Air Force Chief of Staff Highlights Quality-of-Life Updates for Airmen in Latest Memo to the Force

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Allvin
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Allvin (right) testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the Department of the Air Force’s fiscal year 2025 budget request, Dirksen Building, Washington, D.C., April 9, 2024. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andy Morataya)

The Air Force's top uniformed officer told the service in a memo that changes to basic housing allowances at some bases, expanded child-care staffing and updated dining halls are either in place or on the horizon for airmen.

Gen. David Allvin, the Air Force chief of staff, told airmen in an emailed memo on Monday that as he nears the six-month mark in his tenure, the service has "been charting a course for the change we need" and highlighted a variety of recent policy updates and quality-of-life updates that have been put in place.

"This biannual letter is my way of chronicling our improvements and holding myself accountable to this vision," Allvin wrote. "Being mindful stewards of our progress is our best chance at overcoming the challenges we face."

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Allvin said airmen began receiving a basic housing allowance increase of 5.4% since the beginning of 2024, and that there was an even more substantial increase of 10.5% in six areas, namely for those near F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, as well as other Air National Guard bases and assignments in Fargo, North Dakota; Terre Haute, Indiana; and Washington, D.C.

He also said that the Air Force has been working to expand staffing, family child care and financial assistance for airmen who need support.

"In the past six months, we have seen the [child development center] staffing remain at the high watermark of 80%, up nearly 20% from two years ago ... improving, but not there yet," Allvin wrote to airmen.

Allvin also told airmen that the Air Force is working to expand its food service program at more bases, saying it's taking on "a model reminiscent of college campus dining facilities" -- such as offering airmen personalized pizza, deli, salad bars and convenient snacks.

Around 70 installations are changing their dining halls to meet the new model, and some, such as Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, are currently underway, the service said in a January press release.

All these fixes are targeted at addressing longstanding quality-of-life issues within all the military services, including the Air Force. reported last month that Washington lawmakers have said they want to include more financial support for military quality-of-life improvements than what the Pentagon asked for in its 2025 budget request, but congressionally agreed-upon budget caps are likely to cause issues.

Allvin also pointed to recent updates to the Air Force's training and testing methods, including offering electronic testing for the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test and for the enlisted Weighted Airman Promotion System, as well as tweaks to Basic Military Training that implements physical training and lifestyle management courses at the beginning.

In the Air Force chief of staff's first letter to the force in November, he warned of "formidable challenges" facing airmen and named China as a major threat.

In February, the Department of the Air Force unveiled that officials are renaming, reorganizing and rethinking their services' structures so airmen and Space Force Guardians can be ready for competition with China.

One of those changes included bringing back warrant officers -- a plan first reported by In his Monday memo, Allvin said the first class of cyber- and information technology-focused warrant officers will start this October, and the second will begin in January 2025.

Allvin also mentioned in his letter that the service is looking to reorganize the numbered air forces -- such as the 8th Air Force or 9th Air Force, which are focused on certain theaters, or the 2nd Air Force or 19th Air Force, which are focused on training -- into "Service Component Commands." But details were scant, with Allvin saying "more to follow in my next update."

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