HomeTransfer

TRANSFERRING TO THE U.S. SPACE FORCE FAQs

Click here to access the CAC-enabled Milsuite site where members can find details and sample documents for the Interservice transfer process.

ELIGIBILITY

Q:  Who can transfer to the Space Force?

A: Active duty officers and enlisted personnel (Colonels and below) from other Uniformed Services are eligible for transfer to the Space Force.

NOTE: At this time, the Space Force is only accepting applications from Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel.  Guidance on transfers for Air Force personnel will be forthcoming.  The Space Force may consider opening the interservice transfer program to the Coast Guard in the future.

 

Q:  Can Warrant and Chief Warrant Officers transfer to the Space Force?

A:  Warrant and Chief Warrant Officer are not eligible for transfer to the Space Force.  The Space Force does not have a warrant officer rank structure.  Warrant officers may contact an Air Force Officer Training School Recruiter for OTS information and application procedures.


Q:  Do I have to be in a Space career field in my current service in order to apply to the Space Force?

A:  Personnel is any career field may apply for transfer to the Space Force, as long as they meet all eligibility requirements.  However, some sister service career fields are more desirable for transfer as their training and experience directly correlate with Space Force mission and skill sets.

 

Q:  I am nearing retirement, will USSF consider me for transfer?
A: 
Yes, Space Force will consider individuals nearing retirement unless the individual is nearing their mandatory retirement date (MRD).

 

Q: Can I join the Space Force if I’m pending a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB)?
A: You can apply to transfer to the Space Force while pending an MEB; however, if selected to transfer, you will not be able to transfer until the MEB returns you to active duty.

 

Q: Can I join the Space Force if I’m on an Administrative Hold?

A: You can apply for transfer to the Space Force while on an administrative hold; however, if selected to transfer, you will not be able to transfer until the reason for the hold has been favorably resolved.  Personnel with specific types of derogatory information (sexual assault convictions, punitive removal from command, and other issues as determined by your Service leadership), are not eligible for transfer to the Space Force.   

 

Q:  What if I’m deployed when the call goes out to transfer to Space Force?  Can I still apply?
A:  Yes, personnel serving on deployments can volunteer for the Space Force.  If selected for transfer and released by your parent service, we will work with your Service leadership to determine your transfer timeline.

 

Q:  If I have an assignment or am selected to deploy, what impact does that have on my ability to apply to join the Space Force?
A:  Selection for assignment or deployment does not preclude your ability to apply to transfer into the Space Force.  If selected for transfer and released by your parent service, we will work with your Service leadership to determine transfer timelines.
 
Q:  I’m in a Developmental Special Duty (DSD) position. Can I still apply to transfer and, if I do, will it curtail my current job?
A:  Being assigned to a DSD or any other special duty assignment does not preclude your ability to apply to transfer into the Space Force.  If selected for transfer and released by your parent service, we will work with your Service leadership to determine your transfer timeline.

 

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Q:  How do I find out about the process to apply to transfer to the Space Force?
A:  Those interested in transfer should visit the Space Force Interservice Transfer Website (www.spaceforce.mil/transfer) for guidance on applying to transfer to the Space Force.

 

Q: How exactly does a person volunteer for the Space Force?  How does the process work?

A: Personnel interested in transferring to the Space Force should apply in accordance with the requirements and timelines outlined at www.spaceforce.mil/transfer.  A Transfer Board will review and score all applications and determine those selected for transfer.  Upon completion of the board, applicants (whether approved or disapproved) will be notified with further instructions.  Those selected for transfer must request and be released for interservice transfer according to the procedures, rules, and regulations of their parent service.

 

Q:  What information is required for me to volunteer? Do you need my performance reports or any other records?
A:    Those interested in transfer should visit the Space Force Interservice Transfer Website (www.spaceforce.mil/transfer) for a list of application requirements.

 

Q:  Are medical physicals required as part of the application process?

A:  At this time, a medical physical is not required as part of the initial application process.  However, if selected for transfer, you will be required to submit a current DD Form 2808, Report of Medical Examination and current DD Form 2807-1, Report of Medical History.  In addition, those applicants age 39 and older require an electrocardiogram and lipid profile. 

 

Q:  Who gets the final say in who transfers? All guidance that I’ve found just states “Senior Leaders” will decide, can we get a more specific answer (which Senior Leaders will be a part of the decision)?
A: 
Members applying for transfer to USSF will meet the Space Force Interservice Transfer board.  The board will review and score each record and determine those selected for transfer.  The board will consist of Senior Leaders from the losing service and the USSF (to include career field managers).  The exact make-up of the board has not yet been determined.  

 

Q:  What criteria are selection boards using to determine who joins Space Force?
A:  The board will be comprised of senior leaders who represent the Space Force and the losing Service from the career fields of the eligible pool of volunteers as much as possible, and will evaluate the volunteers’ records on the criteria provided by the Space Force.  Criteria will include education/experience and qualifications/certifications, past performance, grade, and time in service.

 

Q: Is there an opportunity through the application process for the candidate to propose what position and/or career field they may be a good fit for?

A:  Yes.  At this time, the application package includes a “Transfer Request Letter” which provides applicants the opportunity to elaborate on why they wish to transfer to the Space Force, their background/experiences, desired Space Force Career Fields, and other items.

Q:  Will there be an opportunity for enlisted personnel to apply for transfer to the Space Force as an officer?

A:  At this time, the Interservice Transfer program to Space Force does not include a direct commissioning program.  Enlisted personnel who desire to become Space Force officers may:

  • Contact an Air Force Officer Training School Recruiter for OTS information and application procedures.
  • Apply for transfer in their current rank.  If selected and transferred, individuals may then apply for commissioning opportunities in which they are eligible.

 


TRANSFER PROCESS

QIf I apply for the USSF, when will I transfer?
A:  If you are selected for transfer to the Space Force, your transfer and timing will depend on several factors:

    • You must be approved and released for transfer by your parent service.
    • If you are undergoing a medical evaluation board (MEB) process, your transfer will be dependent on whether you are medically cleared and returned to duty.
    • If you are on administrative hold for any reason, your transfer will be dependent on the circumstances placing you on administrative hold being resolved.
    • For Officers:  You have options based on your eligibility for promotion.
      1. Option 1:  If you are currently scheduled to meet an upcoming promotion board in your service, our recommendation is to wait for approved and released results from that board so that you transfer to the Space Force with a line number to the next higher grade.
      2. Option 2:  You may opt to transfer to the Space Force without meeting your service promotion board immediately.  You would then meet the first available promotion board in the Space Force. Any officer making this choice would face a time delay in competing for promotion to the next higher grade.  You would meet the Space Force promotion board in the same promotion zone as you would have been in your original service.  For example, if you are an officer In-the-Promotion Zone (IPZ) for the 2020 Army O-6 board and opted to transfer to the Space Force prior to meeting the Army board, you would meet the 2021 Space Force O-6 board IPZ.  Keep in mind though that it would be with a new cohort of year group peers.
      3. Additionally, if you are an officer, we must process a USSF scroll to complete your transfer.  This can take between 90 – 150 days.  For that reason, if you have a scheduled promotion effective date when approved to transfer, you will remain in your service until promotion, and you will be eligible to transfer to the Space Force simultaneously at the time of promotion.
    • For Enlisted:  If you have a scheduled promotion date, you should remain in your service and transfer to USSF following your promotion.

The reason for the case-by-case basis is to ensure no professional harm is brought upon the individual.  

 

Q:  Will I only have one opportunity to transfer?
A:  The Space Force has limited opportunity for transfer in FY21.  If you are not selected to transfer in FY21, you can reapply as opportunities increase in future years.
 
Q:  What if I apply for transfer and change my mind and decide to stay in my original service?
A:  If you are approved for transfer, you may elect to change your mind.  The Space Force will provide a timeframe for declination when you are notified of your selection to transfer to the Space Force.

 

Q:  What’s the difference between being ‘assigned’ to the Space Force versus being ‘transferred’? Is there really a difference?
A:  Yes, there is a difference. An “assigned” individual is a person who is in the Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marine Corp and performs work in support of the U.S. Space Force.   A “transferred” individual is an enlisted member who has executed an enlistment contract for the Space Force or an officer who has been appointed and scrolled into the Space Force.

 

 

SERVICE COMMITMENT

Q: Will I incur a Service Commitment for transferring to the Space Force?

A: Yes, personnel selected for transfer to the Space Force will incur an Active Duty Service Commitment of two or four years as outlined below:

  • Two years for personnel who, within the last two years, held a specialty code in their service that matches a Space Force specialty code. (see USSF Specialty Code Crosswalk at https://www.spaceforce.mil/Transfer/) 
  • Four years for all others.

 

QIf I transfer, when does my Active Duty Service Commitment (ADSC) begin?
A:  For Officers, your ADSC will begin when you transfer (approved transfer date & Oath of Office complete) into the USSF.  For Enlisted personnel, your ADSC will begin when you enlist (take the oath of enlistment and sign a new DD Form 4) in the USSF.

 

Q:  I am eligible for retirement in the near future.  While I’m very excited about the Space Force, the ADSC is a deterrent as I would be locked into additional years of service.
A: 
Space Force will consider individuals nearing retirement unless the individual is nearing their mandatory retirement date (MRD).  To ensure equity among personnel and a continuity of experience within the new Service, Space Force leadership directed members who transfer to incur a two or four-year active duty service commitment.

  • Two years for personnel who, within the last two years, held a specialty code in their service that matches a Space Force specialty code. (see USSF Specialty Code Crosswalk at https://www.spaceforce.mil/Transfer/) 
  • Four years for all others.

 

QIf approved to transfer into the USSF, what further actions do I have to accomplish?
A
: Upon selection for transfer to the USSF, all personnel must request and be released for inter-service transfer according to the procedures, rules and regulations of their parent service.  If the parent service approves release, you will receive a targeted message detailing all the steps that are required (i.e. medical clearance, personnel records, Oath of Office, DD Form 4, etc.) for the transition. 

Q:  If I transfer into the USSF, will there be an opportunity to crossflow or crosstrain into a common career field?
A:  The Space Force has not yet determined what the process will be for crossflow or crosstraining within the Space Force.  However, we anticipate opportunities to change career fields/specialties based on manning requirements.

 

 

SPACE FORCE CAREER FIELDS, LOCATIONS, & CULTURE
 
Q:  What career fields does the Space Force have?
A:  Space Force officer career fields consist of Space Operations (13S), Space Intelligence (14N), Cyber Operations (17D), Cyber Warfare (17X), Acquisitions (63A), and Acquisitions Engineer (62E).  Enlisted career fields consist of Space Systems Operations (1C6), Space Intelligence (1NX), and Cyber Operations (3D0).
 
Q:  If I am not in the Air Force, how do I know if my current career field has a corresponding career field in the Space Force?

A:  There is a list of Space Force Specialty Codes and their comparable sister service Specialty Codes at www.spaceforce.mil/transfer, “USSF Specialty Code Crosswalk”.
 
Q:  What is a Common AFSC?  Does that mean I will be shared by the Air Force and Space Force and PCS between Space Force Bases and Air Force Bases?
A:  Career fields that are in direct support of both the Air and Space domains are termed “Common” and include the following: Intelligence, Cyber, Engineers, and Acquisition.  These are in contrast to “Organic Space” career fields (13S and 1C6) which are inherent to space operations only.  Both the Air Force and Space Force will maintain their own common career fields.  However, the expectation is that there will be a collaborative assignment process that allows maximum flexibility to support either Service’s needs.  Nevertheless, those who actually join the Space Force will gain the depth of knowledge and experience required to support operations in the Space domain.
 
Q:  What are the possible duty stations for Cyber Operations in the Space Force?
A: 
The Space Force will have 6 main operating bases in the CONUS for Cyber personnel including Peterson AFB, Colo., Buckley AFB, Colo., Schriever AFB, Colo., Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Los Angeles AFB, Calif., and Patrick AFB, Fla.  Additionally, there are opportunities at other smaller GSUs available around the world.  Please visit the Cyber Professionals Milsuite site for more information on assignment locations as well as other information on Cyber in the USSF.  Specifically see the document titled “US Space Force Locations (Cyber)”. https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/space-force-cyber-professionals

 

Q:  Will Space Force Uniforms be available when I transfer?

A:  Space Force Uniforms are currently in development but a date has not yet been set for implementation.  In the interim, USSF has established OCP wear guidelines and lapel insignia for the service uniform.  These items are available for immediate purchase.

 

Q:  Will the administrative elements of the USSF be similar to the Army or Air Force?  What other fitness standards and/or training requirements will there be in the USSF?

A:  As part of the Department of the Air Force, Space Force is currently following Air Force guidance and instructions; however, Space Force is working to develop distinct policies where appropriate, such as fitness, promotions, and evaluations.

 


GUARD & RESERVE
 
Q:  Will there be a Space Guard and Space Reserve?
A:  Only Congress can establish a Space Guard and Space Reserve as new reserve components of the armed forces.  Existing Air National Guard and Reserve units and personnel remain critical to the space mission and will be aligned to the U.S. Space Force as directed by the Secretary of the Air Force.

 

Q:  Will Guardsmen/Reservists be able to transfer to the Space Force?
A: 
At this time, the Space Force is not taking applications from Guard or Reserve personnel for transfer to the USSF in an active duty capacity.  The Space Force will consider opening the Interservice Transfer program to these members in the future.

 

Q:  AIR FORCE PERSONNEL ONLY: Can an Air Force Reservists & Guardsmen sign up to transfer to the Space Force in an Active Duty (full-time) capacity?  

A:  At this time, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel are not eligible for transfer to the Space Force in an Active Duty capacity.  Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units aligned to the Space Force remain critical to space mission execution and will continue supporting Space Force missions in this status while the future of the Reserve Component for the Space Force is determined.

 


INTERSERVICE UNIT TRANSFERS
 
Q:  Will the Army and Navy eventually be a part of the Space Force?
A:  The DoD vision is to eventually consolidate space missions from across the existing Armed Forces into the Space Force in the future, as appropriate and consistent with law.  Until such time as Congress approves this, individuals from other Services may request an inter-service transfer on a voluntary basis following the procedures outlined in the “application process” section.

Q: My unit is scheduled to transfer to the Space Force in FY22.  Will I be able to transfer with my unit?

A:  Yes, personnel assigned to units scheduled to transfer to the Space Force will be offered an opportunity to transfer to the USSF.  You will receive a targeted message at a future date outlining your options to transfer in FY22.

 

Q:  What if my unit is transferring to Space Force and I choose not to transfer?
A:  Individuals who are part of a unit move to USSF will have the option to transfer with the unit or to decline to transfer and remain part of their current Service.  If you choose not to transfer, you will be required to follow the policies of your current service.

 


CIVILIANS
 
Q:  For units scheduled to transfer to the Space Force, what is the impact to civilians?
A:  Civilians in units that are part of the Space Force will become Department of the Air Force employees.  All provisions of law and polices affecting civilians will remain the same.  There is no change to pay, benefits, or retirement.  

 

Q:  Is there any guidance yet for civilians interested in joining the USSF?

A:  Please see USAJOBS for current opportunities.

 


PROMOTION & RANKS
 
Q:  Will service members transferring into the Space Force retain their existing grade?
A:  Yes, all members transferring into the Space Force retain their existing grade.  Personnel are transferred in the same status (grade, duty, and pay status) they had prior to transfer.  There will be no penalty for transferring to the Space Force, and it will not affect time-in-grade or retirement eligibility. 
 
Q:  What grades will the Space Force have?  What will the ranks be called?
A:  At this time, the Space Force has the same grade structure as the other military services (i.e., E-1 to E-9, O-1 to O-10).  The ranks are as follows:

 

Officer

Enlisted

Grade

Rank

Abbreviation

Grade

Rank

Abbreviation

O1

Second Lieutenant

2d Lt

E1

Specialist 1

Spc1

O2

First Lieutenant

1st Lt

E2

Specialist 2

Spc2

O3

Captain

Capt

E3

Specialist 3

Spc3

O4

Major

Maj

E4

Specialist 4

Spc4

O5

Lieutenant Colonel

Lt Col

E5

Sergeant

Sgt

O6

Colonel

Col

E6

Technical Sergeant

TSgt

O7

Brigadier General

Brig Gen

E7

Master Sergeant

MSgt

O8

Major General

Maj Gen

E8

Senior Master Sergeant

SMSgt

O9

Lieutenant General

Lt Gen

E9

Chief Master Sergeant

CMSgt

O10

General

Gen

E9

Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force

 CMSSF


Q:  How will promotion opportunities and advancement be impacted for those who move to the Space Force?
A:  Currently, the Space Force is following Air Force promotion policies until the Space Force determines and makes adjustments.  Promotion and advancement will be based on date of rank.  The USSF will have Field Grade Officer promotion boards in October and all promotion eligible Guardians will meet that board.  Company Grade Officers promotion process will follow current Air Force policy.

 

Q:  What will promotions look like in the Space Force in terms of promotion rates and the chance of making top enlisted grades such as E-8 and E-9?

A:  The Space Force will continue to use the current Air Force process to determine promotion rates (promote to requirement) each cycle.  We do not have enough information today to know what promotion rates will look like; however, we are committed to finding promotion and developmental opportunities for our Space Force professionals.

 

Q:  If I have a promotion line number, will that follow me? 

A:  Transferring personnel will carry their line numbers into the Space Force.  Each individual approved for transfer will have their professional milestone and other factors considered before a transfer date is established.  These factors can include developmental education, current or projected assignment, promotion status, personal family situations (e.g., EFMP), and others.

 

Q:  Are there restrictions on who can apply for transfer based on where they are in their promotion timeline?

A:  No, your promotion timeline does not preclude your ability to apply to transfer into the Space Force.  However, if selected for transfer, your promotion timeline will be considered in determining your transfer date to ensure there is no professional harm.

 

PAY & BENEFITS
 
Q:  How will joining the Space Force affect my pay?
A:  There will be no change to base pay and allowances or benefits, including your retirement plan and Thrift Savings Plan benefits.
 
Q:  How are Bonuses impacted if I transfer to the Space Force?
A:  If you are currently receiving a bonus from your Service, it is up to the losing Service to determine if the bonus will be stopped or if any unearned portions already paid will be recouped.  In the future, the Space Force will utilize available enlistment and reenlistment bonus authorities as needed to encourage enlistment or reenlistment of sufficient numbers of qualified enlisted personnel in military skills with either demonstrated shortfalls or high training costs.  However, no determination has been made at this time.

 

Q:  Will currently accrued leave transfer with me to the Space Force?

A:  Yes, all accrued leave will transfer.

 

Q:  Will the awards and decorations I earned in my current service transfer with me to the Space Force?

A:  Yes.  An individual decoration is awarded to the individual and may be worn while assigned to any branch of the military.
 


REENLISTMENT
 
Q:  If I transfer to the Space Force will I have to do some type of re-enlistment?

A:  Yes, enlisted personnel who transfer to the Space Force will complete a new DD Form 4. 

 

 

DEPLOYMENTS
 

Q:  Will there be deployment opportunities either exclusively through Space Force or through the Air Force for Space Force personnel?
A: 
The topic of Space Force deployments is being reviewed by Space Force teams; however, we anticipate there will be deployment opportunities both specific to USSF and through USAF.

 

Q:  What will deployments look like in the Space Force for Cyber Operations personnel?

A:  Due to the nature of space systems we expect the majority of Cyber Operations personnel in Space Force will be deployed in place.  Outside of that, some Space Force units do have deployable mission sets that personnel assigned to those units can expect to support.  We expect the traditional AEF deployment taskings that Cyber Operations in the USAF fill today will not be filled by USSF personnel.