Women might be able to voluntarily end their Air Force career if they have a child during service.

The United States Air Force recognizes the struggle women often face between serving their country and their need to be there for their children. As such, the Air Force provides female personnel the option to apply for voluntary separation before the birth of a child. To avoid a delay between the birth of your child and your separation from the Air Force, you must complete your application while you are pregnant.

Complete Air Force Form 422. This form establishes your medical condition. You may also need to submit this form to demonstrate your limitations during your pregnancy. The designated profiling officer must sign the form.

Select a date when you want your withdrawal to commence. This should be a date prior to your due date. This is simply a preferred date; the Air Force gets to determine the actual date of separation. Even if you are approved for voluntary separation, you must still be approved for a specific effective separation date.

Submit your application for voluntary separation to your immediate commanding officer. The commanding officer may recommend to approve or disapprove your application for voluntary separation due to childbirth. However, the Air Force mandates that a recommendation for disapproval be submitted to higher authorities.

Notify your commanding officer of the birth of your child. If you have been approved for voluntary separation, you are permitted to separate after you return from childbirth and are medically qualified for military discharge.


  • Discharge authorities can withdraw a voluntary separation application that has already been approved if withdrawal is not in the best interest of the Air Force. The separation authority has to give you written notification of its reasons for the withdrawal. After voluntary separation, former members of the Air Force are only entitled to maternity care as space is available. The process is not available for Air Force members who were pregnant at the time that they enlisted and are subject to dishonorable discharge.