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The Voice of the Air Force Enlisted



The Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) is a non-profit organization representing the professional and personal interests of more than 160,000 active duty and retired enlisted members of the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. AFSA family members, former enlisted personnel and other interested parties that also provides the opportunity to join and support the association as members of AFSA or the AFSA Auxiliary.

Since its founding in 1961, AFSA has earned the recognition and respect of congressional and Pentagon leaders for its sustained role as the "Voice of the Enlisted." In past years, AFSA has been instrumental in creating the Survivor Benefit Plan, achieving equity in officer and enlisted hazardous duty pay, ensuring enlisted flight crew members at least 120 days notice prior to removal from flying status, and successfully opposing plans to turn the commissary service over to a national chair that would impose a user fee for services.

AFSA played a major role in gains of the following for active duty enlisted personnel: pay raise instead of a pay freeze as proposed by the administration; early retirement for active duty personnel with more than 15 but less than 20 years service; extension of the transition program for separating personnel through FY 95; reversal of a ruling that would have unfairly taxed relocation allowances and reimbursements; and a tenure guarantee after 18 years.

AFSA's vocal and supportive actions for the Reserve Transition Program benefited Guardsmen and Reservists. AFSA was successful in extending this valuable program through FY 95. As a result, these forces gained a retirement plan allowing selected personnel with 20 years to select an immediate retirement annuity, allowing selected personnel with at least 15 years to apply for assignment to retired status, and allowing separation pay for personnel with at least six years of service who are involuntarily separated. Other gains included extended use of the commissary and exchange after separation, expanded access to G.I. Bill educational assistance for those affected by drawdowns, and continued SGLI coverage for one year after separation at no cost. Additionally, AFSA's continuing actions have led to an increase in both research and treatment of certain health effects directly related to service in the Persian Gulf.

AFSA's Capitol Hill presence was also instrumental in making gains for retirees. These included an assurance of a full COLA for 1994 in spire of administration proposals to freeze or reduce military retiree annuities, and a reduction in the CHAMPUS catastrophic cap for out-of-pocket expenses from $10,000 to $7,500. AFSA's sustained efforts have caused Congress to act toward correcting the inequity between the timing of COLAs for military retirees vs. that of federal civilians.Also, in 1994, AFSA uncovered a proposal in the works at the "eleventh hour" that would have stopped the already-promised April '94 COLA. AFSA representatives geared into action with a phone call and fax campaign to key people "on the Hill." Bottom line is that AFSA was successful! Because AFSA on the scene at the crucial time and because AFSA is a respected "voice," action on this proposal was dropped.

AFSA and AFSA Auxiliary members are kept up-to-date with SERGEANTS magazine. This top-rated publication provides substantive articles and features about Air Force enlisted issues. The annual Enlisted Almanac edition has been praised as the definitive reference of Air Force and DOD statistics and projections. Additionally, members have access to a toll-free Capitol Hill Update recording with the latest information on proposals and legislation on matters affecting military people, retirees and their families.

AFSA and AFSA Auxiliary members have access to members-only benefits and services, including a variety of affordable health and auto insurance plans, VISA and MasterCard availability, discounted on family eye wear and contact lenses, new home buying and mortgage broker services, cruises arranged for your budget and lifestyle as well as many other money-saving services.

Another major benefit is the AFSA scholarship program. This valuable program provides members an opportunity to help finance their children's educations. This year, AFSA awarded 13 scholarship grants totaling $21,500.

In 1983, AFSA founded the Airmen Memorial Foundation (AMF). This separate organization sponsors several major programs. Two of these are the Education and the Educational Loan Programs that assist members in gaining college credits. Other AMF programs include:

AFSA founded the Airmen Memorial Museum (AMM) in 1986. The AMM is dedicated to the heritage and accomplishments of all Air Force enlisted people. The museum is located in the Airmen Memorial Building in Suitland, Maryland. With its semi-permanent and temporary exhibits, including "The Orderly Room", the AMM serves as a comprehensive reference center for Air Force enlisted history.

As evidenced by its actions and innovative services for enlisted families, AFSA is strongly committed to serving the best interests of its member, the United States Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and the United States of America.