Delayed Entry Recruits Have Easier Exchange Access
By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 6, 1997 A policy established recently allows delayed entry program service members easier access to military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation programs.
The policy, announced by Fred Pang, assistant defense secretary for force management policy, authorizes delayed entry program recruits with proper identification to shop at exchange facilities and use MWR activities. Delayed entry personnel must carry a copy of their enlistment contract (DD Form 4) and a photo identification to use exchange facilities.
The contracts indicate the recruit is a member of the Ready Reserve and eligible to use these facilities.
"The problem we had was in having a uniform way of identifying delayed entry personnel," said Air Force Col. Jack Padgett, DoD's deputy director of community support policy. He said the services use different forms; the policy standardizes requirements.
Delayed entry enrollees often must wait -- sometimes up to a year -- for security clearances and background checks before entering active duty. Once enlisted, DoD places these recruits on Ready Reserve status, making them eligible for some military benefits.
Some services are supplementing the DoD policy to monitor how the delayed entry personnel use military facilities. For example, Brig. Gen. Walter E. Buchanan III, Air Force Recruiting Service commander, mandated all delayed entry troops must have an active duty escort when visiting military exchanges. "This will allow the recruiter to instruct airmen in the proper use, standards and procedures associated with access to military installations and use of these facilities," he said.
Recruiters are also advising new service members to follow installation regulations while using base facilities. Lt. Col. Douglas Mattoon, Air Force recruiting's chief of real estate and logistics, said recruiters must advise recruits of local base regulations, speed limits and standards of conduct expected of all military personnel. He said this includes the penalties for misuse of the facilities.
Padgett said delayed entry troops can continue to use other recreational facilities as a way of learning how base support facilities operate and what will be available to them once they report on active duty. Recruits under contract may use picnic areas, base gymnasiums, libraries, recreation centers and other MWR activities.
(Senior Airman Bud Kane of the Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs Office contributed to this article.)