Army Enlisted Assignment Exchanges (SWAPS)

One Way Soldiers Can Change Their Assignment

  • US Military Careers
  • Technology Careers
  • Sports Careers
  • Project Management
  • Professional Writer
  • Music Careers
  • Legal Careers
  • Government Careers
  • Finance Careers
  • Fiction Writing Careers
  • Entertainment Careers
  • Criminology Careers
  • Book Publishing
  • Animal Careers
  • Advertising

Rod Powers was a retired Air Force First Sergeant with 22 years of active duty service.

  • Air Force NCO Academy

Did you know that a soldier at one Army installation can agree to "swap" assignments with a soldier at another installation , as long as it doesn't cost the government any money?

It's true, and it's part of a little-known and little-used program for exchanging assignments, unofficially known as the "SWAPS" Program.

Soldiers Looking for SWAP Opportunities

Every month (or so) the Army Times publishes a list of soldiers who wish to locate others of the same rank, MOS, and basic qualifications, stationed at installation(s) they desire to be assigned at. Soldiers can use this listing to contact these soldiers desiring to SWAP, and make an informal agreement. One of the soldiers then initiates the SWAP request, using DA Form 4187  ( Personnel Action ).

Using Personnel Action DA Form 4187 for a SWAP

The soldier initiating the SWAP includes the following statement on the DA Form 4187:

“I have read and understand the provisions of AR 614–200, and hereby waive any and all claims against the U.S. Government for transportation for myself, my family members, my household goods, and my personal property incident to travel and shipment resulting from reassignment from (current station) Fort Defense, Virginia, to (new location) Fort Service, New York, as requested by me. I further agree to waive any and all claims against the U.S. Government for mileage allowances and/or per diem allowance both for myself and my family”

The initiating soldier also includes a statement like the following example on the form, from the soldier he/she has agreed to SWAP with:

I agree to an exchange assignment with FOX, Guy S.,000-00-0000, SGT 11B2O presently stationed at Fort Defense, VA. If this request is approved, I understand that all expenses (including transportation of family members and household goods) incident to this reassignment will be borne by me. I further understand that any time used as travel time between duty stations will be charged against me as ordinary leave. The following personal data are submitted: Name: WOLF, John S. Grade: SGT, E5 MOS: 11B Unit and station: Co A, 2d BN, 4th Inf, 86th Inf Division, Fort Service, NY 01122.

How to Qualify for an Assignment Exchanges

In order to qualify for an assignment exchange or SWAP, soldiers must meet the following criteria.

  • Both soldiers must agree to the SWAP, must be of the same rank, same MOS (job), and be similarly qualified.
  • Exchanges must be CONUS (Continental United States) to CONUS or OCONUS (Overseas) within their same OCONUS command.
  • The commanders of both soldiers concerned must concur in the proposed exchange assignment, and agree on the date of assignment.
  • Soldiers must serve at least 12 months at current duty station and have at least 12 months time remaining in service upon arrival at the gaining installation.
  • Soldiers will pay all costs incurred in relocation, and all travel time will be charged as ordinary leave.
  • Eligibility for foreign service does not change, and no stabilization period is authorized for either soldier.
  • Soldiers in receipt of AIs, or in a deployed status, are not eligible.
  • If a married Army couple currently occupying a common household is separated because one soldier is granted an exchange assignment, the other soldier may not apply for reassignment to the same installation to reestablish a joint residence.
  • Preparing For Army Officer Training
  • Army Enlisted Military Occupational Specialties (MOS)
  • Army Enlisted Rank Promotion System Breakdown
  • US Military Enlistment Contracts and Enlistment Incentives
  • Army Additional Skill Identifiers – ASI
  • The Medal of Honor
  • The Delayed Enlistment Program – DEP
  • Military Humanitarian or Compassionate Assignments
  • Air Force Humanitarian Assignments
  • Army Special Forces Enlistment to Green Beret Pipeline
  • Installation Overview – Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae, S. Korea
  • Military Leave and Liberty
  • United States Military Pay and Benefits
  • Army Training Phase Restrictions
  • Living in Military Family Housing or Living Off-Base

SWAP INFORMATION

Find branch-specific information regarding enlisted assignment swaps for each branch below.

CG 3307 Request form

COAST GUARD

Be in pay grade E-3 or above. Nonrated members must be in the same path of advancement; i.e., seamen can mutual only with seamen and firemen only with firemen.

Prior to executing the orders, non-rated members must agree to serve aboard the new unit for 12 months irrespective of Class "A" School standing. Prior to executing such orders, individuals must either request cancellation of their Class "A" School Training Request, or request Commander (CG PSC-EPM-2) place their name on hold status, so that when the member's name reaches the top of the "A" School waiting list it will remain there until the member completes one year aboard the new unit. Upon completing one year at the new unit, the member will be authorized to attend "A" School when so ordered.

Receive favorable command endorsement.

Have at least one year of active obligated service remaining upon reporting to the new unit.

Have received no unsatisfactory conduct mark or any evaluation which renders the member ineligible for a Good Conduct Award per Article 5.H.1. of reference (i), Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2 (series), nor NJP, court martial, or civil conviction for the previous year. This provision will not be waived.

Have a minimum of six months aboard present unit prior to executing mutual or unilateral transfer orders.

For a unilateral transfer, the members present unit must exceed unit allowance in his or her rate, or have the favorable endorsement of the commanding officer that no immediate replacement will be required if the request is granted.

Screen Shot 2021-08-08 at 5.52.47 PM.png

Download DA Form 4187

Both soldiers must agree to the SWAP, must be of the same rank, same MOS (job), and be similarly qualified.

Exchanges must be CONUS (Continental United States) to CONUS or OCONUS (Overseas) within their same OCONUS command.

The commanders of both soldiers concerned must concur in the proposed exchange assignment, and agree on the date of assignment.

Soldiers must serve at least 12 months at current duty station and have at least 12 months time remaining in service upon arrival at the gaining installation.

Soldiers will pay all costs incurred in relocation, and all travel time will be charged as ordinary leave.

Eligibility for foreign service does not change, and no stabilization period is authorized for either soldier.

Soldiers in receipt of AIs, or in a deployed status, are not eligible.

If a married Army couple currently occupying a common household is separated because one soldier is granted an exchange assignment, the other soldier may not apply for reassignment to the same installation to reestablish a joint residence.

Requirements

Enlisted personnel interested in the exchange program must be in the same Control Air Force Specialty Code and skill level and both possess the same special experience identifier if an SEI requirement applies to either requested assignment.

Commanders will review applications and recommend approval or disapproval within 10 days of receipt. Approved applications will be forwarded to the Air Force Contact Center for further actions. Disapproved requests will be returned to the Airman along with justification for the denial.

More detailed information can be found in the Personnel Services Delivery Transformation Web site or by calling the Air Force Contact Center at (800) 616-3775 (Option 1,1,2)

Screen Shot 2021-08-08 at 5.38.18 PM.png

Download NAVPERS 1306/7

Low-cost exchange of duty must meet the costing criteria of a low-cost PCS move (currently $1,000 or less).

No-cost exchange of duty must meet the mileage criteria of no more than 30 miles away from Service member's present duty station (geographic location).

Exchanges of duty are not authorized for transfers from continental United States (CONUS) to overseas or vice versa. For personnel stationed overseas, no change of entitlements will occur.

Eligibility Requirements

a. Complete at least 12 months on board present duty station at the time the exchange of duty actually occurs;

b. Be not in receipt of PCS orders; c. Be of identical rate and rating, serving in the same type duty classification code, or if present assignment is based on a Navy enlisted classification (NEC) code requirement, the same NEC; and

d. Receive approval by each Service member’s commanding officer (CO) and Navy Personnel Command (NAVPERSCOM).

  • Subscribe Now (Opens in new window)
  • Air Force Times (Opens in new window)
  • Marine Corps Times (Opens in new window)
  • Navy Times (Opens in new window)
  • Pentagon & Congress
  • Defense News (Opens in new window)
  • Flashpoints
  • Benefits Guide (Opens in new window)
  • Military Pay Center
  • Military Retirement
  • Military Benefits
  • Discount Depot
  • Gear Scout (Opens in new window)
  • Military Culture
  • Military Fitness
  • Military Movies & Video Games
  • Military Sports
  • Transition Guide (Opens in new window)
  • Pay It Forward (Opens in new window)
  • Black Military History (Opens in new window)
  • Congressional Veterans Caucus (Opens in new window)
  • Military Appreciation Month (Opens in new window)
  • Military History
  • Vietnam Vets & Rolling Thunder (Opens in new window)
  • Honor the Fallen (Opens in new window)
  • Hall of Valor (Opens in new window)
  • Service Members of the Year (Opens in new window)
  • Create an Obituary (Opens in new window)
  • Medals & Misfires
  • Installation Guide (Opens in new window)
  • Task Force Violent
  • Battle Bracket
  • CFC Givers Guide
  • Photo Galleries
  • Early Bird Brief
  • Newsletters (Opens in new window)
  • Long-Term Care Partners
  • Navy Federal
  • Digital Edition (Opens in new window)

Numbers game: Inside the Army’s end strength scramble

army times assignment swaps

Defense Department officials have been sounding the alarm for months: the military is going to miss its enlisted recruiting goals this year, and the Army may be in the worst spot of any of the services.

As of late June, according to an Army spokesperson, the Army had only hit 40% of its recruiting goal of 55,400 new soldiers for fiscal year 2022. The reasons contributing to plunging recruitment are complex, including more detailed medical screenings, a shrinking proportion of Americans eligible to serve, poor marketing practices, low civilian unemployment and more. In the face of the challenge, the service is pulling out nearly all the stops to ensure the ranks are filled.

According to Army releases, sources familiar with planning and documents obtained by Army Times, the service has:

  • Slashed its end strength target by 12,000 troops and its recruiting goal by about 15,000.
  • Relaxed its tattoo policies.
  • Offered — then rescinded — enlistment to otherwise qualified applicants without high school education.
  • Temporarily extended retention control points for enlisted troops of all ranks.
  • Dramatically ramped up recruiting bonuses and introduced new contract options.
  • Involuntarily extended 267 recruiters who were scheduled to return to the force and called 100 more former recruiters back to USAREC.
  • Called nearly 250 new ROTC lieutenants to active duty months ahead of schedule. The officers are currently training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, before going to assist recruiting units.
  • Alerted 2022 ROTC active duty-selected lieutenants whose training was scheduled to begin in fiscal 2023 that they will report to active duty on Sept. 1, totaling around 600 troops.
  • Mobilized Army Reserve doctors in an effort to dig out of the waiver backlog caused by DoD’s new medical records screening system, MHS Genesis.
  • Planned to establish a special training camp for applicants with low scores on qualifying exams and those who exceed body fat standards beyond the usual waiver threshold. The service is weighing a special task force at Fort Jackson to train them to the entry standard before they can go to basic.

Many of these moves have historical precedents dating to when the Army expanded for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But 2022 is different, experts say — will these efforts be enough for the Army to meet its end strength target for fiscal 2022 and beyond? Likely not, argued retired Army Lt. Gen. Tom Spoehr, who works for the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation think tank.

“This is the year we miss [end strength] by tens of thousands,” said Spoehr in a phone interview.

To meet its end strength goals, the Army, which has accessed only about 22,000 recruits over the past nine months, will need to recruit somewhere between 27,000 and 33,000 new soldiers in less than 11 weeks.

Spoehr is skeptical they can do it.

“[Fiscal] 2022, they’re not going to make their goals. [Fiscal] 2023, everybody says it’s going to be worse,” Spoehr said. “They’re going to turn the corner into 2023 with nobody in the delayed entry program.”

According to a 2019 RAND report , the service prefers to enter new fiscal years with a healthy delayed entry pool of 15,000 to 20,000 signees awaiting basic training. That number was less than 6,500 in October 2021, according to budget documents.

army times assignment swaps

Recruits assigned to Company H. Recruit Sustainment Program in the Illinois Army National Guard conduct Physical Readiness Training at the Woodstock Armory June 12. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Shaylin Quaid)

Dr. Beth Asch, a senior economist and manpower analyst at Rand Corp., said in an interview that she “doesn’t know how much they’re going to miss” end strength by, though she hopes the service can make it up.

“I think there’s some soul-searching that has to go on about how to maintain the quality of the force [and] the effectiveness of the force in this [recruiting] environment,” said Asch.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth recognized the enormity of the “challenging recruiting environment” in a statement sent to Army Times for this story.

“This is not a one-year challenge,” said the service’s top civilian. “And because it’s not a one-year problem we will solve overnight, we are examining a wide range of additional steps we could take in the short and longer term to recruit more soldiers into the Army without lowering standards or sacrificing quality.”

Why the Army can’t recruit — a perfect storm

The service’s recruiting woes likely come from the intersection of several long-term trends and recent policy and medical screening changes.

Part of the problem is that fewer Americans today meet the medical or moral standards to enlist. Only about 23% of young Americans qualify, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told Congress in May. DoD market research from summer 2021 indicates that the percentage who are willing to serve is slipping as well, reaching lows not seen since the grinding surge years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Asch cautioned that the qualification numbers also include those who may be able to receive waivers.

The DoD market survey also pointed towards another factor: the economy, while beset by inflation, has historically-low unemployment. Survey respondents reported record-high confidence in their ability to secure full-time civilian employment.

Economists, including Asch, have studied the link between unemployment and recruiting. When jobs are scarce, more high quality recruits join; when jobs are plenty, talent is difficult to find.

And when real military compensation goes down — such as when inflation outpaces pay raises and increases to housing or subsistence allowances — recruiting becomes more difficult as well, Asch said.

Several conservative commentators have also pointed towards DoD’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a potential factor harming recruiting, and data shows they may have a point.

According to Center for Disease Control data, 36% of Americans aged 18-24 and 32.7% of those aged 25-39 are not fully vaccinated, meaning that they are ineligible to join.

Spoehr pointed at the vaccine mandate as “another subtraction from the qualified pool of people” and as one of several policy decisions that he argues “dragged [the military] into the political sphere.” That has potentially alienated some conservative Americans.

Asch noted that it’s not yet clear what proportion of unvaccinated young Americans would otherwise be willing to join the military — or are even eligible to do so — and suggested that the issue requires further study.

The Army’s top civilian, Wormuth, concurred with much of Spoehr and Asch’s analysis of the recruiting environment in her statement to Army Times, though she didn’t directly mention the vaccine mandate.

“Low unemployment rates, intense competition with the private sector, smaller numbers of Americans who are fit enough to serve, and challenges resulting from the pandemic have all made recruiting more difficult,” admitted Wormuth.

army times assignment swaps

FORT BENNING, Ga. – Trainees from Echo Co, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, 197th Infantry Brigade complete the Sand Hill Obstacle Course Jan, 27, 2022 on Sand Hill. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Fort Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence photographer)

Army officials also believe that the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted the recruiting pool in other ways, too.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impacts on many young Americans’ academic and physical fitness opportunities, exacerbating an existing problem that less than 25% of the nation’s youth meet Army standards,” said Army spokesperson Col. Cathy Wilkinson in an emailed statement.

But neither Wormuth nor Wilkinson’s statements addressed another cause of the recruiting squeeze. In March, the DoD launched MHS Genesis, an electronic medical records system that can access applicants’ medical history from most U.S. civilian medical providers and the entire military medical system. A similar program, the Medical Review of Authoritative Data, launched in late 2021.

Before these new screenings, applicants were required to self-report their medical history and recruiters were expected to help gather records validating those histories. But recruiters had an informal practice of coaching recruits to selectively omit parts of their medical history.

The new screenings have eliminated that practice — so applicants have to tell the truth and be prepared to request medical waivers for anything that appears in their records, such as once-filled antidepressant prescriptions, never-used inhalers or other potentially-disqualifying conditions or medicines.

A June 1 memo sent by Army Training and Doctrine Command’s leader, Gen. Paul Funk, to Army Secretary Wormuth requesting more resources for recruiting, explains how the new screenings overwhelmed the waiver processing system. One of the requests was for money to activate Army Reserve doctors to assist with the waiver backlog.

“The under-resourced roll out of [MHS Genesis] generated significant processing backlogs. [Army Recruiting Command] does not have sufficient physician waiver assistants on staff to mitigate the shortfall,” said Funk. “TRADOC internally tasked medical providers to assist in the short term, but cannot sustain without structure change.”

These factors didn’t appear overnight. The service had some challenges in fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 recruiting amid the pandemic, but managed to meet end strength in both years.

First signs of trouble

This year, the warning signs appeared early.

TRADOC’s senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Hendrex, told Army Times in a phone interview that “about six months ago…we started seeing a shift in [recruiting] numbers.”

Officials in the service’s recruiting command, USAREC, may have been worried even earlier due to how shallow their delayed entry pool — applicants who have signed contracts but are waiting to ship to training — was at the beginning of this latest fiscal year. According to a 2019 RAND report , the service usually wants to maintain a delayed entry pool totaling 35% of its accessions goal for the year.

According to budget documents , though, the Army only had 6,462 in its delayed entry pool in October 2021, or only around 9.1% of its original goal of 70,500 accessions . That’s a lower percentage than nearly any other point in the post-9/11 era, according to the RAND report.

A rebalancing of mid-career NCOs meant to ensure that line units have enough staff sergeants to serve as squad leaders left USAREC with 1,000 fewer Army-selected recruiters , as well. At the time, USAREC leaders were confident that their “mission modernization” initiative could transform Army recruiting to do more with fewer people and resources.

Then the increased prescription medicine screenings — the Medical Review of Authoritative Data, or MROAD — came online in December, giving entry processing station doctors the ability to see applicants’ civilian prescription histories.

A senior recruiter speaking with Army Times in February called the prescription history reviews a “disaster.” The reviews flagged recruits, forcing hopeful soldiers to seek time-consuming medical waivers. Waiting for those waivers can lead an applicant “to get cold feet.”

“Everything that comes up in MROAD SHOULD be disclosed...anyway,” said the recruiter in a text message. But he, and many other long-time recruiters, were frustrated that the system was catching “all the insignificant shit” and some doctors at MEPS require documentation or a waiver for every medication the reviews found.

army times assignment swaps

Trainees undergoing Infantry One-Station Unit Training here haul supplies on the run in August 2020 during their first day of training. The mock battlefield resupply exercise is part of The First 100 Yards, developed by the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning as a constructive way to start instilling the Infantry warrior ethos and other basic Soldier habits from the first day. It replaces the traditional "shark attack" known to generations of Soldiers, in which drill sergeants would swarm new recruits and shout orders and criticism as a way to achieve psychological dominance. The First 100 Yards is explained in a video by the Infantry School's senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert K. Fortenberry, and was one of several warfighting-related videos available for viewing during the recent 2020 Virtual Maneuver Warfighter Conference, which was held online by Fort Benning's U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, of which the Infantry School is a part. (Patrick A. Albright)

By January, senior leaders realized that the recruiting mission was facing difficult headwinds, TRADOC’s Hendrix said. That’s when the service started increasing recruitment bonuses across the board, up to $50,000 for some careers.

The next month, the service’s recruiting command announced it was expanding short-term and flexible contract options, moves that it takes periodically when the recruiting pool is lean.

Then MHS Genesis came online in March, giving medical screeners access to pull applicants’ medical histories from most of the nation’s civilian electronic medical systems.

Hendrex, the TRADOC CSM, explained that the command wasn’t prepared for the amount of additional administrative work that MHS Genesis would require.

He said that to address the medical waiver backlog it rapidly generated, TRADOC had to shuffle nearly 90 personnel — medical providers, administrative assistants and medics — over to USAREC just to keep up.

Hendrex emphasized that the Army “absolutely wanted” Genesis in place, but “that was just poor timing coming out of COVID into the [recruiting environment that we were in.”

By April, when the Army submitted its fiscal 2023 budget request to Congress, the alarm bells were ringing.

The service requested to cut its current year end strength target by 12,000 — previously 485,000 — down to 473,000. The Army also slashed its accessions target by 15,000 new soldiers, from 70,500 to 55,400.

‘We did not want to have to lower our recruiting standards’

When senior Army leaders testified to Congress about the request, they were clear: they could not recruit enough qualified people to fill the ranks.

“We are modestly reducing our end strength, and we’re doing this because we want to preserve a high quality force,” explained Army Secretary Wormuth to lawmakers in May. “We did not want to have to lower our recruiting standards as we face a challenging recruiting environment.”

Wormuth assured Congress that the Army was “looking at what we can do immediately this summer to help ourselves and the kinds of changes to our recruiting enterprise that we may need to make to help ourselves over the next couple of years.”

Two weeks later, on June 1, TRADOC’s commanding general, Funk, had a memo on Wormuth’s desk with a series of immediate initiatives for her approval. Army Times obtained a copy of the decision memo, which also circulated on social media.

Funk wanted involuntary assignment extensions (and extra pay) for top-performing recruiters who were scheduled to leave before the end of the year. Funk also sought an influx of 100 former recruiters on temporary duty, nearly 250 new lieutenants who hadn’t started active duty yet to help recruit and money to activate Army Reserve medical providers for the waiver backlog. He also asked for an additional $25 million in marketing funds for advertising, claiming that the funds would lead to “2,500 contracts” this fiscal year.

Wormuth granted those wishes. In her statement to Army Times, she said “we started taking steps months ago to adjust to these headwinds, such as letting new recruits choose their first duty station and offering financial incentives to go to basic training earlier.”

The Army also quickly started taking other steps that could ease accessions or bolster retention — without “lowering standards.”

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston made a series of tweets June 8 telling leaders across the force that 6,000 troops were scheduled to leave the Army between then and Oct. 1, and said he “expect[s] more leader engagement on this topic across the force.”

army times assignment swaps

Trainees assigned to 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, Fort Jackson, S.C., kneel as the await a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter land Oct. 18, 2021. Two helicopters and flight crews assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion “Dust-off,” from Hunter Army Airfield located in Savannah, Ga., flew to the installation to help teach the trainees to load and unload a patient from the aircraft. Each team of trainees practiced their skills as the helicopters took off and returned to the landing zone marked by white smoke and orange flags staked into the ground to provide real-world experience during the training event.

Grinston’s tweet is notable because the Army has already exceeded its retention goal for fiscal 2022. As of July 7, according to Army spokesperson Wilkinson, the service has secured 57,738 active duty reenlistments against a goal of 55,900. But if fewer soldiers are entering the Army, more need to stay to meet end strength.

The service also eased its tattoo policies , telling reporters the move was related to reducing waivers for recruits enlisting with tattoos. It also temporarily extended retention control points across all ranks, which are time limits that require involuntary discharges for enlisted troops who don’t get promoted quickly enough.

Army Times obtained an email from Cadet Command’s top general, Maj. Gen. Johnny Davis, informing his command that more than 600 new lieutenants who were scheduled to come onto active duty in fiscal 2023 will instead report for duty on Sept. 1 of this year. They don’t yet have an assigned mission, either, according to Davis’ email — but they will be counted in the fiscal 2022 end strength.

But at least one policy was implemented and quickly rescinded — partially due to the perception that it lowered recruiting standards.

Last month, the Army temporarily waived its requirement that new troops have a high school diploma or GED. But there was a catch. Those who signed up under the option had to score better than half of other Americans on their aptitude tests, not require other enlistment waivers and were ineligible for any of the service’s bonuses. They’d also have to finish a GED in order to reenlist.

Many conservative commentators slammed the move, pointing at the vaccine mandate. They argued that the military’s insistence on requiring the vaccine for new recruits had forced it to lower other standards.

Less than a week later, the Army ditched the waivers without any explanation, leaving many applicants without education out in the cold. An Army official speaking to Army Times on background said the waivers may someday come back, but that’s not guaranteed.

Other proposed solutions

More plans to address the looming end strength shortfall, which experts say is likely to continue into fiscal 2023 absent major action, are on the table as well.

According to officials at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, who spoke in a Thursday town hall, and sources familiar with the service’s planning, the Army is on the verge of establishing a special training task force at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The task force would train new recruits who joined with body fat measurements beyond what the service typically allows for enlistment. It’s not clear how much additional body fat the plan would allow applicants to join with, though.

Col. Michael Stewart, who commands a training brigade at Sill, said TRADOC has diverted 500 basic trainees to his installation so Fort Jackson would have the capacity to take the body fat waiver troops “and try to get them into Army standards so that they could begin basic training.”

According to a source familiar with planning, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, is the Fort Jackson unit prepared to lead the proposed body fat preparatory camp, which would take place before the recruits transition to basic training.

Hendrex, the TRADOC CSM, visited the unit Thursday, according to its Facebook page .

Wilkinson, the Army spokesperson, did not directly address the body fat preparatory camp in her statement.

“The U.S. Army is considering a variety of options to increase the opportunities for people to serve while maintaining the quality needed across the force,” she said. “Options under development are pre-decisional at this point and are focused on the next few years.”

Both think tank experts, Asch and Spoehr, praised the service for looking into different ways to address the fact that a growing proportion of young Americans are too fat to enlist.

army times assignment swaps

FORT BENNING, Ga. - Trainees from 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment train on clearing rooms, securing courtyards and moving between buildings at Malone MOUT, November 05, 2021 on Sand Hill. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning Public Affairs)

Spoehr, the retired general, said he “love[s] the idea.” But he would prefer to see it executed at local recruiting shops while paying the recruits a small stipend, rather than shipping all recruits to a training site and placed on the government payroll full-time before they lost enough weight to begin basic training.

“There’s potentially some merit there because sometimes somebody needs a fire under their feet and a structured program to help them,” said Asch, RAND’s senior economist. “These people are young, so their habits are more malleable, and this is an opportunity to change their lifestyle and do something positive for their career — and help the Army, too.”

Another option reportedly on the table is establishing a similar program at Fort Jackson intended to help lower-aptitude applicants study to improve their test scores before beginning training. DoD guidance assigns applicants to aptitude categories based on their Armed Forces Qualification Test scores, with Category IV being the lowest for those who score in the lowest 30% of Americans on the test.

In each annual recruiting cohort — the total recruits who join the Army in a given year — up to 4% can have Category IV aptitude scores.

A source familiar with planning confirmed the Army is exploring how to tap into higher-potential Category IV applicants. One proposal would send them to Fort Jackson for a special training task force that would provide AFQT tutoring.

The idea behind the tutoring, the source said, is that applicants would be able to focus better in a military learning environment than if they were left to study at home and alone. Military life would also offer financial and housing stability that some applicants may not have at home.

It’s not clear, though, whether the service will go through with the idea.

A source familiar with planning discussions said the proposed program was put on hold because of concerns that an AFQT tutoring task force may not be in the best interests of the applicants themselves. It’s uncertain how discharges from such a program would work, and it’s not clear whether the task force would better serve applicants with Category IV scores.

Asch also expressed concern over the Category IV study camp proposal.

“I am a little bit more skeptical,” she said. “Why are these people testing at [Category IV]?”

She said that those who struggle with English proficiency could likely rapidly improve their scores, but native English speakers of potentially higher cognitive ability whose scores “reflect poor quality education…that’s a hard thing to make up in a camp…I’d like to see what the evidence is on that.”

“It’s one thing if they’re thinking about this as a pilot test…where it can be assessed from a research standpoint,” she added.”But to solve the recruiting problem in the next few months? This maybe doesn’t make sense.”

Solving the problem for good

In addition to the proposed training programs, a number of formal reviews of Army and DoD accession practices and standards are underway.

Wormuth told NBC News that the service has a “tiger team” meeting every other week that’s focused on reviewing Army accessions, recruiting and marketing from top to bottom — including policy, organizational structure and long-standing practices.

There is also an ongoing DoD-level medical accessions policy review intended to evaluate whether certain standards need adjustment in light of “changes in society [and] more access to medical records,” according to a senior Army civilian who spoke with reporters during a media event last month.

“[The Pentagon] is running a couple pilots on certain medical conditions [for which] the services typically offer waivers to see if they can shorten that timeline for review, especially given that [the new medical screenings] can see back through history to any medical record in the applicant’s file,” said Lin St. Clair, who oversees accessions as an assistant deputy Army secretary.

And one of the initiatives to emerge from the “Solution Summit,” a recent gathering of the Army’s top NCOs led by SMA Grinston, was a monthly working group of top NCOs across the service that is focused on improving recruiting and accessions practices.

According to Hendrex, TRADOC’s top NCO who will also chair this working group, it’s looking at more than just policy. Another goal is for the group to streamline coordination between USAREC and units throughout the country.

Hendrex thinks that coordination is important in helping get a more authentic version of the Army’s story in front of prospective troops rather than slick-seeming recruiters.

“People see a recruiter and they think, ‘Oh, he’s here to sell me something,’” said Hendrex. “What has actually had a huge payoff is where a senior leader…take[s] three or four soldiers and you go to a high school, not to try to recruit anybody…[but] let folks get to know their Army.”

Asch thinks it will take more than just telling the Army’s story to fix the recruiting crisis, though.

“How is recruiting going to be successful in the future?” she asked. “Do we need to rethink the entry requirements? They’ve worked really well; we’ve had a really high quality force…but maybe it’s time to think about that.”

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

In Other News

army times assignment swaps

Lawmakers move to automate Selective Service registration for all men

All men ages 18 to 26 would be automatically enrolled in the selective service system under a plan approved by a house committee wednesday night..

army times assignment swaps

GOP senators demand firings of senior staff after VA bonus mistakes

Twelve gop senators want senior va leaders dismissed for mistakes made regarding executive bonuses last year..

army times assignment swaps

Republicans back abortion ban in $360B VA budget draft for next year

Va would see a 10% boost in funding under a plan advanced by republican appropriators on tuesday, but democrats oppose other parts of the bill..

army times assignment swaps

Pentagon to expand paid fellowship program for military spouses

The military spouse career accelerator pilot will now provide entry-level jobs for those looking to "put their foot in the door," a defense official said..

army times assignment swaps

More than 1 million vets have received new toxic exposure benefits

President joe biden will announce tuesday that more than 1 million military toxic exposure claims have been approved by veterans affairs staff since 2022..

  • Cover Letters
  • Jobs I've Applied To
  • Saved Searches
  • Subscriptions

Marine Corps

Coast guard.

  • Space Force
  • Military Podcasts
  • Benefits Home
  • Military Pay and Money
  • Veteran Health Care
  • VA eBenefits
  • Veteran Job Search
  • Military Skills Translator
  • Upload Your Resume
  • Veteran Employment Project
  • Vet Friendly Employers
  • Career Advice
  • Military Life Home
  • Military Trivia Game
  • Veterans Day
  • Spouse & Family
  • Military History
  • Discounts Home
  • Featured Discounts
  • Veterans Day Restaurant Discounts
  • Electronics
  • Join the Military Home
  • Contact a Recruiter
  • Military Fitness

Air Force Resurrects Assignment Swap Program for Enlisted Ranks

Airman 1st Class Zachary Dawson Maintainers from the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron perform a serviceability check on a B-52 Stratofortress bomb rack during a weapons load competition at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Enlisted airmen will be able to swap assignments under a new program launching next month, offering some service members flexibility on where they're stationed across the country and what roles they're given.

The Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program, which becomes available June 1 for airmen, will allow senior master sergeants and below to discuss and search for roles that may be available to trade.

It's the latest quality-of-life issue the service has tackled as it reworks numerous policies amid a historic recruiting crisis. Earlier this month, the Air Force announced another policy that would give airmen who just joined the military a chance to retrain into another job as a way to keep them from leaving the service.

Read Next: A Soldier Attempted Suicide in Poland. Left to Roam at Fort Riley, He Killed Himself.

"Just like our recent policy change authorizing retraining, this is one of the many initiatives we are rolling out to ensure we are able to retrain the talent we need on the bench," Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass said in a press release. "Building the force of the future requires us to look at our personnel policies and balance them with an integrated approach to ensure we maintain the highest standards of readiness."

The new swap program starting next month was first pitched by Bass, the service's senior enlisted leader, at the Air and Space Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber conference in September.

Details of the program were vague when first pitched last year, and specifics have now been ironed out ahead of the launch next month.

The Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program is available to senior master sergeants and below who can find a match for the same career field with the same Control Air Force Specialty Code; skill level; grade or projected grade; special experience identifier, as required; vector, as required; and security clearance, as required.

Airmen must start the swaps within 90 days from their assignment selection date. They can't have adverse quality force indicators and "must possess the same permanent change-of-station eligibility, such as time on station, tour length and retainability," a press release detailing the June 1 start date said .

The service had a similar version of an assignment swap program in the past.

An Air Force press release from 2007 first informed service members they would need to look for fellow qualified airmen in the continental U.S. whom they could switch with. The switch would, ultimately, have to be approved by commanders.

But a decade later, the program was shut down, according to a 2017 Facebook post from the Air Force Personnel Center . Officials said the program was being underutilized and favored airmen with larger paychecks.

"It was found that less than 5% of airmen were taking advantage of this program, and it was ultimately deemed unfair," the 2017 post from the Air Force Personnel Center announcing the change read. "With the burden of expenses for moving locations falling on the airman, some airmen of higher rank could afford the move, while some younger airmen could not."

To make swapping assignments more financially equitable, the new policy "will not require airmen to pay for their relocations," according to a memo detailing the guidelines .

When the previous program was in place, airmen used blogs and even newspaper ads to market career swaps.

In the press release announcing the new program start date, officials told airmen they "are reminded not to use open online spaces to post assignment information, personal contact and other sensitive confidential information to maintain operational security."

The Air Force is using its internal MyVector discussion forum to post about potential assignment swaps, though the service admitted in its press release that the system has frequent issues.

"The program application on MyVector isn't perfect, but it will evolve throughout the year," Alex Wagner, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, said in the press release.

Airmen can apply for swaps through the "My Application link" on MyVector, according to the release.

"We aren't waiting for the perfect system to be built, and I'm glad to see this program come to fruition," Bass said.

The release of the new swap program comes after the Air Force barely met its active-duty recruiting goals last year and has pivoted to fixing numerous quality-of-life issues and barriers to serving in the military through policy changes.

This past March, the service was projecting a 10% shortfall for this year -- the equivalent of around 5,000 people, nearly the total of all the airmen at the 366th Fighter Wing stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base , Idaho.

The Air Force Recruiting Service has pointed to numerous headwinds that have made it hard to bring in new members, such as low unemployment. Additionally, the Pentagon has released recent studies showing that only 23% of U.S. youth are eligible to serve right now, due to obesity and other issues.

-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

Related: Some Airmen Will Be Allowed to Swap Base Assignments Again

Thomas Novelly

Thomas Novelly Military.com

You May Also Like

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms main gate. Marine Corps photo

Robert James McDonald was in his car at a park with his dog just 10 miles south of the installation when 18-year-old Rudy...

Lt. Cmdr. Cristiano DeSousa, Chaplain in the Coast Guard

The move follows the reliefs of the chaplain of the Coast Guard and the master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard Reserve...

Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen

Leaders around the Baltic Sea reacted warily to reports that Russia could revise the borders of its territorial waters in the...

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, center, speaks

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says Russia is conducting a “shadow war” against the West.

Military News

  • Investigations and Features
  • Military Opinion

army times assignment swaps

Select Service

  • National Guard

Most Popular Military News

Rocky Mountain National Park

Space Force Sgt. Lucas Macaj was found Thursday on Mills Glacier, near the base of Lamb's Slide within the national park.

Pfc. Clarence E. Sasser

After returning to the U.S. from Vietnam, Sasser received his Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1969, in a...

Pfc. Katia Duenas-Aguilar

Pfc. Katia Duenas-Aguilar, 23, was found dead in a residence about four miles outside of the base, according to a...

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind

Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind's nomination from the White House came last week, less than 18 months into his role leading the...

Purple Heart Medals are displayed on a table.

For decades, recipients of the Purple Heart were honored with medals that had been forged during World War II, leftover stock...

Latest Benefits Info

  • VA Home Loan: Are You Eligible?
  • Burial at Sea: A Time-Honored Tradition
  • VA Fertility Benefits for Military Veterans
  • Virginia Veterans Rally the Troops, State Leaders in Support of Education Benefits
  • 4 Tips for Flying Space-A

More Military Headlines

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart

The secretary's decision means Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart, only the second Air Force general in history to be charged with a...

Sen. Tammy Duckworth arrives for a meeting with Ukraine's President Zelenskyy

Sen. Tammy Duckworth suggested that the Pentagon has until the Senate Armed Services Committee debates its annual defense...

  • 'Absolutely Fed Up': Senator Mulls Ways to Force Pentagon to Boost Incentive Pay for Guardsmen and Reservists
  • Pentagon Says None of Food Aid Moved Through Gaza Pier Has Made It to Palestinians
  • Rangers Led the Way in the D-Day Landings 80 Years Ago
  • Air Force General Charged with Sexual Crimes Has Retirement Request Denied by Service Secretary
  • Air Force General in Charge of Special Operations Command Nominated to Head Service Academy
  • USS Leyte Gulf Returns to Norfolk from Final Deployment Before Decommissioning in September
  • Judge Dismisses Felony Convictions of 5 Retired Military Officers in US Navy Bribery Case
  • Back Home, USS Carney Crew Lauded for Battling Houthi Drones and Missiles in Middle East

Military Benefits Updates

  • Fertility Benefits for Active-Duty Service Members
  • Marine from Twentynine Palms Randomly Gunned Down While Sitting in Car at Park
  • Last Service Member Released from Hospital After Landing Vessel Collision Injured 35 in Florida
  • How This Marine Saved the Corps $140 Million in JLTV Repairs
  • Chaplain for Coast Guard 7th District Fired, Marking Latest High-Profile Dismissal for Service in Recent Weeks
  • US Coast Guard Says Texas Barge Collision May Have Spilled Up to 2,000 Gallons of Oil
  • Power Outages and an Urgent Warning: NTSB Details Dali Crew’s Scramble Before Key Bridge Collapse

Entertainment

  • What Makes a War Movie a 'Classic,' According to Turner Classic Movies
  • Jeff Bridges and Dave Bautista Headline All-Star Cast in New Take on 'Beowulf' Epic
  • ‘Unconventional’ Demystifies Military Life While Showing the Power of a New Generation of Veterans

MilitarySpot.com

Serving the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard

army times assignment swaps

Air Force’s Enlisted Swap Assignment Program Starts June 1

army times assignment swaps

MAY 26, 2023 – Announced at the September 2022 Air and Space Forces Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference, the Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program goes live June 1 for senior master sergeants and below with a current assignment. This new policy provides Airmen with more control and new flexibilities in their assignment process.

The Air Force Enlisted Assignment Working Group, which was charged with holistically reviewing the enlisted assignment program, recommended the program. This program applies only to Airmen, as the Space Force continues to explore flexible and tailored assignment options for Guardians.

Through the MyVector discussion forum, Airmen will be able to post their assignments and leverage discussions to determine interest in swapping assignments. Currently, Airmen will be able to apply through the My Application link on MyVector.

“The program application on MyVector isn’t perfect, but it will evolve throughout the year,” said Alex Wagner, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “We understand the frustrations with our IT infrastructure, which is why it’s important for you to provide feedback to the team to make them better.”

Airmen must initiate assignment swaps within 90 days from their assignment selection date. Additionally, both Airmen cannot have any adverse quality force indicators and must possess the same permanent change of station eligibility, such as time on station, tour length and retainability.

Airmen must also be in the same career field with the same:

  • Control Air Force Specialty Code
  • Skill level
  • Grade or projected grade
  • Special Experience Identifier (as required)
  • Vector (as required)
  • Security Clearance (as required)

Once the application is submitted, it will flow to the Air Force Personnel Center for eligibility checks, consideration and processing. Applicants will be notified of approval/disapproval through MyVector.

“We aren’t waiting for the perfect system to be built and I’m glad to see this program come to fruition,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass. “Just like our recent policy change authorizing retraining, this is one of the many initiatives we are rolling out to ensure we are able to retrain the talent we need on the bench,” Bass said. “Building the force of the future requires us to look at our personnel policies and balance them with an integrated approach to ensure we maintain the highest standards of readiness.”

Airmen are advised to only use the MyVector discussion forum to arrange assignment swaps and are reminded not to use open online spaces to post assignment information, personal contact and other sensitive confidential information to maintain operational security.

AFPC will provide an updated Personnel Services Delivery Guide identifying program procedures, which will be available in myFSS.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Sustainability Sooner

MVP Nikola Jokić headlines All-NBA teams alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luka Dončić

The All-NBA selection was the sixth for Jokić, who was awarded his third MVP trophy in four seasons on May 8.

Under Armour is collapsing — And Kevin Plank has to take the blame

The Under Armour meltdown continues.

UFC Vegas 92: Piera Rodríguez DQ'd for multiple illegal headbutts vs. Ariane Carnelossi

Rodríguez was warned by the ref to watch her head. She responded by headbutting her opponent even harder.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner says team's payroll, 3rd in MLB, 'not sustainable for us financially'

Maybe not what Yankees fans want to hear ahead of Juan Soto's free agency.

Tied for the most bets for No. 1 overall pick in NBA Draft is ... Bronny James?

The co-leader in bets for the No. 1 overall pick is a stunner.

Report: Fanatics files lawsuit against Cardinals rookie WR Marvin Harrison Jr. for breach of contract

Marvin Harrison Jr., Fanatics said, “rejected or ignored every request” from the company while refusing to fulfill obligations of their contract that was signed last May.

PGA Championship: Will Zalatoris says group of players considered asking for postponement after death, Scottie Scheffler arrest

It was a surreal day at the PGA Championship.

Best and worst NFL offseasons with the Ringer's Steven Ruiz | The Exempt List

Charles McDonald is joined by Steven Ruiz of The Ringer to break down which teams had the best and worst offseasons in the NFL

Tesla stock pops after company reveals new details, deliveries for its semitruck program

Robotaxis, low-cost cars, and the Cybertruck aren't stopping Tesla from pushing ahead with its new semitruck, which is set to reach customers by 2026.

The Spin: Making a call on 5 slumping fantasy baseball stars

All five of these hitters were drafted highly in fantasy baseball leagues. So far, they have not lived up to their ADPs — and that's an understatement. Scott Pianowski analyzes.

Preakness Stakes 2024 winner, payouts, results: Seize the Grey wins at Pimlico, Mystik Dan finishes 2nd, ending Triple Crown bid

Live updates from the 149th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore

Are the Phillies really this good? Or has their schedule just been easy?

With largely the same group of players as the past two seasons, the answer for Philadelphia can be both.

'Demand is just so strong': Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang tells Yahoo Finance supply can't keep up

Nvidia's quarterly results blew away estimates again on Wednesday, and as the company moves to its next-generation chips its CEO sees supply, not demand, serving as its biggest challenge.

NBA playoffs: Jaylen Brown's clutch 3 stuns Indiana as Celtics rip Game 1 from Pacers in OT

The Pacers appeared to have a Game 1 upset in hand.

The Mavericks' major gambles pay off as Luka Dončić, Kyrie Irving lead charge to West finals

Shrewd moves and timely deals have the aggressive Mavericks moving on in the postseason — and perhaps to an even better tomorrow.

Apple will reportedly offer higher trade-in credit for old iPhones for the next two weeks

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple will be offering a little more than usual for some trade-ins starting next week in the US and Canada. That's as long as you're getting one of the iPhone 15 models.

Auburn RB Brian Battie critically wounded in Sarasota shooting

Battie's older brother Tommie was killed and three others were shot early Saturday morning .

Welcome to the WNBA: Caitlin Clark's regular-season debut is anything but easy

Clark set the Indiana Fever’s franchise record for turnovers (10), shot 5-of-15 from the floor and struggled with the Connecticut Sun’s physical defense.

NBA Draft Combine reactions: Edey oh my, Bronny James is ready & whose stock is rising? | On the Clock with Krysten Peek

Yahoo Sports NBA draft expert Krysten Peek is back for another season of On the Clock with Krysten Peek. Krysten just spent the week in Chicago at the NBA Draft Combine and kicks off draft season joined by CBS Sports' Kyle Boone.

RallyPoint logo

Honoring Military Swaps

SFC

  • iraqi-brigade-swaps-abrams-for-t-90s-tanks 11 Votes 7 Comments
  • Honoring military veterans amid the pandemic 25 Votes 3 Comments
  • Sculpture honoring women in military unveiled at Arlington National Cemetery 141 Votes 16 Comments
  • How can I find the Army swaps lists? 25 Votes 23 Comments
  • At last, a memorial honoring military spouses 7 Votes 1 Comments
  • Honoring the Unsung Heroes: Military Spouse Appreciation Day 64 Votes 11 Comments

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

  • Capabilities
  • Explore All Groups
  • Business Services
  • Privacy Policy

army times assignment swaps

Welcome to RallyPoint!

Facebook

  • Subscribe Now (Opens in new window)

Your Air Force

  • Pentagon & Congress
  • Army Times (Opens in new window)
  • Marine Corps Times (Opens in new window)
  • Navy Times (Opens in new window)
  • Defense News (Opens in new window)
  • Flashpoints
  • Benefits Guide (Opens in new window)
  • Military Pay Center
  • Military Retirement
  • VA Loan Center (Opens in new window)
  • Military Benefits
  • Discount Depot
  • Military Culture
  • Military Fitness
  • Gear Scout (Opens in new window)
  • Military Movies & Video Games
  • Military Sports
  • Transition Guide (Opens in new window)
  • Military History
  • Black Military History (Opens in new window)
  • Congressional Veterans Caucus (Opens in new window)
  • Military Appreciation Month (Opens in new window)
  • Vietnam Vets & Rolling Thunder (Opens in new window)
  • Hall of Valor (Opens in new window)
  • Service Members of the Year (Opens in new window)
  • Create an Obituary (Opens in new window)
  • Pay It Forward (Opens in new window)
  • Medals & Misfires
  • Installation Guide (Opens in new window)
  • Battle Bracket
  • Task Force Violent
  • CFC Givers Guide
  • Photo Galleries
  • Early Bird Brief
  • Long-Term Care Partners
  • Navy Federal
  • Newsletters (Opens in new window)
  • Digital Edition (Opens in new window)

Program allowing enlisted airmen to trade bases begins Thursday

army times assignment swaps

The Air Force on Thursday will start offering enlisted airmen the chance to move their job somewhere new, a new policy that aims to give troops more control over their careers and keep them in uniform longer.

Under the “enlisted swap assignment program,” announced last fall , airmen at the rank of senior master sergeant and below can offer up their spot at a particular base by posting on the Air Force’s internal MyVector talent management portal and chatting with others who show interest.

If two airmen in the same career field, at the same rank and skill level — and with the same array of other factors like security clearances and special experience — want to trade spots, they can ask the Air Force Personnel Center to swap through MyVector.

The initiative is targeted at:

  • Airmen who want the flexibility to move for personal reasons, like being closer to family
  • Airmen in large career fields who can work anywhere, like security forces and civil engineering
  • Airmen seeking a change of scenery after spending several years at one base.

For instance, if a B-52 bomber engine maintainer at Minot Air Force Base wanted to leave North Dakota, they could trade places with a fellow Stratofortress maintainer at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.

Airmen looking to swap must start the process within 90 days of receiving their next assignment. Both service members must be in good standing, have served at their bases for the same amount of time, and be otherwise eligible to change installations.

“We aren’t waiting for the perfect system to be built, and I’m glad to see this program come to fruition,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass said in a May 26 release. “This is one of the many initiatives we are rolling out to ensure we are able to retrain the talent we need on the bench.”

The changes come as the military suffers from acute recruiting troubles. As airmen leave the service without replacements, those difficulties threaten to leave key fields like maintenance severely understaffed. About 10% of enlisted airmen who were eligible to leave in 2022 opted not to renew their contract .

Service officials have sought to offer airmen a marketplace where they could have a say in their next career move, like openings on a job board in the commercial sector. Airmen are typically assigned new positions based on the service’s needs, with opportunities to ask for a career change along the way.

In one recent step toward that goal, the Air Force is allowing its more than 100,000 first-term airmen — those serving under the initial four- to six-year contract they signed to join the militarys — to apply for a new job in any career field where more than 10% of the positions are unfilled. That opportunity begins Thursday as well.

As both initiatives get up and running, the Air Force asked troops for their patience with often finicky internal software.

“The program application on MyVector isn’t perfect, but it will evolve throughout the year,” said Alex Wagner, the Air Force’s civilian personnel chief. “We understand the frustrations with our IT infrastructure, which is why it’s important for you to provide feedback to the team to make them better.”

Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.

In Other News

army times assignment swaps

Lawmakers move to automate Selective Service registration for all men

All men ages 18 to 26 would be automatically enrolled in the selective service system under a plan approved by a house committee wednesday night..

army times assignment swaps

Airmen, guardians could skip shaving under congressional plan

Lawmakers have proposed a pilot program to see if relaxing air force rules on facial hair would help morale or hurt readiness..

army times assignment swaps

Paying for two homes while away at school? The military wants to help

Troops can collect a daily stipend, based on their monthly housing allowance rate without dependents, while at professional military schooling or training..

army times assignment swaps

For F-35, Congress must heed history

America stands at a crossroads with the f-35 joint strike fighter, retired air force gen. philip breedlove argues..

army times assignment swaps

GOP senators demand firings of senior staff after VA bonus mistakes

Twelve gop senators want senior va leaders dismissed for mistakes made regarding executive bonuses last year..

  • Northwest Military
  •   
  • Submit Your Event
  • Advertise with Us

Twiiter

  • Hello. Login or Signup

Military Life

Entertainment.

Back to Military Policy

Air Force’s Enlisted Swap Assignment Program started June 1

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on June 4, 2023

army times assignment swaps

USAF Staff Sgt. Tanner Sullivan, loadmaster with the 7th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, loads a HIMAR onto a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 62d Airlift Wing. Photo credit: Senior Airman Callie Norton

army times assignment swaps

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -Announced at the September 2022 Air and Space Forces Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference, the Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program went live June 1 for senior master sergeants and below with a current assignment. This new policy provides airmen with more control and new flexibilities in their assignment process. The Air Force Enlisted Assignment Working Group, which was charged with holistically reviewing the enlisted assignment program, recommended the program. This program applies only to airmen, as the Space Force continues to explore flexible and tailored assignment options for guardians. Through the MyVector discussion forum, airmen will be able to post their assignments and leverage discussions to determine interest in swapping assignments. Currently, airmen will be able to apply through the My Application link on MyVector.  "The program application on MyVector isn't perfect, but it will evolve throughout the year," said Alex Wagner , assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. "We understand the frustrations with our IT infrastructure, which is why it's important for you to provide feedback to the team to make them better." Airmen must initiate assignment swaps within 90 days from their assignment selection date. Additionally, both airmen cannot have any adverse quality force indicators and must possess the same permanent change of station eligibility, such as time on station, tour length and retainability. Airmen must also be in the same career field with the same:

- Control Air Force Specialty Code

- Skill level

- Grade or projected grade

- Special Experience Identifier (as required)

- Vector (as required)

- Security Clearance (as required) Once the application is submitted, it will flow to the Air Force Personnel Center for eligibility checks, consideration and processing. Applicants will be notified of approval/disapproval through MyVector. "We aren't waiting for the perfect system to be built and I'm glad to see this program come to fruition," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass . "Just like our recent policy change authorizing retraining, this is one of the many initiatives we are rolling out to ensure we are able to retrain the talent we need on the bench," Bass said. "Building the force of the future requires us to look at our personnel policies and balance them with an integrated approach to ensure we maintain the highest standards of readiness." Airmen are advised to only use the MyVector discussion forum to arrange assignment swaps and are reminded not to use open online spaces to post assignment information, personal contact and other sensitive confidential information to maintain operational security. AFPC will provide an updated Personnel Services Delivery Guide identifying program procedures, which will be available in myFSS.

Back on track

Katie Lange, DoD News on June 4th, 2023

Discover More Articles

  • Recently Published
  • By Same Author

New bereavement leave policy

By Joe Lacdan, Army News Service on July 7th, 2023

DOD issues Exceptional Family Member Program policy

By David Vergun, DOD News on June 30th, 2023

DAF releases Women, Peace, Security Strategic Action Plan

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on June 23rd, 2023

DOD plans return to 'Defense Travel System'

By C. Todd Lopez, DoD News on June 18th, 2023

SecAF reading list: Understanding our pacing challenge

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on June 18th, 2023

New name for ‘key spouses’

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on March 25th, 2024

DAF publishes revised dress, personal appearance instruction

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on March 11th, 2024

Air Force asking retirees back

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on February 8th, 2024

Chief Master Sgt. David A. Flosi named 20th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on December 18th, 2023

Reserve component launches direct commission program

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs on November 28th, 2023

  • Privacy Policy
  • Follow Weekly Volcano:

army times assignment swaps

  • Advertise With Us

Jobs & Education

Spouse magazine, featured events, online contests, south sound happy hours app, email sign-up.

Content © Copyright 2024 - Northwest Military. All Rights Reserved.

IMAGES

  1. Army Enlisted Assignment Exchanges (SWAPS)

    army times assignment swaps

  2. 30 Printable Military Time Charts ᐅ TemplateLab

    army times assignment swaps

  3. Printable Military Time Charts (Excel, Word, PDF) Best Collections

    army times assignment swaps

  4. Military Time Cheat Sheet

    army times assignment swaps

  5. 30 Printable Military Time Charts ᐅ TemplateLab

    army times assignment swaps

  6. Military Time Chart

    army times assignment swaps

COMMENTS

  1. Army Enlisted Assignment Exchanges (SWAPS)

    Soldiers Looking for SWAP Opportunities . Every month (or so) the Army Times publishes a list of soldiers who wish to locate others of the same rank, MOS, and basic qualifications, stationed at installation(s) they desire to be assigned at. Soldiers can use this listing to contact these soldiers desiring to SWAP, and make an informal agreement.

  2. Army updates online tool for selecting assignments

    Dec 21, 2016. The Army is updating a program that allows active-duty enlisted soldiers to choose preferences for assignments and locations. The Assignment Satisfaction Key, or ASK, program has ...

  3. Army swap/ exchange assignments : r/army

    Its your career. Also, typically when people swap assignments its because they are both in the same school. I swapped assignments as a 2LT in BOLC. So in theory you could've swapped in AIT. Of course this is all dependent on the assignment manager. Reply. GrandAnybody. •. If you're in AIT, just ask your classmates.

  4. How do you properly fill out a 4187 for an assignment swap and who is

    LTC Jason Mackay that's why eMilpbamd EDAS drive assignments and reporting now. Gone are the days of showing up and signing in to another unit, if they try that they either get redirectes or reported AWOL by the command that is supposed to receive them. I remember the Army Times swaps back in the day. That system is completely dead now.

  5. Army Times, Independent News For Soldiers

    Your 2024 Military Times Pay and Benefits Guide Learn how your military benefits — including health care, retirement pay and more — have changed in 2024. What to know for a smooth PCS move in 2024

  6. How do swapping BOLC or Duty assignments work? : r/army

    Hooah. In box 8, you will check "Other" and type "Assignment Swap" below. Under remarks, type "I, SPC u/superschwick (SSN: 123-45-6789) request an assignment swap with SPC u/jeebus_t_christ (SSN: 987-65-4321). Request to trade assignment at 0001 AR HHC 01 DIV (BOZACK) FORT BUMBLEFUCK TX for 0001 IN HHC 04 DIV (GONDIE) FORT CASSIEJK NV."

  7. New enlisted marketplace, promotion board changes arriving

    The new Assignment Satisfaction Key-Enlisted Module, or ASK-EM, goes live Nov. 11. It will allow E-6s, E-7s and E-8s to use an assignment process similar to the one rolled out last year for officers.

  8. Air Force's Enlisted Swap Assignment Program starts June 1

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Announced at the September 2022 Air and Space Forces Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference, the Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program goes live June 1 for senior master sergeants and below with a current assignment. This new policy provides Airmen with more control and new flexibilities in their assignment process.

  9. Branch Requirements

    a. Complete at least 12 months on board present duty station at the time the exchange of duty actually occurs; b. Be not in receipt of PCS orders; d. Receive approval by each Service member's commanding officer (CO) and Navy Personnel Command (NAVPERSCOM). Specific requirements for each branch, including steps for submitting requests after ...

  10. SWAP Program? : r/army

    It won't be a fun swap but it gets you to a new unit. See AR 614-200 para 5-7. I haven't seen it formalized but I have seen a shitbag for shitbag swap to see if said bags just need a new environment. Sooooooo just commit the easiest offense to get an article 15 and go from there.

  11. Some Airmen Will Be Allowed to Swap Base Assignments Again

    Published September 23, 2022. The Air Force is working to relaunch a program that would allow service members to swap base assignments with one another, five years after a similar initiative was ...

  12. Army Materiel Command launches Job Swap Program

    By Mrs. Beth Clemons (ACC ) February 12, 2010. FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command officially launches the AMC Job Swap Program today. The program was developed in an effort to ...

  13. HRC expands assignment tool for active duty, enlisted Soldiers

    U.S. Army Human Resources Command has further expanded an online tool that enables active duty, enlisted Soldiers in ranks E-1 through E-8 non-promotable to designate assignment location and ...

  14. Numbers game: Inside the Army's end strength scramble

    The service requested to cut its current year end strength target by 12,000 — previously 485,000 — down to 473,000. The Army also slashed its accessions target by 15,000 new soldiers, from ...

  15. Air Force Resurrects Assignment Swap Program for Enlisted Ranks

    The Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program, which becomes available June 1 for airmen, will allow senior master sergeants and below to discuss and search for roles that may be available to trade.

  16. Air Force's Enlisted Swap Assignment Program Starts June 1

    MAY 26, 2023 - Announced at the September 2022 Air and Space Forces Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference, the Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program goes live June 1 for senior ...

  17. Now Enlisted Airmen Can Swap Assignments. But Only If You Meet All

    But Only If You Meet All Requirements. May 26, 2023 | By Greg Hadley. Airmen will be able to swap assignments starting June 1, but the offer comes with strings attached. The new enlisted assignment swap program announced May 25 is open available to senior master sergeants and below who can find a match for: Air Force Specialty Code. Skill level.

  18. Air Force Resurrects Assignment Swap Program for Enlisted Ranks

    May 30, 2023 · 4 min read. 4. Enlisted airmen will be able to swap assignments under a new program launching next month, offering some service members flexibility on where they're stationed across the country and what roles they're given. The Air Force Enlisted Swap Assignment Program, which becomes available June 1 for airmen, will allow ...

  19. Honoring Military Swaps

    I remember back in the day swaps were posted all over the Army times. search. Log In Sign Up. About Us Business Posted on Jan 7, 2014. Honoring Military Swaps. SFC Aaron Finley. ... AR 614-200 Section II discusses Soldier-initated Assignments. Ch 5-11 is titled Exchange Assignments. The regulation is dated 26 Feb 09. Vote up (1) Comment ...

  20. Program allowing enlisted airmen to trade bases begins Thursday

    Airmen looking to swap must start the process within 90 days of receiving their next assignment. Both service members must be in good standing, have served at their bases for the same amount of ...

  21. Air Force's Enlisted Swap Assignment Program started June 1

    Connecting you to your military neighbors, Northwest Military is the home of The Ranger and NW Airlifer newspapers - the definitive source for news and information regarding Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and the entire South Sound., Air Force's Enlisted Swap Assignment Program started June 1, ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -Announced at the September 2022 Air and Space Forces Association's Air, Space and ...