Things move very quickly after you graduate OTS.  Once you get your orders the first thing you want to do is go line by line to make sure everything is accurate.  You will want to make sure it says where you are PCSing from (Probably Maxwell AFB) and where you are PCSing to (your first base).  The thing that is really important is your Report No Later Than Date (RNLTD).  This is the date by which you must be signed in to your next base.

For the sake of discussion we will say your OTS graduation date is 1 December.  The Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) is the governing document which dictates travel entitlements for Air Force travel (in addition to all other services).  For a PCS, we are currently given one travel day per each 350 miles of travel.  If your first base is Wright Patterson AFB which is roughly 618 miles away, you would have two travel days (618 miles / 350 miles = 1.77 days).

Here is a link to the Defense Travel site Frequently Asked Questions:  Click Here

In this case, this is likely how your timeline may look.  AFPC may give you a RNLTD of 4 December.

  • 1 December – Graduation
  • 2 December – Travel Day #1
  • 3 December – Travel Day #2
  • 4 December – RNLTD

In my case, I wanted to have a little more time to travel since I was driving to my first base with my family (including small children).  Luckily while I was in OTS I was able to request a RNLTD extension.  The general process was to get approval from your Flight Commander, your gaining unit at your first base, then routing the paperwork through the Det 12/24 TRS Commander for signature.  Once complete you route the paperwork through the personnelists at OTS (in the PAC counter) and they will submit it to AFPC for final approval.  If approved (sometimes it isn’t), the personnelists at OTS will give you ammended orders with a new date.  The PAC counter at OTS is the overall point of contact for this entire process.

For the sake of discussion, your RNLTD gave you plenty of time or your extension was approved.  The only thing you need to worry about is getting to your first base by that date.  If you only have two authorized travel days but take longer, any additional days will be charged as leave.  This is all done after the fact when you file your travel voucher; you don’t need prior approval.  As a general rule just keep all of your receipts because it will help you file your voucher when you get to your first base.

Here is how it could look if you take leave en-route.

  • 1 December – Graduation
  • 2 December – Travel Day #1
  • 3 December – Travel Day #2
  • 4 December – Leave
  • 5 December – Leave
  • 6 December – Leave
  • 7 December – Leave
  • 8 December – Signed in to first base
  • 14 December – RNLTD

In this case 8 December will become your “Date Arrived on Station” at your first base, and it will start your clock at that base.  For your travel, you will be charged four days of leave and given the two travel days for ‘free.’  It really doesn’t matter where in the travel those leave or travel days take place, they just account for the aggregate number at the end.  In this case you arrived prior to your RNLTD and that is no problem.