The Voice of the Air Force Enlisted

The Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) is a federally chartered, non-profit organization representing the professional and personal interests of more than 135,000 active duty and retired enlisted members of the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. AFSA also provides family members, former enlisted personnel and other interested parties the opportunity to join and support the association as members of AFSA or the AFSA Auxiliary.

Since its founding in 1961, AFSA has led the way on both Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon and has earned the recognition and respect of Washington's leaders for its sustained role as the "Voice of the Enlisted". The AFSA mission, at the headquarters level, is to advocate improved quality-of-life and economic fairness that will support the well-being of Air Force enlisted personnel and their families.

AFSA lobbyists continue to inform members of Congress of the sacrifices those who wear and have worn the uniform (and their families) make on a daily basis for the protection of the American way-of-life. From fighting for full pay raises for those still wearing the uniform, to full on-time cost of living allowances (COLA) for retirees, AFSA continues to lead the way to preserve and improve the quality-of-life for its members. Several other areas where AFSA has been successful the past several years include:

  • Increased allowances and reduction of out-of-pocket expenses during permanent change of station moves, particularly for enlisted members.
  • Increased pay and allowances and benefits for low-ranking airmen, and targeted pay increases for enlisted members.
  • Approval of Career Enlisted Flier Incentive Pay.
  • Approval of various health care benefit expansion demonstration projects (e.g., TRICARE Senior Prime, FEHBP-65, etc.) and achievement of an expanded pharmacy benefit and "TRICARE for Life" benefit for Medicare-eligible retirees, family members, and their survivors.
  • Increased reserve component health care (medical and dental), pay & compensation, and quality-of-life benefits for reservists and their families.
  • Continued protection of military stores (commissaries and exchanges).
  • Elimination of Source Taxes.
  • Elimination of the Social Security Earnings Test.
  • Retirement protection (e.g., defeat of the "High One" retirement plan for those who entered service before 9/8/80; repeal of the "Redux" retirement plan for those who entered service after 7/31/86; protection of on-time retiree COLAs).
  • Appropriation/Authorization of "Impact Aid" funding for local school districts educating the children of military families.
  • Implementation of the National Mail Order Pharmacy program.
  • TRICARE enhancements, including portability between regions, reduction in the catastrophic cap for both TRICARE Prime and Standard, elimination of active duty family members' co-payments for Prime, and better efficiencies in administration, reimbursement and procedure within the TRICARE system.

AFSA's leading role on Capitol Hill was best described by Senator John McCain, Republican for Arizona, who said: "I often call AFSA when a tough legislative job needs to be done. For over three decades they've been an extremely effective and respected presence on Capitol Hill. AFSA educates those members on Capitol Hill who have never served and perhaps don't fully understand the sacrifices the enlisted members of the Air Force, the Reserve and the National Guard make to protect our great nation."

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, discounts on family eye wear and contact lenses, cruises arranged for your budget and lifestyles, 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 childrens' educations. In 2001, AFSA Headquarters awarded 19 scholarship grants totaling $30,500.00, three of which were sponsored by Divisions or Chapters. In addition, the AFSA Auxiliary awarded six $1,000 scholarships to AFSA dependents.

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 program include:

AMF Scholarship Program, which awarded 20 grants totaling $20,000.00 in 2001. The CMSAF Scholarship Program, offered in conjunction with the AMF, awarded an additional 11 grants totaling $15,000.

AMF/$RN College Financial Aid Software Program. This service is available at Air Force Family Support Centers, Base Libraries, AFRC Family Readiness Offices and ANG Education and Training Managers' Offices. The program offers military spouses and youth an electronic private sector college financial aid search resource for both undergraduate and graduate work.

AFSA founded the Airmen Memorial Museum (AMM) in 1988. 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 an important source for Air Force enlisted history. It is now listed on the Air Force Chief of Staff's Reading List at www.af.mil/lib/csafbook/csaf_read_enlisted.shtml.

In 1997 the AMM published the first comprehensive history of the Air Force Enlisted Force, "Unsung Heroes: The History of the Enlisted Airmen from the Dawn of Flight to Desert Storm." This history was written from an enlisted perspective.

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

"The Air Force Sergeants Association staff is headquartered in the member-owned Airmen Memorial Building (AMB) located at 5211 Auth Road in Suitland, Maryland just eight miles from Washington, D.C. The AMB is a 33,000 square foot three-story structure of concrete and glass housing, in addition to AFSA Headquarters, the offices of the Airmen Memorial Foundation (AMF) AFSA's charitable educational affiliate and the Airmen Memorial Museum (AMM) AFSA's enlisted history and heritage affiliate. The AMB is conveniently located l mile from Andrews Air Force Base and adjacent to metro Washington's Beltway Exit 7A and 7B.

For more information about AFSA, its Airmen Memorial Foundation or its Airmen Memorial Museum you may contact HQ, toll-free at 1-800-638-0594 or (301) 899-3500; by fax at (301) 899-8l36 and on the Internet at www.hqafsa.org. You may correspond with AFSA, the AMM or the AMF by writing to the following address: 5211 Auth Road, Suitland, MD 20746."