Background & Our Relationship with the USAF
The AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY (AFAS) is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by helping "to relieve distress of Air Force members and their families and assisting them to finance their education". It is rooted in the original Army Air Corps and the World War II Army Air Forces, whose members wanted to "take care of their own." Through the years, AFAS has become increasingly effective in helping individuals with personal emergencies-- as well as extremely useful when used by commanders to help solve personnel problems in their units.
The AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY, since its creation in 1942 as a non-profit organization, has helped countless members of the Air Force community. Strong support for AFAS programs and objectives is reinforced each year by the substantial personal contributions made by the active force, all of which are used solely for Emergency Assistance. Although AFAS receives no appropriated or non-appropriated funds, close ties are maintained between the Society and Air Force officials.
The AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY maintains a small Headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area but the great majority of its assistance work is managed on a decentralized basis by the active Air Force through the AFAS "command chain" on USAF bases/stations worldwide. The Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Personnel, issues the Air Force Instruction which establishes requirements for the operation and administration of AFAS programs.
AFAS is governed by a Board of Trustees which includes key Air Force leaders. The Board provides policy direction for AFAS operations and for control and disposition of AFAS property and funds.
At any time, there are between 18 and 23 Board members, including active duty representation by the:
- Chief of Staff
- Secretary of AF Office of Financial Mgmt
- DCS Manpower and Personnel
- Judge Advocate General
- CMSgt of the Air Force
- Surgeon General
The Secretary of the Air Force is an honorary, voting member and hosts the Annual Trustee Meeting in the Pentagon.
From top to bottom, Air Force officials are involved in AFAS activities:
- At Headquarters USAF, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Personnel (AF/A1) helps shape AFAS policy, produces the AFI covering AFAS, and directs AFPC and Airman and Family Readiness officials to provide support for AFAS programs.
- At base level, commanders, first sergeants, supervisors, AFAS personnel, and Personal Financial Readiness (PFR) officials all combine to provide responsive programs.