Air Force authorizes PCS short tour credit for deployments Author: Master Sgt. Randy L. Mitchell
Source: AFPC Source Page
AIR FORCE PERSONNEL CENTER – A temporary exception to policy will award permanent change of station short tour credit to many airmen deployed overseas for recent contingency operations.
Eligible members must have been on temporary duty starting on or after Sept.11, 2001, for a minimum of 181 consecutive days at an overseas location designated as a hostile fire/imminent danger pay area.
This credit is intended to reduce the chances of those airmen being sent as non-volunteers to an unaccompanied PCS short tour soon after a prolonged contingency deployment.
The change is an exception to current policy, which only authorizes short tour credit for members accumulating 300 or more days TDY overseas during a consecutive 18-month period.
This exception is not without precedent. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, an exception to policy was approved to authorize PCS short tour credit to members who served TDY in the area of responsibility for at least 181 consecutive days from Aug. 1, 1990 to June 10, 1991.
It’s the members’ responsibility to request PCS short tour credit through the MPF, Personnel Employment Element at their permanent duty station. The request must be initiated after completion of the TDY voucher. The paid voucher will be the source document used to verify the dates of TDY and if the location qualified for payment of hostile fire or imminent danger pay.
Frequently asked questionsQ: This temporary exception to the short-tour credit policy applies to what countries?
A: This exception applies to those countries or locations designated as a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area (in accordance with DoD Financial Management Regulation volume 7A, Chapter 10, Figure 10-1, designated hostile fire or imminent danger pay area).
Q: How long does a member have to serve to be eligible for award of Short Tour Credit?
A: Service members must complete 181 consecutive days overseas TDY at the designated location in support of on going operations as an exception to normal PCS short tour credit requirements.
Q. If the member leaves the designated area prior to 181 days, does that mean they will receive no credit for the TDY period?
A: The member will receive an adjustment to their STRD and ODSD only, but will not be credited with completion of a short tour . The period served, if less than 181 consecutive days, will accumulate toward the normal STRD/ODSD TDY adjustment requirements (in accordance with AFI 36-2110, Table 3.5).
Q. What about the member who must leave the deployed area on emergency leave and returns after two weeks (3 weeks, etc?)
A: As a further exception, members returned on emergency leave will continue to accrue TDY time toward the 181 consecutive days when they return to the deployed area. The time spent on emergency leave will not be included in the 181 day accrual.
Q. What about the member who must leave the deployed area for short intervals for mission requirement and then return?
A: Members who leave the deployed location on a mission requirement will continue to accrue TDY time toward the 181 consecutive days upon their return to the designated area. The time spent out of the designated area will not be included in the 181 day accrual.
Q. If a member is deployed to one of the countries identified from a short tour area, do they receive credit for a second short tour if they meet the 181 consecutive day minimum?
A: Only members deployed from areas where short tour credit is not authorized at their permanent duty location will receive short tour credit. Members permanently assigned to short tour locations (tour Lengths 24/12, 24/15, NA/12, or NA/15) will receive credit for a short tour upon completion of their PCS tour and no additional short tour award is authorized.
Q. Will members permanently assigned to overseas long tour areas receive both long and short tour credit?
A: Members permanently assigned to overseas long tour areas will also receive short tour credit. Upon award, their STRD will be adjusted. Once the member completes the overseas long tour and returns to the continental United States, their new ODSD will be adjusted.
Q. Are aircrew members who fly within air space designated to receive hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay eligible for the PCS short tour credit for TDY?
A: No. Aircrew members are not authorized short tour credit based solely on flying in air space eligible for IDP/HFP. To be eligible for the award of short tour credit, members must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:
- TDY overseas starting on or after Sept.. 11, 2001
- TDY a minimum of 181 consecutive days - TDY location is designated by DoD as hoostile fire or imminent danger pay area
Q. Are guard or reserves members who meet all of the criteria eligible for short tour credit?
A: This exception is only applicable to regular active duty members who meet all of the eligibility criteria.
Q. If I am awarded PCS short tour credit for TDY, will my date arrive station change?
A: The date arrived on station will not change due to the award of PCS short tour credit for TDY. A member’s date arrived on station changes only when a member makes a permanent change of station (PCS.)
Q. If a member is TDY to a IDP/HFP area and deploys to another IDP/HTP location (consecutively), will he/she be eligible for the PCS short tour credit?
A: Members are eligible for PCS short tour credit if they are TDY to an IDP/HFP area and deploy to another IDP/HFP area and the time served is a minimum of 181 consecutive days.
Q. Are members TDY in the continental United States who serve 181 days or more consecutively eligible to receive overseas PCS short tour credit?
A: It is not appropriate to grant overseas credit for duty performed in the continental United States. Informal feedback from Air Force members is that although a day away is a day away, TDY in the continental United States is not comparable to TDY overseas at locations that are austere and/or where hostilities exists. A combination of factors were taken into consideration to determine the eligibility criteria for the award of PCS short tour credit. Family separation was one of those factors, but not the sole factor. The combined factors approved by the Air Force commander and AFPC/CC are: duty is in a hostile fire/imminent danger area, austere living conditions and family separation, duration of TDY longer than anticipated or extended.
Q. Does the recent policy change which makes member ineligible to deploy for 6 months after returning from a PCS unaccompanied overseas short tour apply to those members who are being awarded PCS short tour credit for TDY? The policy directed by the Air Force Chief of Staff on March 25 states members are ineligible to deploy for six-months following their return from a PCS short unaccompanied overseas tour s. A waiver to this requirement must be approved by the major command vice commander.
A: This policy does not apply to members who receive PCS short tour credit for TDY. The Air Force Chief of Staff directed policy change applies only to members who PCS’d from an unaccompanied overseas short tour. However, there is a separate policy which says members will not normally be selected for an involuntary overseas PCS with an report no later than date less than 120 days after TDY completion (ref AIR FORCEI 36-2110, para 126.96.36.199)
Q. If I am awarded PCS short tour credit for TDY, will I be eligible to apply for a follow-on/home-basing assignment or a base of preference?
A: To apply for a follow-on or home basing assignment you must elect or be selected for an unaccompanied PCS short tour. In addition, members are not eligible for a bop because they’ve been award PCS short tour credit for TDY. To be eligible for a bop, members must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in MPFM 00-29, dated Aug. 18, 2000. Members may contact their MPF for additional bop information.