air Force?

12.    How can I find a list
of Air Force Bases, stateside, and overseas?

13.   Where can I find Air Force
Publications and Forms?

14.    How can I learn about
career opportunities in the military?

15.    How can I find out
more about Air Force Careers?

16.   How do I join the National Guard?

17.   Interested in becoming an Air Force

18.   What can I expect at Basic Military

19.    Where can I find
information about the Air National Guard?

20.    How do I find out about per diem rates, retirement pay, travel

promotion opportunities, awards, and decorations, etc.?

21.   Can a non-U.S.
citizen join the U.S. Air Force?

22.   Where can I
obtain such military memorabilia as patches, uniform items,

23.    How can I obtain
historical and heraldry information on the USAF?

24.   How can I
obtain copies of my military records?

25.   Where online
can I find information about Veterans’ benefits?

26.   What are some other Air Force
and Air Guard links?

What do I need to know about Deployment?

The Guard and Reserve Family Readiness
Program Toolkit
is an important asset now available to families of service
members being called to active Duty or Deploying.  The
item is available as a printed product and on the Internet at  The toolkit is a standardized pre-deployment
and mobilization handbook.  It is an
attempt to standardize information between services and the reserve component,
so they can all use the same language when talking about deployment preparations.  A list of helpful
information can be found at

With the tool kit is another
helpful website, the “Guard and Reserve Family Readiness Schedule of Events: at  The calendar lists family readiness training
sites for the services. 

Finally the site also has a “Guide to
Reserve Family Member Benefits.”  The
booklet explains available military benefits, including medical and dental
benefits, commissary and exchange privileges, military pay and allowances and
re-employment rights. 

2.    How can I reach my State
Family Program Coordinator?

Each state is authorized one full-time, dedicated State Family Program Coordinator (SFPC). You can contact your state’s Family
Program Coordinator at:

How can I reach my Wing Family Program

You can contact your Wing’s
Family Program Coordinator at:

4.    How can I reach my State Air
National Guard?

Air National Guard Website addresses can be
found at this address and in the
attachment below:

Another way to contact your State Air National Guard is through the
National Guard Association of the United States at
The NGAUS allows Army and Air National Guard leaders at every level to
contribute to the national defense debate. Through the combined efforts of our
50,000 members, the NGAUS has compiled a successful track record of increasing
funding. Over the last several years, the NGAUS has obtained more than $1
billion annually in funding above the Pentagon’s budget request for Army and
Air National Guard equipment, training, and benefits.

5.   How do I obtain Identification Cards
for Military Family Members?

The Department of Defense (DoD), through
the Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS), issues members’
eligible dependents and other eligible individuals a distinct Identification
Card (ID) authorizing them to receive Uniformed Services’ benefits and
privileges.  Normally, Guard and Reserve
family members and other dependents receive a DD Form 1173-1, the DoD Guard and
Reserve Dependent ID Card (red).  These
cards do not authorize eligibility for medical benefits and commissary
privileges in and of themselves.  They
will assist Guard and Reserve family members in accessing these privileges when
accompanied by a copy of the service member’s orders to active duty or a
commissary privilege card.  The cards do authorize access to exchange and certain morale, welfare and
recreation (MWR) privileges.

The DD Form 1173-1 serves as proof that
individual shave been pre-enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System
(DEERS).  This is an important first
step in obtaining family member and dependent medical treatment when the
service member is called to active duty for 31 consecutive days or more.  When the service member is called to active
duty for more than 30 days, part of the processing for entry on active duty
should be the completion of a DD Form 1172, Application for Uniformed Services
Identification Card – DEERS Enrollment for each eligible family member and
legal dependent.  This application,
along with surrender of the DD Form 1173-1, will allow family members and
dependents to received the DD Form 1173 (tan). 
These cards will
authorize appropriate medical, commissary, exchange and MWR benefits and
privileges for the period of active duty specified on the members’

Family members and eligible dependents are
required to report to a RAPIDS ID Card issuing site in order to be issued the
appropriate ID Card.  Ask your State
Family Program Coordinator for a list of ID Card issuing locations in your
SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS, DOCUMENTS and HOURS OF OPERATION.  You can search for an ID Card location by
city or state at

The revised AFI 36-3026(I) 20 Dec 02 is available
electronically.  Your attention is invited to:


This is a large file that takes a
significant amount of time to load.  If you want to keep it as a
reference, you might want to load it once and then print it and load it into a
binder or folder.

6.    Where can I obtain more
information about TRICARE, the military healthcare system? See also Health

The TRICARE Dental Program

is a voluntary dental insurance program for the Selected
Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, and all eligible uniformed services family
members. To be eligible, you must have at least 12 months of service commitment
remaining and participate in the program for at least 12 months after which
enrollment is month to month.

Reserve members are responsible for just 40 percent of the monthly premium; the
government pays the rest. Other Reserve component members are responsible for
the full premium. When called to active duty for more than 30 days, you are
eligible for dental care at military treatment facilities free of charge, and
thus are disenrolled from the TRICARE Dental Program.

family members are invited to enroll, even if the sponsor does not. Family
members are responsible for the full premium, except when you are called to
active duty for more than 30 days, which reduces the premium share to 40
percent; the government pays the rest. Although family members enroll under the
sponsor’s Social Security number, there will be two separate premium payments —
one for you, the sponsor, and one for family members. NOTE: Family members are
not bound by the 12-month minimum enrollment commitment if the sponsor is
ordered to active duty for a contingency operation as defined in law. In this
case, you have 30 days from activation to submit the enrollment application.
Family members must remain enrolled during the entire active duty period in
support of the contingency operation.

Additional information on the TRICARE Dental Program is available at the
United Concordia Companies, Inc. Web site at, or call toll
free 1-800-866-8499 for general information, or 1-888-622-2256 to enroll. To
contact the Managed Care Support Contractor for your region, go the


The TDP is administered by United Concordia Companies Inc. (UCCI). For
more information about the TDP, beneficiaries may access the benefit handbook
online at or by calling
toll free 1-800-866-8499, 24 hours a day. Members residing outside the
continental United States (OCONUS) should call 1-888-418-0466 (toll free). This
telephone number is available in the following countries: Australia, Bahrain,
Belgium, Bolivia, Columbia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan,
Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain,
Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. At all other locations, members
should call 1-717-975-5017. Representatives are available to assist members in
English, German and Italian 24 hours a day, Monday through

New 2002 TRICARE Handbook Available For
Beneficiaries And Providers

After five years of honorable service to Military Health System beneficiaries and
providers worldwide, the time has come to retire the red, white and blue
TRICARE “Standard” Handbook. Its replacement, the September 2002
TRICARE Handbook, is available for distribution to beneficiaries and providers

The new
handbook highlights all three TRICARE options — Prime, Standard and Extra —
and the many health care programs and benefits added since the 1997 edition.
New topics and benefits covered include TRICARE For Life, TRICARE Prime Remote
for Active Duty Family Members, TRICARE Plus, Travel Reimbursement,
Chiropractic Care, TRICARE Senior Pharmacy Program, TRICARE Dental Program,
Debt Collection Assistance Officer Program, Beneficiary Counseling and
Assistance Coordinator Program, and more.

handbook has a fresh new design and color. The cover is white with a vignette
representing uniformed services families, ranks and memorabilia on the front
and helpful telephone numbers and addresses on the back. Included inside are
improved charts and graphs for cost comparisons, tips and helpful reminders for
beneficiaries to consider before seeking care from authorized civilian

The new handbook is being shipped to TRICARE service centers and military
treatment facilities in every TRICARE region and is available to sponsors and
their family members upon request. An electronic version of the handbook is
available for viewing or downloading at
Providers or organizations requiring additional quantities of handbooks may
order them at this site.

Sponsors and family members with TRICARE questions or in need of
assistance are still encouraged to contact their local beneficiary counseling
and assistance coordinator, health benefits adviser, or TRICARE service center
representative. A list of local and regional toll-free TRICARE telephone numbers
is available in the handbook and on the TRICARE Web site at

TRICARE Offers Benefits To
Activated Reservists And National Guard Members

Demobilized members of the
Reserve component and their dependents, who were activated in support of a
contingency operation are eligible for the TRICARE transitional health care
demonstration project (does not include full-time National Guard duty).

Family members of Reserve
component members (National Guard and Reserve) ordered to active duty for more
than 30 days under 10 U.S.C. or 32 U.S.C. are eligible for TRICARE.

Members of the Reserves and National Guard
who are called to active duty will be eligible for health care benefits under
TRICARE, just as other active-duty service members are.  Their families will also become eligible for
TRICARE benefits, if the military sponsor’s active-duty orders are for a
long-enough period of time. 
Families of members called to
active duty in response to the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are eligible for
enhanced benefits under the TRICARE Reserve Family Demonstration Project.

TRICARE eligibility
for the military sponsor begins on the effective date of their orders to active
duty.  Needed care will be provided by
uniformed services medical treatment facilities, and by authorized civilian
health care providers.

Families of activated reservists and National Guard members become
eligible for health care benefits under

on the first day of the
military sponsor’s active duty, if his or her orders are for a period of more
than 30 consecutive days of active duty, or if the orders are for an indefinite

Standard is the former CHAMPUS program with a new name.  Benefits under TRICARE Standard are the same
as they were for CHAMPUS.

active-duty families, TRICARE Standard pays 80 percent of the TRICARE allowable
charge for covered health care services that are obtained from authorized,
non-network, civilian health care providers. Those who receive the care are
legally responsible for the other 20 percent of the allowable charge, plus
other charges billed by “non-participating” providers, up to the
legal limit of 15 percent above the allowable charge. Providers who
“participate” in TRICARE accept the TRICARE allowable charge as the
full fee for the care they provide.

who use TRICARE Standard or Extra pay annual deductibles for outpatient care of
$150 for one person, and $300 for a family (for active-duty military sponsors
who are E-4 and below, the amounts are $50 for one person, and $100 for a
family). TRICARE Extra features discounted cost-shares (15 percent of
negotiated fees) when TRICARE network providers are used, but it’s available
only in the same geographic areas as the HMO-type health care option, TRICARE

Families of Reserve/National Guard members who are called to active duty
for 179 days or more may enroll in

or may be eligible for

. But
must be completed, and
military medical facilities and/or TRICARE Prime network providers must be used.

Since many
Reserve families may have continuing relationships with providers who are not
in the TRICARE networks, enrolling in TRICARE Prime (and thereby having to use
only providers who are part of the TRICARE Prime network) may not be the best
choice for these families.  TRICARE
Standard may work better for them.

who are covered by other health insurance (such as a civilian employer’s health
plan) should be aware that TRICARE pays after those plans have made their
payment for health care services.  The only time TRICARE is not second payer is

Medicaid (a public assistance program) is involved, or if the
patient has a health care insurance policy that is specifically designated as a
TRICARE supplemental policy. In those cases, TRICARE pays before the other

Standard users should make sure that the provider from whom they seek health
care has been certified by the regional TRICARE contractor as an authorized
provider of care for TRICARE patients (check with the provider, or with the
regional TRICARE contractor).  If they
receive services from a provider who is not authorized, the cost of
services-even though they might otherwise be covered by the program-will not be
shared by the government.

Activated Reservists/National Guard members should check with their
reserve centers or unit commanding officers to make sure that all information
about themselves and their family members is current and accurate in the Defense
Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (

database.  Incorrect information can result in delayed
claims processing, problems with the use of retail pharmacies and the National
Mail Order Pharmacy (

NMOP) benefit,
and other difficulties.  For information
about DEERS enrollment, contact the DEERS Telephone Center from 6 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Pacific Time, toll-free, at 1-800-334-4162 (California only), 1-800-527-5602
(Alaska and Hawaii only), or 1-800-538-9552 (all other

If you are
an activated Reservist or National Guard member, you can get more information
about your family’s TRICARE Standard benefits from the TRICARE Standard
Handbook.  To get one, check with your
nearest uniformed services hospital or clinic, or any TRICARE service center.
Or, write to the TRICARE Management Activity, 16401 E. Centretech Parkway,
Aurora, CO 80011-9043.

You can also get information from the
or from the
Reserve Affairs Web

7.   How can I contact military personnel?

The Air Force can locate active duty personnel, as well as retirees,
reservists, and Guardsmen. This information is not available for those who have
separated from the Air Force or are Army Air Corps retirees. Information on
individuals stationed overseas or in a sensitive position will not be released.
However, the locator service will forward mail to that person for up to 90
days, as long as the correct postage is on the envelope and any required fee
has been paid. Parents, spouses, and government officials may call (210)

you need to contact a military member for emergency purposes, please call your
local Red Cross chapter. Use operator assistance if necessary, or you may also
find your local Red Cross chapter telephone number by visiting,
clicking on “Your local Red Cross” and entering your zip code.

8.    Can
I send e-mail to our troops?
(Army, Navy/Marine Corps, Air
Force, & Coast Guard) Note: This page works best with Internet Explorer or
Netscape Navigator 6.2.

9.   What can you tell me about
military mailing addresses?

Air Force Worldwide Locator

550C Street West Suite 50
Randolph AFB TX 78150-4752
DSN: 665-2660 Comm: (210) 565-2660
Operating hours: Monday- Friday
7:30 am – 4:30 pm (Central Standard Time)

***Family members with an emergency should contact the National Headquarters of
the American Red Cross, (703) 206-6141***

The Air Force Worldwide Locator handles requests locating Air Force personnel
(military and civilian) from the general public, families, and official
requests from Department of Defense or Air Force Officials.

Outside Department of Defense Requests:
The following information is required to make a positive identification: full
name to include a middle initial, Social Security Number or Air Force Service
Number, date of birth or a duty history in the Air Force giving the place,
month and year, of assignments after June 1970.

The Locator also provides a Certificate of Record of Military Service to
substantiate an individual’s time in service. The fee for this Certificate is
$5.20 per name. Civilians or representatives of civilian businesses must send a
written and properly signed request on official letterhead. There is a
nonrefundable research fee of $3.50 per name.

The Privacy Act Law and Air Force policies prohibit the Locator from releasing
information on retirees, Sensitive, Deployable units or individuals assigned
overseas. However, the Locator can forward a letter to these protected
individuals upon request. If that service is desired, place the letter to be
forwarded in a sealed envelope with a return address, postage affixed and the
individuals name in the addressee portion of the envelope. That envelope should
be placed in another envelope along with your request containing the
individuals identifying information and a check or money order for $3.50 made
payable to DAO-DE RAFB. Mail to: HQ AFPC/MSIMD, 550 C Street West Suite 50,
Randolph AFB TX 78150-4752.

Separated or retired military personnel records are maintained at the National
Personnel Records Center. You may write them directly at the following address:

9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis MO 63132-5100

Civil Service (civilians) records are maintained

US Office of Personnel Management
OPR/EMF Access Unit
PO Box 18673
St. Louis MO 63118

Official Requests:
Active duty members with an official request must first contact their Military
Personnel Flight, Customer Service Branch. Active duty Civil Service employees
with an official request must contact their Civilian Personnel Flight, Customer
Service Office.

There is no charge for active duty Air Force members, retirees and Civil
Service active duty and retirees, who include their Social Security Number for
identification. City, county, and state office with an unofficial request, must
write the Locator.

Federal or State Government agencies’ request for access to information must be
in pursuant to the Privacy Act, in accordance with Untied States Code
552(a)(7), as further defined in OMB Guidelines, 40 Federal Register 28, 948,
28, 955 (1975). Specifically, the request must be in writing, on official
letterhead and SIGNED by the head of your agency or an appointed designees as
long as such designee is not below the Section Chief level. Signature of a caseworker,
agent, office, or assistant does not meet this requirement.

Parents or spouses
may call the Locator for service.

10.   Do you have a list of
military lodging available in the U.S. and overseas?

Visit the
Air Force
link. Military lodging
information is available in the “leisure activities” area.

11.    What is the Civil Air Patrol
and how is it related to the Air Force?

For information on

CAP, visit their web site. If you have a question that is not
addressed here, you may find the answer by contacting an Air Force base near you
using the

Air Force Link sites

12.    How can I find a list of Air
Force Bases, stateside, and overseas?

Each January Airman magazine publishes the year in review,
which contains a listing of

Air Force
. You may also access
U.S. Air Force Web
information.  Additional
Information for Air Bases can be found at:

13.    Where can I find Air Force Publications and

This site,,
lists all Air Force publications. 
Additionally, Air Force publications can be accessed at

14.    How can I learn about career
opportunities in the military?

The Department of Defense — the largest U.S. employer — offers many thousands
of rewarding and challenging jobs, in hundreds of different fields, as a
service member or as a civilian, throughout the United States and around the
world.  Information about these
opportunities is readily available on line. 
How can I learn about career
opportunities and internships?

15.    How can I find out more about
Air Force Careers?

To get more information about the
careers, opportunities, and benefits the Air Force has to offer, visit the

U.S Air Force Recruiting
and go the
section entitled, “More Info”, or write to:

U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service Headquarters, 550 D Street, Suite 1 Randolph
Air Force Base, TX 78150-4527 (210) 652-5993

16.   How do I join the National Guard?

For information on the Air National Guard go to

17.    Interested in
becoming an Air Force Officer?

There are several options available. 
Obtain an appointment to the
Air Force

Join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)
in the college you attend. Enlist in the Air Force after graduating from college and attend the

Officer Training
(OTS) to win your Air Force commission. To
learn more about becoming an Air Force Pilot, visit the

Air Force Academy
page or the

Pilot Candidate Selection Method

18.   What can I expect at Basic Military

Basic Military
Training will challenge you physically and mentally. You’ll learn to follow
instructions, help others and work as a team. You will grow with each success,
and you’ll gain confidence in your ability to achieve all of your dreams and
goals.  For more
information go to and
type BMT into the search engine.

19.    Where can I find information
about the Air National Guard?

for information about the Air National Guard.

20.    How do I find out about per
diem rates, retirement pay, travel expenses, promotion opportunities, awards,
and decorations, etc.?

These questions can all best be answered by visiting the
Military Personnel Flight at your base of assignment. Also, the

Air Force Personnel

site and the Defense Finance and Accounting

sites have much of this information available.

21.   Can a non-U.S. citizen join
the U.S. Air Force?

Enlistment into the U.S. Air Force, or any branch of the U.S. military, by
citizens of countries other than the United States is limited to those foreign
nationals who are legally residing in the United States and possess an
Immigrations and Naturalization Service Alien Registration Card (INS Form
I-151/551 — Commonly known as a “Green Card”). Applicants must be
between 17 and 35; meet the mental, morale, and physical standards for
enlistment; and must speak, read, and write English fluently.

Note: The U.S. military branches cannot assist foreign nationals in obtaining
admittance into the United States. Questions concerning immigration to the United
States should be asked of the U.S. Embassy. Only after immigration procedures
are completed and an applicant is legally residing in the United States may an
application for enlistment be accepted. Furthermore, to be commissioned an
officer in the U.S. Air Force, one must be a native-born or naturalized United
States citizen.

22.   Where can I obtain such
military memorabilia as patches, uniform items, mugs, etc?

The Air Force cannot provide official uniform
items, but several private companies exist to meet your needs.  The following list
does not constitute endorsement. Go to

Air Force

23.    How can I obtain historical
and heraldry information on the USAF?

Questions can be sent to one of
the following agencies:

US Air Force Historical
Information Sites

24.   How can I obtain copies of my
military records?

The Air Force Personnel Center

The Air Force
Personnel Center can be accessed at

National Personnel Records Center –
Military Personnel Records

The National
Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is the
repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of
discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century.  NPRC-MPR also
stores medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as
records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities.
Information from the records is made available upon written request (with
signature and date) to the extent allowed by law.

This site is provided for those
seeking information regarding military personnel, health and medical records
stored at NPRC-MPR. If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran,
you may now use
to order a copy of your military records. For all others, your request is best
made using a

Standard Form 180. It
includes complete instructions for preparing and submitting requests, or:
Contact the National Personnel Records Center

Civilian Records

111 Winnebago

St. Louis, Missouri

Military Records Facility
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis Missouri 63132-5100
Phone: (800) 318-5298

At minimum, please include the service member’s complete name, social security
number and/or serial number, and the requester’s return address.  Website is:

For individuals compiling family histories, NARA provides
assistance to those interested in genealogy. NARA normally charges a nominal fee
for research and reproduction costs. Their address is:

National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA)

8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20408

25.   Where online can I find
information about Veterans’ benefits?

Visit the Department of


If you have a general military
question, please refer to the Department of Defense

Frequently Asked

26.   What are some other Air Force
and Air Guard links?

Other online sites that may be helpful are:
Additional Air Force Guard