Posted on Jul 13, 2021
SPC Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
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any air force recruiter available I need a honest assessment of the possibility of switching branch. what's the probability?
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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An Air Force Recruiter will tell you it's very doable. They'll even give you a Conditional Release to get signed by your Commander and tell you that you can transfer into the Air Force as long as you get your Conditional Release signed. Then your Conditional Release doesn't get signed before you ETS. After you ETS your recruiter tells you there's a good chance to get in that year. Then you learn the AF allows a very limited number of prior service per fiscal year (around 200 I think) and prefers people with an MOS that directly translates to an AF MOS (like helicopter power plant repair). Then when you aren't one of the 200 or so admitted that year, the Recruiter will tell you that maybe they'll open up a few more spots in a few months.... Until the next fiscal year.

I can't tell you how many Air Force Recruiters I've had tell my Soldiers that they can switch over and give them bad information. I've had exactly zero of them actually switch over and I've known a few who separated to switch and it never worked out. I'm not saying you can't, but I am saying that an AF Recruiter may not be a reliable source of guidance for that. If you want to switch you need to be ready to be a civilian for a while during the time it takes to apply to the AF
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CW4 William Kessinger
CW4 William Kessinger
7 mo
SSG Richard (Rick) Dana - I also did the same. Enlisted AF as an Operations Dispatcher (Base Ops). In 1967 got my Commercial and CFI Pilot Certificate in Helicopters and the Army had a (we need you more) AR and after applying and meeting an Army Board was accepted into the Army as a WO1. AF had to release me to the Army.
Best move I ever did.
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PFC Motor Transport Operator
PFC (Join to see)
7 mo
I switched from Army to Air Force recently. I started the process 2 and a half years before my ETS, and the whole process took about 6 months. That includes medical, documentation, etc. Because my MOS as an 88M directly translated to an AF job, I didn’t need to go through additional schooling. But getting the conditional release alone to be signed took about three months. Just to get a signature on a piece of paper. Granted, i recognize that I don’t know the big picture behind what was needed to actually process the DD368. But it was frustrating when the instructions listed on the back of the DD368 specifies that the document is to be returned to the SM with either approval or disapproval within thirty days of being submitted, and it took three times as long. But it all worked out in the end, and I was able to transfer branches while still in my initial Army contract.
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SMSgt Sheila Berg
SMSgt Sheila Berg
6 mo
Recruiters don't get credit for enlisting prior service members. Also after Basic training I remember new recruits shocked when they don't get the assignments the recruiters promised!!!
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Cpl Steve Craver
Cpl Steve Craver
6 mo
I went from the Navy and went into the Marine Corps about three months later. I just gave them a copy of my 214. They checked my service record (I'm fairly certain). Then off to PI for Boot Camp version 2.
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LTC Jason Mackay
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SFC (Join to see) can explain more, but you’ll have to ETS if you are AD. If you are RC you’ll have to obtain a DD368 conditional release.

Many posts on here indicate there are about 100 prior service slots each year in the Air Force. That’s it. So go to an AF recruiter and work it. It is likely not to happen but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Another Avenue is going ANG.
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
1 y
SPC Steven Depuy yes ANG. I do not have direct knowledge on going the RC to AD route in the Air Force.
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SMSgt Logistics Superintendent
SMSgt (Join to see)
11 mo
SPC Steven Depuy It is very possible through a number of programs.
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PFC(P) Driver/Gunner
PFC(P) (Join to see)
6 mo
LTC Jason Mackay is correct, you can go Guard to AD by way of DD368 but I will tell you from personal experience that it’s a pain in the ass and will take time if it works for you. It took me months of pushing, poking and prodding the entire CoC before they approved my transfer request, so be patient, be persistent and make it clear from the beginning what your goal is. ANG HATES giving up guardsmen to the AD do it’s a fight
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
6 mo
PFC(P) (Join to see) it’s because the Guard gets zero credit for approving a conditional release. It’s about USR math and MOSQ soldiers staying in the Guard
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CWO3 Us Marine
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Very possible. Finish your Army hitch and see a AF recruiter.
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SPC Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
SPC (Join to see)
>1 y
thank you
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