Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2)

Air National Guard: State Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program is a Congressionally-mandated and federally-funded program that provides personalized care, services and advocacy to total force seriously or very seriously wounded, ill or injured Airmen and Guardians. In addition to well-coordinated & individualized personal support, AFW2 advocates on behalf of our warriors to ensure accessibility of care and provide them with a host of support programs. The AFW2 staff is committed to helping wounded warriors minimize delays and gaps in both medical and non-medical services, while focusing on specific personal and family needs.

AFW2 uses the term "Airman for Life" somewhat loosely. The program's goal is to provide wounded warriors the necessary services so they can successfully recover, move-forward with the necessary resiliency skills and fortitude to go about their daily lives. Because the Department of Veteran Affairs is charged with taking over continued long-term support, AFW2's overall role is very limited once a Service member is permanently separated or retired.


Members of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve may be considered for enrollment if they are in legal status for benefits (i.e., injuries or illness were service connected and in the line of duty while on active orders).

Airmen will be considered for enrollment in the program if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Very seriously, or seriously wounded, ill, or injured on the Casualty Morning Report or by a Department of Defense medical authority
  • Airmen with highly-complex medical conditions that are service related or were sustained in the line of duty and confirmed by a DoD medical authority (examples: tick-borne illnesses, cancer, invisible wounds [PTSD/TBI], chemical exposure, etc.). Final approval authority is AFPC/DPFW
  • Airmen diagnosed with service-related or in the line of duty PTSD, TBI, or MST, verified by DoD medical authority and are under consideration or referral for MEB
  • Purple Heart recipients
  • Air Reserve Components (ARC) who were retained for more than six months on Title 10 medical orders or returned to Title 10 orders for deployment-related conditions

Cases identified through the casualty reports or the Integrated Disability Evaluation System. Are considered without a referral if enough information is available to make an enrollment determination.

Benefit Highlights

Enrollment & Referral
Airmen and Guardians currently not enrolled, those wanting to enroll, or those wanting to refer a Service member who may meet the above eligibility requirements, should be referred through one of the avenues listed below:

  • Casualty Morning Report (CMR) (VSI/SI)

  • Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES)

  • Commander, First Sergeant, Supervisor

  • Military & Family Readiness Center (M&FRC)

  • Military Treatment Facility

  • Self-Referral


Refer a Service member into the AFW2 program by submitting a Wounded Ill & Injured Referral Worksheet by email to: . For additional questions you can contact the AFW2 Program: 800-581-9437.

veteran with his arm in a sling sitting on a bench Continuum of Care
The Department of Defense defines the Continuum of Care as Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration. The Department of the Air Force has divided those stages into seven phases that align better with a Service member’s journey through the Continuum of Care.

These seven phases also make it easier for the Service member and their caregiver to understand where they are in the process and helps the Care Management Team (CMT) with trigger points to know when to introduce new members required for each phase of care.

The seven phases that are used anticipate the Service member and Family and/or designated caregiver’s needs. Family members and caregivers play an important role in a seriously or severely ill or injured Service member’s recovery and transition. They provide emotional support and stability and assist the Airman or Guardian in navigating available transition benefits and programs. The Air Force defined phases of the Continuum of Care are listed below:

  • Identification Phase

    • Combat and non-combat ill or injured service members are assigned a CMT consisting of a Recovery Care Coordinator (RCC), Non-Medical Care Manager (NMCM), and a Medical Case Manager (MCM). The RCC will make contact within 72 hours of assignment, conduct an initial assessment of the Airman or Guardian and Family’s needs within 5 duty days, and share this information with the CMT within 15 duty days. Coordinate with the Military & Family Readiness Center, unit leadership, and Family Liaison Officer to address needs of the Service member, their Family and/or their caregiver.

  • Recovery and Treatment

    • Airmen and Guardians in this phase are hospitalized. The CMT will coordinate prioritized medical and non-medical support and services and begin development of the coordinated Interagency Comprehensive Plan. This plan considers the Service member’s personnel and financial needs based on initial and ongoing assessment. This will normally be accomplished no later than the 15th day from case initiation. NMCMs will coordinate resolution of those needs with the Air Force’s Personnel Center and Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

  • Rehabilitation

    • Airmen and Guardians in this phase are in an outpatient status. The CMT coordinates with the Service member, Family and caregiver to develop a plan of action for continuance of military service or transition into the civilian community. The CMT continues to monitor the Service member, Family, or caregiver needs; resolve issues (medical, financial, personnel, logistical); and assist with locating services and resources as needed.

  • Fitness Evaluation

    • Airmen and Guardians in this phase are undergoing a Medical Evaluation Board/Physical Evaluation Board. The CMT educates and provides policy guidance and direction based on Service member’s goals. The RCC and NMCM advocates for the Service member and monitors the evaluation process, ensures personnel policies are afforded as applicable, explores career and education goals, assesses financial wellness, and assists the Service member, Family and caregiver with their transition goals.

  • Reintegration / Transition

    • Airmen and Guardians in this phase have received a decision from the Evaluation Board and are selected for reintegration back into active service, separation or medical retirement. Service members selected for reintegration maintain their enrollment in the Recovery Coordination Program and during the reintegration process are supported by their Recovery Care Coordinator and Non-Medical care Manager. For separating Service members the NMCM coordinates to ensure the Service member is provided assistance with navigating their transition to the civilian community. The NMCM assesses the Service member’s needs and, with the help of the RCC, adjusts services to ensure the Service member, Family, and caregiver are afforded applicable transition services. The care team coordinates a hand-off to outside agencies (VA, Department of Labor, community resources).

  • Stabilization / Resolution

    • Airmen and Guardians in this phase have returned to duty, separated or retired and are reintegrating either back into their military unit or into the civilian community. The NMCM will continue to proactively foster resilience, independence, and stability with the Airman or Guardian.

Ensuring a continuation of care for Retired Service members the CMT will coordinate with the VA Case Manager to ensure all applicable entitlements and benefits have been applied for. NMCMs coordinate transitional financial assistance, troubleshoot retired pay account issues and coordinate with the VA Case Manager to ensure the Airman is connected to the VA and other agencies. The goal is to ensure all benefits and entitlements are assured within six months after the Service member leaves military service.

  • Sustainment

    • These Airmen and Guardians have successfully reintegrated, achieved stability and have been made fully aware of all applicable benefits and entitlements. A final assessment will be completed to confirm resilience, independence, and stability. AFPC/DPFW will continue to provide outreach services through events coordination, news bulletins and periodic phone contacts. WII are considered “Airman for Life” and have reach-back capability to obtain assistance with issues or concerns.

Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL)

An Airman or Guardian will be placed on the Temporary Disability Retired List when the member has a condition that meets the requirements for a disability retirement, but the disability has not sufficiently stabilized to accurately assess the permanent degree of disability. TDRL personnel are required by law to undergo physical examinations at least once every 18 months. TDRL Airmen and Guardians can remain on that list for up to three years providing the condition has not stabilized.

Airman for Life (A4L)

Airman for Life is an Air Force Wounded Warrior initiative that provides Wounded Warrior enrolled veterans placed in a permanent discharge status (not on the Temporary Disability Retired List) an opportunity to join a closed social media platform where they can obtain referral resources, specialized information, be inspired, and communicate with one another or AFW2 staff who monitor the site. Programs like this one further continue to connect Wounded, Ill & Injured Airmen and Guardians with each other and their AFW2 family.

All programs under the Warrior and Survivor Care umbrella are voluntary.

Support Network

Care Management Teams are responsible for overseeing the development of the recovery plan and coordinating the delivery of services and resources identified in the plan. This support includes both medical and not-medical needs for the post of injury to reintegration and transition back to military service or civilian life.

  • Recovery Team - Provides non-medical care and support, the Recovery Care Team jointly develops the wounded warrior’s Comprehensive Recovery Plan (CRP), evaluating its effectiveness and adjusting it as transitions occur. The Recovery Team includes the wounded warrior; the Family and or caregiver; the wounded warrior’s commander; a Recovery Care Coordinator, a Medical Care Case Manager, a Non-Medical Care Manager, and can include medical providers as needed.

  • Air Reserve Component (ARC) Cell – AFW2’s ARC Cell provides support, non-medical case management and advocacy for Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard Airmen. Non-Medical Care Managers navigate through recovery and rehabilitation services unit the Service members are either returned to duty or separated from military service.

  • Medical Care Case Manager (MCCM) - Located at military treatment facilities; ensures the wounded warrior and their Family/caregivers understands their medical conditions, treatments and the wounded warrior receives appropriate coordinated health care.

  • Non-Medical Care Manager (NMCM) - Located at the Warrior and Family Operations Center, ensures the wounded warrior, Family/caregiver receives non-medical support during care, management and transition (before, during and after relocation). NMCM’s provide feedback on effectiveness of the CRP meeting the wounded warrior’s personal goals and assists with resolving financial, administrative, personnel, logistical issues as well as job placement services. NMCM’s also assist with finding resources to maintain or improve welfare/quality of life and identify Family needs for the wounded warrior as well as ensures applicable benefits, compensation and services, for life.

  • Family Liaison Officer (FLO) - Appointed by unit to assist seriously wounded, ill and injured Service members and their families. FLOs are responsible for logistical support to the member and Family, such as meeting Family members at the airport and arranging lodging and transportation. FLOs also serve as an “interpreter” by assisting the wounded warrior and Family navigate the various agencies involved in recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.

  • Recovery Care Coordinator (RCC) - All Airmen and Guardians enrolled are assigned an RCC at the time of enrollment. The RCC assists the wounded warrior’s commander in overseeing and coordinating services and resources identified in the CRP. RCCs ensures the wounded warrior and Family/caregiver have access to all medical and non-medical services throughout the continuum of care and minimize delays and gaps in treatment (medical) and services (non-medical). RCCs also facilitate and monitor the execution of services.

Support Programs

The mission of AFW2 is to create effective channels of support for AFW2 Warriors, Veterans, Caregivers and families through donations and Commercial Sponsorships.

C.A.R.E events provide a holistic approach which integrates restorative care and services for seriously wounded ill and injured Airmen, Caregivers and families…all in one platform.

AFW2 aims to ease financial obstacles enabling AFW2 Warriors, Caregivers and families to participate in Adaptive Sports and Warrior C.A.R.E events which strengthen mental, physical, spiritual and social well-being while connecting with programs that aid in recovery and resiliency. To achieve this end, they offer a variety of support programs listed below.

Caregiver and Family Support

The Caregiver and Family Support Program (CFSP) links caregivers together and provides training and education to strengthen family resiliency, while connecting with community resources. A caregiver is the recovering Airman or Guardians family member (spouse, mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, etc.) or friend who provides them non-professional assistance with one or more activities of daily living. Through the CFSP, caregivers learn positive coping skills, how to enjoy personal time without guilt, and to avoid burnout while learning to thrive. Some of the many tools offered are skill building and holistic training such as resiliency, personality inventory, communication, financial wellness, PTSD/TBI awareness, benefits & entitlements, and suicide awareness. The DoD Military Caregiver Personalized Experiences, Engagement and Resources (PEER) Forums are offered. Ambassador and Mentorship trainings are also available to caregivers who are ready to share their stories and to help other caregivers. For more information, please email:

Adaptive Sports Program (ASP)

AFW2’s Adaptive Sports Program provides rehabilitative/competitive athletic activities to all WII Airmen and Guardians to improve their physical and mental quality of life. Each sport offers a world class coaching staff, adaptable equipment, virtual training, nutrition plans and links that connect Service members to community-based sports programs.

Introductory Adaptive Sports modify the way traditional sports are offered to meet each member’s abilities. Examples of adaptive sports at Regional Warrior CARE events or through Community Programs offered through benevolent organizations and the VA may include:

Examples of Adaptive Sports

Archery (Compound / Recurve)

Rock Climbing / Hiking (Community Program)

Swimming (50m Free, 50 m Back, 100m Free)

Cycling (Upright / Recumbent / Hand Cycle

Scuba Diving (Community Program)

Track (100m, 200m, 400m, 1600m)

Equine (Community Program)

Shooting (Air Rifle / Pistol – Skeet/Trap)

Wheelchair Basketball (Team Sport)

Field (Discuss / Shotput – Standing / Sitting)

Sitting Volleyball (Team Sport)

Wheelchair Rugby (Team Sport)

Fishing / Hunting (Community Program)

Snow Sports (Community Program)


Golf (Community Program)

Surfing (Community Program)

Indoor Rowing

Ambassador Program

AFW2’s Ambassador Program assists wounded warriors in shaping and telling their own story of resiliency in recovery to audiences across the Air Force and Space Force. Being able to put words to individual experiences allow Service members to endure their journey and heal. Ambassadors receive personalized guidance and feedback to create multiple messages and calls to action that empower their audience. Outreach engagements include media opportunities and leadership courses to help spread awareness and utilization of AFW2 programs and services available.

Recovering Airman Mentorship Program (RAMP)

AFW2’s Recovering Airman Mentorship Program (RAMP) assists recovering Airmen and Guardians by helping them establish peer-to peer mentorship relationships to help navigate recovery and build resilient Airmen and Guardians. The support provided by mentors cover a broad spectrum of illness and visible and invisible wounds, while encouraging confidence and a team approach to recovery.

Empowerment in Transition (EIT)

The Air Force Wounded Warrior Empowerment in Transition (EIT) Program equips, encourages, and empowers recovering Airmen, Guardians and Caregivers in the development and achievement of long-term career and life goals. Participants receive personalized coaching and guidance to ensure positive management of career changes, building effective ways forward and to take charge of their post-military lives. For more information, please contact

Community Programs

Community Programs create a unified effort to promote and connect wounded warriors and their loved ones with community-based events, growth opportunities, resources, and services. It focuses on developing a network of organizations to meet the needs of our AFW2 population. Community Programs provide Warrior and Family Social Connections, which uses the Signal app to introduce the local AFW2 population to each other and Veteran Service Organizations in their respective community.

Resiliency Programs

The Resiliency Program works with all programs within AFW2 to help strengthen the mental, social, spiritual, and physical domains of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Model for our Warriors and their Caregivers enrolled in our program. They do this through both virtual and in-person CARE Events, as well as teaching classes, connecting through social media platforms, and providing personalized support to those who are at high risk and are struggling with maintaining their resiliency.

CARE Events

CARE Events feature personalized support through six annual regional Warrior CARE Events integrating all support programs into one platform to strengthen mental, physical, spiritual and social well-being of enrolled Wounded Warriors and Caregivers. During the pandemic AFW2 has focused on a Hybrid approach meaning identified participants can attend an event in-person or virtually. The Virtual Service Delivery allows strengthening of connections with wounded warriors, caregivers and family members whether they leave the house or not. Many Service members are more comfortable attending virtually before deciding whether to attend in-person.

The overarching focus for CARE Events are Adaptive Sports and Resiliency Program. Adaptive Sports and Resiliency Programs are a subset of the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program at JBSA-Randolph. The mission of Adaptive Sports and Resiliency Programs is to motivate and encourage participation in introductory, rehabilitative and competitive adaptive sports and resiliency programs among the Wounded, Ill or Injured Airmen and Guardians. Participation in these programs support recovery, strengthen resilience, and enhance physical, emotional, and psychological quality of life throughout the continuum of care of Air Force Wounded Warrior Airmen and Guardians and their caregivers. Resiliency programs are offered in conjunction with Warrior CARE events to introduce Airmen and Guardians to programs that enhance coping skills, mood regulation, and communication in a group setting. The programs may include music, art or other workshops designed to help Airmen and Guardians find positive ways to relax and reduce stress.

Additional Information

For more information, please visit the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) webpage:

Air Force Wounded Warrior Airman for Life:

Office of Warrior Care Policy:

Online Resource for Americans with Disabilities:

Department of the Air Force Instructions 34-1101, Warrior and Survivor Care:

DFAS Disability Retirement Pay

Air Force Instruction 34-1101: Warrior and Survivor Care

Document Review Date: 27 October 2023