Married military couples are required to present their marriage certificate to their Military Personnel Section (MPS) Customer Service Element to update their marital status in Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) and Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Military couples must update their join spouse code and assignment preferences in the virtual Military Personnel Flight (vMPF) to indicate their intentions/desires as a couple and whether they do or do not wish to be reassigned together. Military couples should ensure their data is up-to-date at all times and conduct data verification per the instructions found below in the related resources. If couple desires to be assigned together, Air Force's Personnel Center (AFPC) will do everything reasonable to accommodate the desires in most situations.
To be eligible for a Join Spouse assignment the following criteria must be met:
-Airmen must have 12 months of time on station (CONUS-to-CONUS or CONUS-to-OS) or completion of OS tour (OS-to-OS or OS-TO-CONUS)
-Airmen must be able to obtain 24 months retainability from the reporting date for a CONUS-to-CONUS move
-When assigned to the same or adjacent overseas location, you must serve the accompanied by dependents tour length
-Both members must be serving on extended active duty in one of the US military services. This does not include reserve members on active duty for less than 12 months
-Airmen cannot be pending separation or retirement within 12 months from the date the military couple will be joined
-Military couples can now serve together at Kunsan AB, Korea
Guidelines for approval and disapproval
If the Airman voluntarily requests cancellation of a Join Spouse assignment or self-initiates to a location other than where the military spouse assigned, they are informing AFPC they do not want to be assigned with their spouse. As a result, they may be separated from their spouse and will not be eligible for further join spouse consideration to their spouse's location. However, their spouse may be able to request an assignment under one of the voluntary assignment programs such as a Base of Preference (BOP). The Air Force will try to keep a military couple together, but military couples have a key role in the success of this program.
Military couples are not authorized to be jointly assigned to overseas locations where government approved accompanied housing is not available. If such a case would arise, AFPC would, depending upon the circumstances, attempt to find a different short tour during the same timeframe for one of the Airmen. This is especially important for Airmen who get married after being selected for an assignment.
If a military couple is assigned to the same short tour location, one of them will be continued on to a different location. Obviously, it would be better to have this all settled before rather than after arrival at the wrong location. Military couples who are married in the overseas area while currently serving on a dependent-restricted tour, may continue to serve in their own right and maintain their Date Eligible to Return from Overseas (DEROS) and depart upon completion of the original tour. Airmen may request to extend to match their spouse's DEROS so they can depart at the same time.
Apply for this program
While the join spouse intent code explains how you wish to be assigned together, there are some situations when it will be necessary to submit a letter application to receive join spouse assignment consideration (See Join Spouse PSD Guide, Attachment 1). The situations that require letter application are:
-Air Force Airmen married to active duty members of another branch of service
-Airmen who marry while assigned to separate locations
-Marriages that occur after one Airmen has an assignment
-When military spouse information is incorrect in MilPDS
It is very important for Airmen who marry while en route to different assignment locations, to contact the nearest Air Force installation, MPS Customer Service Element. Airmen must submit a letter application for join spouse assignment before arriving at the new duty location. This allows AFPC to act upon the join spouse application and coordinate a change in assignment.
Further information and application procedures can be obtained in AFI 36-2110, Assignments, Attachment 8; the PSD Guide; and by visiting the virtual Military Personnel Flight (vMPF).
Special Provision for Applying/Consideration for Join Spouse Assignment to Kunsan
Military couples may now serve concurrent short tours at Kunsan AB, Korea. Each Airman will serve a 12-month, unaccompanied tour simultaneously but will be required to reside in separate, unaccompanied quarters. Since it is still considered a dependent restricted location, Airmen will not be authorized to bring their dependents. However, each Airman will still receive short tour credit and will be authorized to participate in the follow-on program.
Enlisted airmen interested in this program will ensure their join spouse intent code is “A”. If one member of a join spouse couple is selected for assignment to Kunsan, then coordination will be made with the spouse’s assignment team to see if a requirement exists for the spouse.
Officers will continue to make their assignment preferences through the Airman Development Plan and work with their AFPC assignment team if interested in this program.
Join Spouse Data Verification Information
Authentication of your join spouse intent code is required to ensure data integrity, while providing join spouse assignment consideration. Join Spouse intent codes are vital when determining assignment eligibility for dual military couples. It is with the utmost importance that you maintain and regularly verify your personnel record within the Virtual Military Personnel Flight (vMPF). Below are the three join spouse intent code options available as prescribed in AFI 36-2110, Assignments, Attachment 8, Assignment of Military Couples:
Intent Code “A” - Desire join spouse to Continental United States (CONUS) or any overseas (OS) tour (including concurrent dependent restricted short tours). You and your spouse will be considered for join spouse assignment to locations in the CONUS, at OS accompanied locations, OS unaccompanied short tour locations, and OS dependent restricted locations. By updating intent code "A," you have stated that you want to be considered for concurrent short tour locations and dependent restricted short tours. Both join spouse intent codes reflect “A” and both update dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour preferences. If one of you is selected for reassignment to a dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour location, your spouse is considered for a concurrent (at the same time), but separate reassignment to another dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour location. If one of you cannot be supported for a concurrent but separate dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour location then neither of you will be selected as a volunteer. NOTE: Join spouse assignment to the same dependent restricted short tour location is prohibited, unless one Airman of the military couple has been approved for/or selected to serve in a command sponsored position and/or a key billet.
Intent Code “B” - Desire join spouse to CONUS or any accompanied OS tour (including non-concurrent dependent restricted short tours). You and your spouse will be considered for join spouse assignment to locations in the CONUS and at OS accompanied locations and only one of you will be considered for a non-concurrent dependent restricted short tour or unaccompanied short tour. Stated another way, one of you will serve the dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour while one of you remains at their current location. If only one of you desires to be considered to serve a dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour while your spouse remains at their current location, then both join spouse intent codes reflect “B” but only one of you updates your dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour preferences. The spouse that will remain at your current location removes any dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour preferences.
If both of you desire to be considered to serve a dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour while one spouse remains at your current location, then both join spouse intent codes reflect “B” and both update dependent restricted or unaccompanied short tour preferences. However, only one of you will be selected since your intent codes are “B”.
Intent Code “H” - Join spouse assignment not desired. Use caution when updating your intent code to “H”. This should only be updated when you are filing for divorce and you no longer desire to be considered for join spouse assignments. Additionally, you may change your intent code to “H” when your spouse has an approved retirement or separation date on file and they are scheduled for release from active duty within 12 months. By doing this, it assists the assignment OPR to identify that you no longer meet the criteria of join spouse assignment consideration.
More detailed information, how to update your information, and common scenarios for join spouse assignments are located in AFI 36-2110, Assignments, Attachment 8, Assignment of Military Couples, and Personnel Services Delivery Guide (PSDG), Voluntary Assignments, Join Spouse Assignment Program, found on the myPers website at PSDG Join Spouse. We highly recommend you review Attachment 8 and the PSDG in its entirety, paying close attention to the join spouse intent codes, their implications for assignment consideration, and join spouse consideration when your spouse is a member of the other US military services.
Once you have determine which code meets your needs, verification is necessary within vMPF. While verifying your join spouse intent code in vMPF, also ensure your assignment preferences reflect the desires of you and your spouse, and your spouse’s Social Security Number (SSN) is updated. Your Military Personnel Section (MPS) can assist in correcting errors identified.
As a reminder, join spouse intent codes updated in vMPF take priority over any other individual assignment preferences. For example, if your intent code is "B" the main consideration is to keep you and your spouse together, not necessarily at a base of choice. While location preferences are considered, the join spouse intent code takes priority.
All dual military join spouse intent codes must be verified and updated when a change in marital status or active duty status occurs or upon receipt of a request by AFPC for data verification.