Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Bergman    229

I Palace Chase'd about 18 months ago. I've got a few points for you to ponder:

1) The functional manager will most likely NOT recommend Palace Chase. I talked to mine directly and he made no qualms about telling me that. Of course, this was in a rated career field. It might be easier for non-rated types to leave. The bottom line is, I was approved for Palace Chase even though my functional manager and his boss both recommended disapproval.

2) Before your package (STS) gets to the functional manager/AFPC, it has to leave the Wing. In my interview with the WG/CC (he met with anyone applying for this sort of thing), he told me that he was only supporting my application because I already had an ANG UPT slot arranged (and a letter from my ANG WG/CC to prove it). If you're just trying to leave with no cross over to the ANG, it might be difficult if not impossible.

3) Even though I did get the Palace Chase, it was only for 6 months early release (kinda like from prison!). I was told by the Palace Chase people at AFPC that 4-6 months is the longest time to request with any hope of getting approved. Of course, individual results may vary. You know the AF - as the people change every 2 years, the policies change!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest AirGuardian   
Guest AirGuardian

If you have great unit backing you can go for that senator/congressman push, that shuts up the AFPC folks, especially when it encompasses a congressional inquiry which dictates a 24hour response from AFPC on the issues at hand with stop-loss not in effect of course! A few ways of persuasion out there...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ecutch   
Guest ecutch

I'm considering doing Palace Chase with the hope of getting a Guard UPT slot. I'm intel school right now. I love it, but my dream since boyhood has been to fly (dad's a Viper pilot, g-pa was a Thunderbird). Has anyone else done this? What is the process like? Anything I can do that would help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bergman    229

Having successfully Palace Chased myself, I feel marginally qualified to offer advice (was a previous Nav and was allowed to nix 8 months from my ADSC to switch to ANG for UPT). Anywho...

Step #1: Obtain a UPT slot with a Guard unit. You will have much more credibility throughout the process with an O-6 (ANG Wg/CC) backing you up (writing letter of recommendation/intent). Also, my Palace Chase paperwork specifically said, "Released from Active Duty pending successful completion of Undergraduate Pilot Training." Again, much easier to plead your case when you've already got a unit and UPT slot lined up.

Step #2: Obtain support of your AD Wing Commander (he is the one that signs the base-level portion of the form). In my case, I was already on good terms with my AD Wg/CC, having been through the UPT process on AD (was #1 in the wing when the reg changed limiting folks to 5 years commissioned service, thus making me ineligible to compete) Anwyay, he already knew who I was from previous applications, so no suprise when my Palace Chase crossed his desk. I will add that my Sq/CC supported me as well and had already talked me up to the Wg/CC before any of my applications went up the chain. Bottom line: do good work at your current/future location and obtain their support. Without it, you won't Palace Chase.

Step #3: Hope for the best. Your timing will be pretty good, as the Active Duty is 3900 Officers over their end strength right now (per a conversation last week w/ the Recce/U2/UAV assignments Officer at AFPC). The AD is really looking to get rid of folks right now, so this could be win-win. It boils down to "Palace Chase me now to UPT and keep me in the 'Total Force' for 10 more years. Otherwise, I lose this opportunity and will separate completely in 2 years." Sounds like an ultimatum, which it is, but it makes good personnel sense for the AF to retain you. The only real problem I see is that the AF will want to get their money's worth out of your intel training. But, if you have a UPT slot already lined up it should be a no-brainer.

Lastly, how old are you? Reason being that if none of this works you can always just wait out your intel ADSC and apply once you are 'free and clear'. The longer you are on AD, the easier it will be to Palace Chase and also the easier to get hired by an ANG unit (more stuff to fill a resume'). So if it doesn't work out, don't jump off a bridge or anything!

Good luck! Let me know if you want any more specifics. I can dig up my old forms if you need the form #'s or anything. I believe that the AFPC contact for Palace Chase is CMSgt Allick. Don't know if she's still there or not, but she was incredibly helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rumblefish_2   
Guest rumblefish_2

I too PALACE CHASE'd out of AD into a Guard slot. I was three years CE and hated it so I decided I wanted to become a pilot. Bergman pretty much covered everything; I'll throw in a few more nuggets...

Knowing your base commander pretty well will get you the support you need to get your paperwork signed, but the dude that needs to support you the most is your squadron commander (or whoever is the one who gets more face time with the base commander). Our wing commander was pretty new so he didn't know me from Adam. Your squadron commander (or equivalent) will be the one who signs the letter for you to get a FC1, take the BAT test, and retake the AFOQT (if you desire).

Like Bergman said, getting picked up is the #1 priority. However, you need to make sure you have that support so you know that you can leave AD if selected. As soon as you have that letter from the unit saying you are hired, you have the golden ticket. I was stationed at Randolph when I got the slot and got a friggin' 4-star RMO from General Cook when he visited our squadron just because I got selected for UPT. He didn't give me squat when I redesigned the sprinkler sytem for his GOQ...

Chief A is definitely a big help at AFPC so if you can get a hold of her she will help you out. Good luck, pilot is definitely the way to go in the AF, "I can't believe they pay me to fly jets."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Walter_Sobchak   
Guest Walter_Sobchak

Another Palace Chase question of my own - I've read the AF guidance that says an applicant must be at least a certain amount through their "initial service commitment." For rated folks, is that in reference to the initial commissioning commitment, or the initial flying (wings+10) commitment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest AirGuardian   
Guest AirGuardian

From what we've seen(except for one), it's the +7,+8,+10 year wings commitment,

BUT, we just took a young LT from the B-1 community who has been on AD almost 2 years. AFPC manager for his weapon system gave him just about a year to find any Guard unit that would have him. So, we stole him from the AD when he didn't even serve 2 years of his initial 10 year flying commitment. Even if it were part of his commissioning commitment, I doubt he met the normal palace chase requirements of 2 left and out to a Guard/Reserve unit...

Overall, if your MWS has severe manning overages and the timing is right - it seems your chances are better to make any transitions... Anything can happen if the planets are aligned I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest HueyPilot   
Guest HueyPilot

Question is...how would I approach the boss with this without making it seem I'm trying to screw the AF and find a plush airline job...hell, I'd do AGR or ART if I could...I just want to find a unit closer to Louisiana.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Rainman A-10   
Guest Rainman A-10

I don't know what your boss is like but if you worked for me I would expect you to come in and be honest with me about what you wanted to do. I would help you if I could, and I probably could. It would be easier to help if you had most of the leg work done and the POC numbers handy for me.

Your boss can't help you if he doesn't know what you want.

Be honest, you can't go wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Rainman A-10   
Guest Rainman A-10

OBTW, you can call AFMPC and ask the very same questions you are asking here. They are not going to tattle to you're commander. It is totally within your rights to ask AFMPC career and assignment questions...in fact, it is the responsible thing to do. The assignment guys are busy but they will answer questions or point you in the the right direction. Rotorhead has SME on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest PilotKD   
Guest PilotKD
Another Palace Chase question of my own - I've read the AF guidance that says an applicant must be at least a certain amount through their "initial service commitment." For rated folks, is that in reference to the initial commissioning commitment, or the initial flying (wings+10) commitment?
From what I've read off the AFPC site, you only need 1 year from your DOS to apply for Palace Chase. I'm not sure if this applies to pilots or not, but I knew a 1LT who did it last year and just last week a young Capt I know was approved. Both are pilots.

If you go to the AFPC Force Shaping website and click on the presentation, you'll read it in there:

http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/retsep/shape2.htm

I'm looking into it also as a fairly new 1LT, although the Force Shaping matrix is showing a -1 in 2003 for my AFSC (but over +100 for 2002 :( ), which has me kind of doubtful. I guess it never hurts to try though.

[ 21. August 2005, 23:26: Message edited by: PilotKD ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rumblefish_2   
Guest rumblefish_2

If you can find a unit that will hire you, then the process is pretty painless. I would look for a sure thing before starting the process, it makes the boss's decision easier and if it pisses AD folks off, well too bad for them. You have your golden ticket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest PilotKD   
Guest PilotKD

I'm working on getting on with a unit right now that hasn't asked for a CC recommendation yet. I'm not sure if it's different for fighter units with them most likely being more competitive, but all I gave them was last 3 OPR's/LOE's, flight records, personel RIP, coverletter and resume. I'm sure if you call them up and tell them what this is going to mean for life on AD by trying to make this move, they'll understand. Just about everyone I know that has done this here has pretty much dropped the bomb on leadership after they've been hired by a unit.

If a unit is need of experienced individuals vs hiring them off the street and sending them to UPT, they'll be happy to give you your shot. Of course this all depends on your rank. As an LT or young Capt, it's easier for a unit to hire you. LT's 6-12 months out of their MWS training are easy pickens right now. It's almost like a "free" pilot for them, so long as they like you.

[ 27. March 2006, 01:18: Message edited by: PilotKD ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bergman    229
Originally posted by migkilr:

The problem lies in AFPC letting me out. I've talked to the Palace Chase rep at AFPC who said odds were slim, but it wouldn't hurt to try (easy for her to say). She suggested I talk to my functional for a better idea on the odds. But guess who the first person the assignments guy is going to call when he finds out my plan?? My commander!

Take what AFPC says with a grain of salt! I was told the same thing when I Palace Chased - that I would NEVER be released because I was in a HD/LD platform. I called my functional and was told, "You can apply...but I will non-concur on your recommendation. And my 2 star boss will back me up!" So, I applied anyway and was approved. It's a SecAF panel that approves/disapproves Palace Chase applications, and apparently they don't always listen to what AFPC says. Perhaps someone has the big picture after all.

As for your unit...wow! I never realized how lucky I was back in the day. My CC wrote me a letter and talked me up to the Wg/CC at the weekly meeting so I had no trouble at all. Of course, I had applied for UPT on AD and was turned down due to 61 months commissioned service, so I guess it was no surprise when I told them an ANG unit had hired me for UPT.

Anyway, best of luck! I hope you can make it work. Always better for someone to go ANG/AFRES than just punch completely. Too bad your CC doesn't recognize that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest absolutusaf   
Guest absolutusaf

I'm an Acadmey grad and currently in Pilot Training. Does anyone know if it's possible to palace chase right out of UPT? Obviously, I'm active duty with the whole academy committment, but I want to go guard or reserve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest pcampbell   
Guest pcampbell

Hey man, I was in the same boat. Unfortunately, you can't palace chase while you are enrolled in a formal training course. I think there are additional rules, even when you aren't in a course, for academy grads. You can talk to the separations section in the MPF for more answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest T38driver   
Guest T38driver

absolutusaf,

Your chances are almost none. It has nothing to do with your Academy Committment by the way. It has to do with that 10 year committment you incur the moment you get your wings. I know of someone who tried to palace chase with 3 years of the 10 year committment over. He was told no. (And a Guard Unit had agreed to hire him).

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest PilotKD   
Guest PilotKD
Originally posted by T38driver:

absolutusaf,

Your chances are almost none. It has nothing to do with your Academy Committment by the way. It has to do with that 10 year committment you incur the moment you get your wings. I know of someone who tried to palace chase with 3 years of the 10 year committment over. He was told no. (And a Guard Unit had agreed to hire him).

Regards,

Not necessarily. Right now, the 10 year commitment means nothing if you're in the right commission year the SECAF has identified having an overage of officers (mostly 2000-2003 years). I know 6 pilots from my station alone in the past 8 months get approved for Palace Chase. All of them were Lt's and young Capts with plenty left of their 10 year commitment. I'll let you know in about a month if I'm the 7th.

I would say that if you don't have a Form 8 in a weapons system, you'd be hard pressed to get a unit to hire you anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest AirGuardian   
Guest AirGuardian

You definitely are one of the few compared to those now facing that career ultimate question (or at least one of them) which has had the perfect scenario!

Have talked to many on the road and haven't heard of one not being shunned in some way or another. Some not really bad at all, but there were a few where their names came off the scheduling board and additional duties piled up before their exodus... Most blew it off since the OPR thing was going to be slammed anyway... Had a few lately get in the unit and of course the AD hasn't even considered forwarding their latest "closeout" OPR's for me to handle. I have to bother them over and over to get written off for our guys and I am waaay too stubborn for them to quit - EVER!

I wish all the rest the best and may they have the same respect as they gave Rainmaster! Granted, being a legend in the community doesn't hurt either!

[ 17. May 2006, 23:47: Message edited by: AirGuardian ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest PilotKD   
Guest PilotKD

So far, I've been happy with the process. It's a bit of a vicious circle though because on one hand you want to be honest with your leadership, but on the other hand you're concerned about repercussions and possibly a miserable remainder of an assignment if you're not approved. With the ops tempo as high as it is, it's important to give your leadership a heads up so you don't end up screwing your buddy with a last minute deployment when you drop your package on your commanders desk (sts) and say, "I want to Palace Chase.". You pretty much tie their hands and with being as short handed as we are (at least in my sq), it's a numbers game. We're constantly having to do more with less.

I waited until I got a job offer from a unit before I told my DO. I was not interested in leaving right away anyway and told him that I had been tossing the idea around for quite some time, got an offer and gave him my plans. He appreciated the honesty, the heads up, supported my decision based on the reasons I gave him and said that there would be no consequences for this if it didn't get approved. Afterwards, I honestly felt I should have told him even sooner than I did.

It is a tricky situation and the reaction you will get will vary greatly with how close you are with your leadership, your ops tempo, manning, etc... People are doing this for many different reasons. Attitudes vary from base to base. Some are leaving on bad terms with their leadership to begin with and just don't care. Sticking it to them last minute is a bit of a, "kiss my rear end, I've got the last laugh now!" and before you take that approach, remember to ask yourself if it's really worth burning bridges for.

My app went in this week. I should get an answer within a month. With any luck, hopefully it'll be an "approved".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest priorAF   
Guest priorAF

Hey I searched and came up wit a billion results. Anyone know if a pilot can palace chase to the guard and if so when?

Thanks

Edited by priorAF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brabus    519

Guys do it a lot. I've heard of dudes PC after only 1.5-2 yrs service after wings. They still have to serve out their commitment in the Guard, but that's sure not a bad deal. I can only tell you what I've heard about this (I have not done it...just clarifying), but it seems the consensus is to make sure you have a good "guarantee" from the guard unit that they'll take you before you slap the PC paperwork on your bosses desk. If the deal falls through, you've probably burned some bridges on AD and your career may suffer due to that. So, probably want to keep it on the DL that your considering this (at least just don't let it be widespread knowledge) until you've got a "for-sure" deal set up. That's the info I've heard...I'm sure someone who's actually done this/knows more about this will chime in. Good luck with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TacAirCoug    134

Even if you get a guard unit to hire you, it's still not a done deal. AFPC has to release you, and depending on your airframe you might be SOL. However, if the stars align in your favor it can and has been done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fozzy Bear    8

To piggy-back on what they both said, the few guys I know who've done it said to make sure you get the commander of the gaining guard unit to sign the 'contract' or whatever the paperwork is. If you get this all done successfully, please share with the group how you did it. I'm shopping around myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Rainman A-10   
Guest Rainman A-10
I can only tell you what I've heard about this (I have not done it...just clarifying), but it seems the consensus is to make sure you have a good "guarantee" from the guard unit that they'll take you before you slap the PC paperwork on your bosses desk.

You should have the losing and gaining commanders talk to one another. I would steer clear of any Guard unit where the gaining commander can't or won't do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×