Can Single Moms Join The Airforce

Can Single Moms Join The Airforce

Around 30,000 single moms are active duty members in the Military and Air Force. If you are considering joining the Airforce, you must know about the strict Air Force single-parent rules and regulations. Single mothers can join the Air Force only if their children are in the custody of another adult or co-parent.

Can Single Moms Join The Airforce?

Single mothers cannot enlist in the active duty military and Air Force without custody transfer. The Air Force services stopped accepting single mothers for enlistment due to the long-term combat deployments. Joining the Air Force with a child and no Family Care Plan arrangements can cause difficulty for single mothers, their children as well as the chain of command. The long deployments, travel periods, and working hours are not conducive to single-parent households. There has to be someone responsible to take care of the children at all times. If a third party, either a parent of your children or grandparents, takes care of your children while you are on duty, then you can be eligible to enlist. Besides, your application for joining the Air Force Reserve will be reviewed by the local commander. Those who have become single mothers after joining the Military and Air Force should file FCP or the File Care Plan. Without filing this, they cannot continue to serve in the military. File Care Plans are available to people who are already enlisted. FCP is a document that confirms that the active service members have made all the arrangements required to take care of their children as well as other dependents while on duty. This includes power of attorney for guardianship, copies of child custody arrangements, instruction for guardians, and other necessary information as required by the Department of Defense.

Single Mothers In The Air Force

In the Air Force, single-mother military applicants for enlistment should indicate that their dependents are in the custody of another adult or parent. The military applicants will be advised and must acknowledge by a certification that they do not intend to regain custody after enlistment. Air Force applicants must sign a statement with states that if they violate the enlistment contract or Air Force rules and regulations, such as regaining custody during the term of enlistment, they will be charged with fraud and have to discontinue their service unless they can prove the incapacity of another custodian or parent, death and change in their marital status from single to married. The Air Force’s refusal to accept single moms for enlistment is quite a valid one. The Air Force is not a place for single mothers, as the mission of the United States Army and Air Force always comes first. No exceptions are made in the deployment, assignments, time off, duty hours, or any other factors for single mothers. Generally, an applicant who has the physical custody of children by agreement or court order without a spouse is considered a single parent. Single parents can qualify for enlistment if the other parent assumes full custody or if the state or local court allows modification.

Air Force Single Parent Regulations

The United States Military and Air Force provides excellent family support services and rewarding career prospects for individuals. Exceptional education, family advocacy programs, on-demand child care, family counseling, and tax breaks are certain benefits that active duty members can avail of. Families sometimes receive deployment and relocation assistance, parent support, and financial training. Considering all these benefits and perks is easy to understand why many single moms in the United States want to join the Air Force service. Military and Air Force single-parent relations depend on the type of enlistment in the branch of service. As for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, unmarried parents do not have custodial rights at their first enlistment. However, they can enroll in a Family Care Plan and regain custody during the subsequent service term. The United States Air Force prohibits single mothers from transferring custody to other parents or adults to join the Air Force service. If you have kids in the custody of someone else while filing your application, then you must fill out the Air Education And Training Command Form 1328. While signing this paper, single mothers must confirm that they are not planning to join the Air Force services to regain custody of their child later. The single-parent firm policy of the army is similar to other military branches, including the Air Force. Applicants are not allowed to give up their parental custody for enlistment. Even army representatives are prevented from advising single moms to relinquish custody.

How Can I Join the Airforce As A Single Mom?

Raising a child single-handedly may not allow single mothers to keep up with the demands of military service, especially during the first enlistment when they are new in military reserves. As active duty members, they are expected to remain deployable all the time, which is why military single-parent rules and regulations are pretty restrictive. Things are a bit easy and different for individuals who become parents after joining the military reserves or enlistment. According to the Air Force Reserves, single mothers cannot become Air Force active duty service members unless and otherwise, they can successfully meet all their eligibility criteria as required by the United States Air Force. The only option for single moms to join the Air Force is to prove that they have a child in the custody of another parent or close relatives. Even then, single mothers cannot give up on their maternal rights to qualify for joining active duty services.

Is It Easy To Join The Air Force Being A Single Mom?

A lot of people presume that the life of military members is easy and they can take care of their families and children in a better way. However, it should be noted that individuals who are active service members of the Military and Air Force chose this career to serve the country and not with the attitude to take care of their family financially. Joining the Airforce as a single mom is undoubtedly a difficult decision for many single moms. They must stay away from their home and children to serve the country. Also, the Air Force single mothers must meet all expectations and eligibility criteria to continue their services. Active duty service members in the Air Force should ensure they have a well thought and effective Family Care Plan. This includes educational plans for their children and pre-planning where they can live and who would have the custodial rights if they get deployed. Single mothers must give custody of their children to someone else to become a part of the Air Force. The policy about single parenthood in the Air Force varies from service to service. There are situations where service members on long-term active duty may have their children with them and get either military-supplied housing or base housing.

What Can Disqualify You From Enlisting In The United States Air Force?

A career in the workforce can be rewarding as well as challenging; however, there are specific standards that you need to meet to qualify for enlisting in the Air Force. Even though it is tricky for single moms to get enlisted in the Air Force, if you can successfully meet all the qualifying factors before starting the application process, then you can quickly become a part of the United States Air Force.

1. Age

In the United States Air Force, there are different minimum and maximum age limits depending on which career you are embarking on in the Air Force. Single mothers are required to be a minimum of 17 or 18 and be GED holders to enlist in the United States Air Force. They should not be older than 39.  If you are looking forward to joining as a ministry professional or in health care, you must be a minimum of 17 years of age and not more than 48.

2. Weight And Height Requirements

There are strict weight and height standards in the Air Force, and if you’re starting your Air Force career journey, you need to pay attention to where your height and weight fall.  The height and weight standards are different for men and women.

3. Health

Joining the Air Force can be challenging both mentally and physically; therefore, candidates have to meet strict health requirements before entering the Air Force. Healthcare professionals at the Military Entrance Processing Station will assess candidates case-by-case to learn about their health conditions. There are certain restrictions on their vision. Specific aviation roles, like pilots, have strict regulations in terms of vision.

4. Education

Single mothers can enlist in the Air Force with a GED or a high school diploma. GED holders are required to be a minimum of 18 years and meet a minimum of 65 qualifying marks on ASVAB or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. They must obtain 15 or more semester hours of qualifying college credit to get similar eligibility as high school graduates. To become an officer, you must have a minimum four-year college degree.

In addition, mothers should be a citizen of the United States or qualified noncitizens. They should meet the additional requirements of the Air Force and should fluently write and read in English.

5. Other Factors

Before entering the Air Force, they have to complete a background investigation and must receive a favorable MSSD or military security suitability determination. Parents who are divorced, separated, or single and the custodian of three children under 18 years of age require a waiver to enlist in the Air Force. No waivers will be granted to those with four or more dependent children. Substance abuse is another disqualifying factor for Air Force applicants.


Like any other single parent in the United States, single parents in the Air Force face hardship and stress. Single mothers who are giving parental custody to a trusted member of the family or other parent by court order are eligible for enlistment. Typically custody given to the other parent and grandparents of dependent children is acceptable. Those who have become single parents after joining active duty should have a Family Care Plan, which guarantees someone nonmilitary to take care of their children 24/ 7. Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the family care plans may result in immediate discharge of services.

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