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frequently asked Questions

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 Air Force Records

How can I obtain copies of military records?

Personnel records for active-duty Airmen are now available through the Personnel Records Display Application. PRDA can be accessed through AFPC's secure website.

The following information is provided for individuals who have served in the United States Air Force and have retired or separated from service.

Combat-Related Special Compensation was created to offset the reduction in military retirement pay for veterans who receive Department of Veterans Affairs compensation for service-connected disabilities. In June 2003, Congress enacted the program to restore that offset pay when the veteran's disabilities are combat-related. 


Retired or Separated on or after Oct. 1, 2004
Those who separated or retired on or after Oct. 1, 2004, may mail or fax a written request to:

550 C St. West, Suite 19
JBSA-Randolph, TX 78150
Fax: 210-565-4021, DSN: 665-4021
Organizational Email box:

Airmen requesting their own records need a signed letter that includes:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Contact information
  • Specific record requested

Those requesting a deceased relative's record also need to provide their relationship to the former Airman so next of kin relationship can be verified. If the relative was deceased after their separation or retirement, proof of death must also be furnished.

Veterans may also access their record on line by registering for a Premium account on Click the register button at the top of the home page and follow the instructions provided to obtain a premium account. If you have questions or problems with eBenefits, mouse over the HELP button on the top of the home page and then select CUSTOMER SUPPORT and follow the instruction provided.

Retired or separated before Oct. 1, 2004
Veterans who separated/retired before Oct. 1, 2004, should contact the National Personnel Records Center for copies of their records.

If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, you may now use to order a copy of the military records.

All medical and dental records for all Air Force personnel (retired or separated prior to May 1994) are stored permanently at the NPRC. All medical and dental records for all Air Force personnel (retired or separated after May 1994 are maintained by the Veterans Administration Service Medical Records Center (314-538-4500).

Active Duty members who were released and are serving an inactive Reserve obligation should request copies of their records from: Air Reserve Personnel Center, ARPC/DPSC, 18420 E. Silver Creek Bldg #390 MS 68, Buckley AFB, CO, 80011, call 800-525-0102, option 3 or fax 478-327-2215.

Those who served or are serving in the Air National Guard or Reserve can call the Air Reserve Personnel Center at 800-525-0102.

The Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records is the highest level of administrative review within the Department of the Air Force. Unless procured by fraud, a decision is final and conclusive on all officers of the United States. Click here to find more information.

The Air Force Retiree Services website offers the retiree family in-depth information on the Survivor Benefit Plan, plus a list of Air Force Retiree Activities Offices worldwide and various other resources. There are also sections dedicated to the Afterburner and Air Force Retiree News Service.

The Defense Officer Personnel Management Act established special selection boards effective Sept. 15, 1981. Officers who have since retired or separated are considered provided they meet all board requirements. U.S. law gives military services the authority to reconvene boards to consider officers for promotion, regular Air Force appointment, professional military education, selective early retirement, reduction-in-force and/or selective continuation.

 Base Tours

Does Joint Base Charleston provide tours to the public?

The 437th Airlift Wing, the host unit on Joint Base Charleston, and the 315th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve Command (tenant unit), offer tours to specific groups, including College ROTC, Junior ROTC and Civic Leader groups. Tours are specially designed for the group visiting the base. Groups interested in touring the base should contact the 628th Public Affairs  at (843) 963-5582 or via email at or 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs at (843) 963-2036 or via email at

 Contacting Military Personnel

How can I contact military personnel?

The Air Force Worldwide Locator 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 210-565-2660. 

Air Force Worldwide Locator – HQ AFPC/DPDXIDL, 550 C Street West Suite 50, Randolph AFB TX 78150-4752

If 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 the American Red Cross, and entering your zip code in the Find Your Local Red Cross section.

Is there a central email directory for Air Force people?

There is no central email directory for Air Force people. For those with CAC access, a central email directory can be found on the Air Force Portal.

 Driving Directions

How do I get to Joint Base Charleston from Interstate 26?

Joint Base Charleston, SC is located about 10 miles northwest of the city of Charleston, S.C. JB CHS is between U.S. Interstate 26 and Dorchester Road (S. C. Highway 642). The main gate is located off Dorchester Road; however there is easy access from I-26 via West Aviation Avenue and we prefer you to use this route.

From I-26, exit 211A onto Aviation Avenue. Follow signs to Joint Base Charleston/Charleston Air Force Base, turning right onto Arthur Drive.

Park at the visitor's center at the Arthur Drive security check point. A Public Affairs representative will meet you at the security check point and escort you on base. Please note that there is construction at both Joint Base Charleston gates.

How do I get to Joint Base Charleston from the Charleston International Airport (CHS)?

1) As you leave the airport, you are on International Blvd.

2) Turn right at the 1st traffic light onto Micheaux Blvd.

3) Turn right again at the 1st traffic light onto Dorchester Rd.

4) Go to the 3rd traffic light (not counting the flashing yellow light) and turn right into the main gate which is Hill Blvd.

5) You will go through 1 traffic light and 1 stop sign.

6) Lodging (Bldg 362) is the 2nd building on the left after you go through the stop sign (next door to the Base Clinic)

Click HERE for online directions


Talking on cell phones while operating a motor vehicle are prohibited while driving on the base.

*Please note: If you do not have authorization to enter the base, you will need to stop at the visitor's center and present your driver's license, registration and proof if insurance.

 Employer Support (ESGR)

How do I resolve an employment issue?

Inform your unit/military chain of command or the 315th Public Affairs at (843) 963-2035.

Contact ESGR at or call 1-800-336-4590 option 1 for further assistance.

You may consult a private attorney (at own expense, may preclude ESGR assistance) .

What rights are protected?

Military leave of absence (includes weekend drills, required training, all involuntary service and up to five years of voluntary service)

Prompt reinstatement back into your job

Accumulation of seniority, including pension plan benefits

Reinstatement of health insurance, regardless of pre-existing conditions

Training or retraining of job skills, including accommodations for disabled

Protection against discrimination

What rights protect a reservist's employment?

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Title 38, Chapter 43, United States Code

 Family Support

Does the 315th Airlift Wing have any programs to assist family members of military personnel?

The 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston does not have a full-time Family Readiness Support Center at this time.  The center (located on the first floor of Building 60) is periodically available to assist military dependents, regardless of branch of service. The phone number to the center is (843) 963-5818.

The joint Base Charleston Airman and Family Readiness Support Center is at 104 E. Simpson Street (Bldg. 500) | (843) 963-5630

 Freedom of Information

Where can I request records pertaining to the 315th Airlift Wing?

The Air Force website for the Freedom of Information act is

 Military Memorabilia

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

The Air Force can't provide official uniform items, but several private companies exist to meet your needs.  Use you Internet browser's search engine to find the appropriate one.


How do I contact your recruiting office?

315th Air Force Reserve Recruiting


218 North Bates Street, Building 51, Room 163
Charleston AFB, SC 29404


(843) 963-5364

 Space A

Who do I need to contact to fly space available?

Contact the AMC Passenger Terminal at Joint Base Charleston.

It is open from 0500 to 2300 hours daily.

Phone (843) 963-3083/3048
DSN 673-3083/3048
Fax (843) 963-2396 DSN 673-2396

AMC Space A Travel site

 Speakers Bureau

I am interested in having a speaker from the 315th Airlift Wing visit my civic group. Is this possible?

The 315th Airlift Wing has a very active speakers bureau which provides speakers and special programs to civic and community organizations. Individuals interested in having a member of the 315th Airlift Wing provide a special program for their civic group should contact the 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at (843) 963-2036 or via email at

 Support the Troops

How can I have humanitarian supplies shipped overseas?

Use the Denton Program.  It is a Department of Defense (DOD) logistics program that transports State Department/US Agency for International Development (US AID) approved, privately donated humanitarian cargo worldwide by land, sea and air on a space-available basis within the Defense Transportation System (DTS).

Traditionally, it is a program that has been used for moving humanitarian cargo in support of on-going relief and development projects. The Denton Program is not designed for humanitarian assistance in response to a disaster or emergency situation. As a general guideline, it is a program well suited for cargo that is not time sensitive.

DOD's legislative authority to provide humanitarian assistance is derived from the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. One of the provisions of this act is the Denton Amendment (Section 402 of Title 10, US Code--10 USC 42). Passed in 1985, it allows the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to transport, to foreign countries, without charge, supplies furnished by non-governmental organizations (NGO's) intended for humanitarian assistance. Movement is restricted by the Defense Transportation Regulation (DoD 4500.9-R) to a space available basis.


Where can I obtain more information about TRICARE, the military healthcare system?

Visit the Department of Defense TRICARE website.

 U.S. Air Force Art

Can I get a copy of the Air Force symbol?

Yes, however the Air Force symbol is a registered trademarked and permission to use it is required. Commercial usage of the symbol requires a license agreement. For more information and to download a license agreement, go to this website.

Can I get an electronic copy of the Department of the Air Force Seal?

Yes, go visit our Art page. However, the Air Force Seal is protected by law from use by any party for purposes not specifically authorized by the Air Force. The seal is permitted only as outlined below (AFMAN33-326, 01 Nov 1999). Falsely making, forging, counterfeiting, mutilating, or altering the seal, or knowingly using or possessing with fraudulent intent is punishable by law (Title 18 U.S. Code 506, Crimes and Criminal Procedure). Display of the seal is allowed in certain instances. Commanders must make sure the display is in good taste and appropriate to the occasion.

Authorized Users. Commanders of major commands (MAJCOM), field operating agencies (FOA), direct reporting units (DRU), Air Force missions, military assistance advisory groups, air attaches, professors of aerospace studies, and Air Force general officers may use the Air Force seal in the performance of their official duties. Museums may use the seal when specifically authorized by AFHRA.

Authorized Uses. You may use the seal or any part of it—in black and white, color monochrome reproduction, pictorial, or sculptured relief—as follows:

  • On printing issued at departmental level for general Air Force use.
  • In official Air Force films, videotapes, or television programs.
  • On programs, certificates, diplomas, invitations, and greetings of an official nature.
  • On memorials or monuments erected or approved by the Department of the Air Force.
  • With any official Air Force exhibit.
  • On wall plaques at Air Force facilities with the approval of the appropriate commander or agency chief.

Unauthorized Uses. The seal will not be to imply Air Force use or endorsement of an item. (For example: Air Force property and equipment for identification. Souvenir or novelty items.)

  • Printed matter copied or collected by an Air Force activity, except as shown in paragraph.
  • Toys or commercial gifts and premiums.
  • Stationery as a letterhead design.
  • Menus, matchbook covers, sugar envelopes, calendars, and similar items.
  • Military or civilian clothing.


How can I get a job working for you?

The Communication Design team currently has no openings, but when jobs are open they are advertised on the Office of Personnel Management's website ( The job series is 1084 – Visual Information Specialist.

How I can get copies of art work for my offices and buildings?

We do not provide printed copies of the art. You would have to take the electronic copies and have them printed yourself. Not all of our art is high resolution, or resolution independent, so you must take this into consideration before you print them. You can also check with the Air Force Art Collection ( They have a collection of original paintings they will loan out for extended periods of time to U.S. Air Force bases.

I am an artist. What do I have to do to submit my art to

Send it to as an attachment. We prefer large-sized JPGs and EPS files.

I am looking for an Air Force poster/lithograph that I saw awhile back. Can you help me find it?

We don't have a warehouse of old posters or lithographs. In general, all older posters are no longer available. We have information on posters that were part of the Air Force lithograph program, not a special poster produced for a specific career field, exercise or an audio-visual series. If you'd like more information, send your request to, and time permitting, we'll research.

I'm looking for a particular piece of art and I cannot find it on your website. Can you help me find it?

If it is not on our website, we do not have it. You should try the Air Force Art Collection ( They have a collection of original art from which individual pieces are sometimes loaned out to U.S. Air Force bases.

I'm looking for an old Air Force shield. Can you help me find it?

We lack the manpower to handle individual requests for research, but we suggest you try the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

My company would like to use some of your art in an advertisement. What does it cost to do this and what do I have to do to get permission?

The federal government has specific regulations governing the use of military marks, insignia and images. Please contact the Air Force Trademark Licensing office, 703-695-2414, for further guidance on requests for commercial/advertising usage.

What criteria do you use to determine which art submissions will be accepted?

  1. The art must have an Air Force or patriotic theme.
  2. The art must be either hand drawn or computer created. We do not accept photo illustrations or photo composites.
  3. The art must meet minimum standards of quality.

Why do you put up art of some badges and aircraft but not others?

Our goal is to eventually have all Air Force badges and aircraft (both active and retired). We create art and post it as frequently as we can but we lack to resources to do this full time. We have a list of subjects from which we are gradually trying to work our way through, but going through them all is going to take time. We also do not dictate the subjects that are submitted to us from outside sources. We allow artists to send us what they want, and we either accept the art or we reject it, based on our criteria.

 U.S. Air Force Career Information

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, moral, 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, in order to be commissioned an officer in the U.S. Air Force, one must be a native-born or naturalized United States citizen.

How can I find out more about Air Force Careers?

To get more information about careers, opportunities and benefits the Air Force has to offer, visit the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service website.

Interested in becoming an Air Force Officer? There are several options available.

  1. Obtain an appointment to the Air Force Academy.
  2. Join the ROTC in the college you attend.
  3. Enlist in the Air Force after graduating from college and attend the Officer Training School to earn your Air Force commission.

How do I find out about per diem rates, retirement pay, travel expenses, promotions, etc?

These questions can all best be answered by visiting the Military Personnel Flight at your base of assignment. Also, the Air Force Personnel Center website and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service website have much of this information available.

How do I find out what will be expected of me at basic training?

For information on basic military training held at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in San Antonio, visit their website.

 U.S. Air Force Historical Information

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

Questions can be sent to one of the following agencies:

United States Air Force Historical Research Agency
(this office is the repository for heraldry information)
600 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6424
Phone: 334-953-2966, DSN 493-2966

Air Force History Support Office
B-3 Brookley Avenue, Box 94
Bolling AFB, DC 20032-5000
Phone: 202-404-2264, DSN 754-2264

For the Department of Defense and other Military Departments, historical files are stored in repositories under the jurisdiction of the National Archives and Records Administration. Information from records maintained by NARA is available to the public. For a nominal fee, NARA will reproduce documents of interest.

National Archives and Records Agency
8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408
Phone: 202-523-3220

Another source is the Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office. The GPO stocks and sells over 24,000 different publications, periodicals, and subscription services. Topics range from accidents and accident prevention to zoology, and include military items relating to the topics of interest mentioned in letters to the Department of Defense. A listing of Government periodicals and subscription services sold by GPO is available to citizens at no charge. Citizens are also encouraged to avail themselves of resources of local public and school libraries, many of which routinely receive GPO listings. Their address is:

Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office
Washington, DC 20402
Phone: 202-512-1800

 U.S. Air Force Photographs

How can I obtain Air Force photos?

Photos are available on our Photos page in digital format.

Air Force Photography, pre-1941/1954 to 1981:

National Archives and Records Administration Still Picture Branch (NNSP) 
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001 
Phone: 301-713-6660
Fax: 301-713-7436

Air Force Photography, World War II to 1953:

National Air and Space Museum Archives Division 
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560
Phone: 202-357-3133
Fax: 202-786-2835 

General Military Aviation Photography:

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Washington, DC 20540
Phone: 202-707-6394

Defense Visual Information Center
Attn: Customer Service
23755 Z Street
Riverside, CA 92518-2073
Phone: 951-413-2550

 U.S. Air Force Song

What are the words to the Air Force Song?

The U.S. Air Force Song (Adapted)

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At ‘em now, Give 'em the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

(Verse II)
Brilliant minds fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue;
Valiant hands blasted the world asunder;
How they lived God only knew!
Boundless souls dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before and bombers galore. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

(Verse III)
Here's a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of the brave who serve on high.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of those we boast, the U.S. Air Force!

(Verse IV)
Off we go into the wild sky yonder,
Keep the wings level and true;
If you'd live to be a grey-haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue!
Fly to fight, guarding the nation's border,
We'll be there, followed by more!
In echelon we carry on.
Oh, nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

 U.S. Air Force Aerial Support

I am interested in obtaining military aircraft for a civilian airshow. What do I need to do?

For information on obtaining military aircraft for civilian airshows or other community events, please visit the USAF Aerial Events Support web site at:

 Veterans Info

Where can I find information about veterans' benefits online?

Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

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